The Unexpected Power of Keeping a Prayer Journal

I’m a daydreamer.

Whenever I have a spare moment, I imagine all sorts of scenarios in my head. I can daydream anywhere, and at any time.

Daydreaming is easy.

…. sometimes too easy.

I used to catch myself straying from asking the Lord for my daily bread to imagining myself eating bread. In a bakery. In Paris. In the 1800s. With Victor Hugo.

Years ago, I purposed in my heart to have a healthy prayer life, free of distractions and daydreams. My prayer time shouldn’t have to compete with my overactive imagination. So I decided to use a prayer journal.

Some use prayer journals to keep track of prayer requests and praises. Others use journals to jot down things they’re thankful for.

But I use mine to write letters to the Lord.

Writing completely holds my attention. Something about the fluid motion of cursive handwriting allows my thoughts to pour out in one steady stream without pauses long enough for my brain to wander.

I found that my prayers became much more meaningful, and more unified when I would write to the Lord. I forget that I’m not writing to someone on earth. Having had pen-pals in the past, I’m fond of correspondence, particularly of receiving a letter back.

What’s amazing is that He does reply: through His Holy Word.

After I write a prayer to the Lord, reading my Bible seems like reading God’s letter back to me.

Journaling my prayers has another wonderful benefit: I can go back and read them. I can see how God has worked throughout the years and throughout my experiences. I can see where He answered “yes,” “no,” and “wait” to my prayers.

People in love often write letters to each other—sometimes out of necessity, if circumstances keep them apart, but other times merely to communicate their love in a different way.

Writing letters to the Lord is just a different way of communicating my love to Him.

If you don’t keep a prayer journal, may I suggest that you give one a try? You don’t have to write letters like I do—use the journal in whatever way will help your prayer life.

And those of you who already keep a prayer journal: in what ways has keeping a journal helped you? I’d love to know; just scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment!


The thoughts and opinions expressed in Life in the Nest are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pensacola Christian College.
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