Have you ever set aside time to pray only to be distracted once you started? I’ve been in the middle of a prayer and have gotten so distracted that I started making a grocery list. Then a half an hour later, I remembered I was in the middle of praying. Distractions happen. A lot of us lead busy lives and it’s hard to sit down and focus especially when we’re praying in our heads – things get noisy in there!
Keeping a prayer journal can help if you struggle focusing during prayer.
Writing down your prayers can help keep you in the moment while you’re praying. It helps you organize your thoughts, stay concentrated, and helps solidify the habit of praying every day.
To get started, choose a specific time in your daily routine where you want to stop and pray. Keep your journal in a place where you’ll see it at that time of day. It helps to choose a place with somewhere comfortable to sit. And one last pro tip – always keep a pen with your journal. I can’t count the times I’ve gone looking for a pen and ended up cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen instead. Thinking ahead and making the process as easy as possible will help you in forming the habit of prayer journaling.
Keeping a prayer journal does more than just helping you concentrate and form a good habit. Prayer journals are books we get to write and reflect on. I started keeping journals a little bit before high school. It’s amazing to look back on the prayers I’ve prayed in different stages of life – Jr. High, High School, College, entering the workforce, etc. I can look back on prayers I prayed for my husband before we were even engaged. I can look back on prayers I prayed when we were newlyweds and when we bought our first house. I can look back on moments of sorrow and grief and see the prayers I prayed when our niece passed away, when my dad got sick, and when he passed away.
It may seem silly to look back on the difficult things we walk through. But one of the absolute best parts of keeping all of these journals throughout the past 15 years is that I can look back and begin to see the way God’s presence is woven throughout every aspect. He’s in the seasons of waiting. He’s in the seasons of joy. He’s in the seasons of depression and grief. When we write our conversations with God in a journal we’re writing a story of God’s faithfulness in our lives. We can look back over everything and start to see ways he’s answered our prayers and provided for us.
If you haven’t tried journaling your prayers – today is the day for you! Follow the steps above to get started and begin forming the habit through the rest of 21 Days of Prayer. You can write your prayers in any format you’d like. You can put down bullet points and lists. You can write it like a letter to God. It doesn’t matter what format you prefer – just pray. Share the good, bad, and ugly. Pray for other people. Ask God questions. Just start a conversation with God.
Begin writing the story of God’s faithfulness in your life today. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back on the season you’re in and you’ll be able to see the ways in which God has moved on your behalf.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered…
This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Write down for the record everything I have said to you…