Last month I was browsing through a bundle purchase I made, and found ideas for a prayer journal.
“A prayer journal?” I thought. “I always pray. Do I need a prayer journal?” The answer turned out to be a resounding YES!!!
As I started looking into what, exactly, a prayer journal is, and watched some youtube videos, I was immediately sold. Yes! A way to be organized and methodical with my prayers; some direction and prayer prompting! I got excited.
I got so excited that I started my own prayer journal, and hosted a prayer journal workshop at my church. We all brought our own supplies, and had opportunity to work together and fellowship while we put together our journals. I provided several handouts of prayer prompts that I’d found online.
I sewed a fabric and batting cover for it from a fabric that brings me God’s peace.
This was a process over a few weeks of arranging, re-arranging, making pages; and writing verses, prayers, and requests. It is still a work-in-progress as God gives me new insights and things to pray for. I love that this is a dynamic work.
I highly recommend a prayer journal (several of the youtube videos call them, “war binders”). My prayer time has blossomed. I am definite in my prayers for various people and organizations; my prayer time is focused and guided (instead of mind-wandering); I have a new and even closer connection with my Lord; I can easily spend an hour praying; and I LOVE my prayer time.
I use a mini-binder because I like the feel of the smaller size. (A mini binder fits pages that are half the size of 8 ½” x 11” pages.) I started with a 1” ring width, but had to go with 1.5” because I put so much in it.
Many of my pages that are filled with prayers have little sticky markers: I don’t pray every page every day. I pray one or two items on a page, then move the marker to the next one, to remind me where I left off.
To stave off distractions from taking me away from my prayers, I keep note paper nearby. When something pops into my mind that I don’t want to forget, I jot it down. Now I don’t have to worry about forgetting something important, and I can concentrate on praying.
I have several sections that I pray through every day; and I have five other sections that I pray Monday – Friday. As specific needs occur, I write them down wherever appropriate.
- Includes a Grateful section, Bible verses, clips from online sources, an Aha! section of things that strike me as being so cool about God, and pages of hymnals that I copied
- This is a pretty thick section, because I need a lot of prayer!
- Includes prayers from Supplications, various clippings, Confession section, hymns, prayer requests from this Maggie blog, and a calendar page from pdfcalendar.com (link below) to remind me of upcoming events to pray about
- From Supplications
- Includes a sub-section for parents, children, siblings & families, and in-laws
My Monday – Friday sections:
- Monday: City, State, and Nation (& World)
- Tuesday: Social Issues (abortion, LGBTQ, trafficking)
- Wednesday: my church (people / prayer requests, missionaries, outreach)
- Thursday: Friends & Neighbors
- Friday: Persecuted, Prison Ministries / Prisoners, Homeless
Following are some things to think about before you put together a prayer binder. At the end are several online resources.
Do you have a prayer binder? Do you have resources to share?
- Ring-style or spiral / permanent bound?
- Ring-style (regular or smaller-size):
- you can add / take out / rearrange pages as you need
- You can take out pages to use, say, for sermon notes at church, then insert back into your notebook; you don’t have to take the whole notebook with you
- Keep a clipboard handy for when you want to take out separate pages to write on
- Spiral or otherwise bound:
- can’t move or add pages
- but you can use sticky notes / sticky tabs; can glue in pages
- easier to carry around
- Ring-style (regular or smaller-size):
- search “journal binder” or “prayer journal” on amazon or Christianbook.com
- “3-ring binder” or “binder portfolio” or “mini portfolio binder” or “mini binders 5.5 x 8.5 three ring” or “blank journal” or “travel binder” on amazon
- watch out for how many rings; be sure you have a hole punch / pre-punched papers for those hole patterns
Big picture considerations:
- Is this a lifetime journal, or will I make one for each year?
- What size?
- Will I take this with me to waiting rooms? Prayer group?
- Will this be a stationary piece in my prayer closet?
- Do I want a separate section for answers to prayer, or will I include answers along with the prayers?
- Will I write directly on the pages, or write on sticky notes to stick on the pages; or both?
- Will this journal be only for prayer, or will I also use it for Bible study journaling?
- In a pre-bound journal (i.e., spiral notebook), make pages and sections (or outline your plan) before adding section tabs, so you have an idea of how many pages for each section
You may want to include:
- Calendar to jot events to pray for
- A front page of prayer-inspiring Scripture
- The Lord’s Prayer
- Section for Scripture memorization
- Sections for praise, adoration
- Attributes of God
- Praise Scripture
- Section labeled Confess or Repent / what needs pruning
- Bible studies / book study (group or individual)
- Sticky notes / jot-a-note
- Ideas to include in the journal
- Random thoughts that intrude, and you need to take care of them later (i.e., don’t forget to add pineapple to the grocery list): put these in a special spot once you’ve written them down, so you don’t have to concentrate on remembering them.
- Goal pages
- Inspirational page(s): quotes, ideas
- Printed prayers that mean something to you
- Hymn or praise song lyrics / sheet music
- Names of God / Jesus / Holy Spirit
- Coloring pages
- “Aha!” page
Arrangement of sections:
- Days of the week: Pray for specific issues on each day of the week (i.e., family, marriage, children on Mondays; church, leadership, church groups on Tuesdays; etc.)
- Prayer issues (sections for family / church / ministries / prayer group, etc.)
Prayer / Section Suggestions:
- Self, spouse, children
- My home
- Extended family
- Leadership / Government (local, state, national, world)
- Specific church ministries or groups
- Church leadership
- Church participation
- Families in your church
- Truth in preaching and teaching
- Families / Marriages; legal battles, transgender / LGBTQ, etc
- The persecuted
- Prison ministries
- Healing / emotional / relational
- World events (abortion, persecution, etc.)
- Specific ministries / schools / organizations
- Work / school
- Growth areas
- God’s promises / witness to His faithfulness
- Pouring out your heart / issues precious and dear to you
- Listening to God: things God is telling me
- A prayer group you belong to
- Urgent needs (“Emergency Room”)
- Binder OR spiral notebook OR bound journal
- Binder: normal size or half-size or other-size
- Binder paper (pay attention to the kind of binder you’re using, and the hole placement)
- Packets of paper sold for that style of binder
- Scrapbook paper
- You can design and print your own pages
- Some pages can be cardstock
- “Extra” pages can be glued into a spiral notebook or bound journal
- Sticky divider tabs OR can make your own out of cardstock, and glue to pages
- Divider tabs can go along the side and/or the top
- Sturdy elastic headband or other method to keep your journal closed and secure
- Binder pockets
- Divider pages OR make your own
- Different kinds and colors of pens and pencils
- Sticky notes of all sizes, shapes and colors
- Calendar pages
- Hole reinforcers
- Fun paper clips & binder clips
- Page protectors / sheet protectors
- Glue stick / double-sided tape / glue pen
- Pen & pencil pocket (big enough to keep sticky notes, etc)
- Cutting board / paper cutter
- Hole punch
- Hot glue gun
- (Pretty) envelopes
- Scrapbooking supplies
- Lettering & numbering
- Pockets / pocket pages
- Colored or patterned tape or sticky strips
- Scrapbook paper
- Washi-tape (Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, dollar stores)
- Sheet protectors for your-size binder
- Old books to include pages (see what the library is giving away or very cheap; Goodwill; Salvation Army; second-hand stores)
- Bible pages
- Pictures you can cut out and glue in
- You can separate whole books from their bindings and include some or all pages, or make a separate binder. Hole punch the pages to insert into a binder.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ft87GqgETs How to Make Your Own Prayer Journal! Stacey Johnson 41:12 spiral-bound student notebook w/ dividers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElRJCoBvQNo My Prayer Binder: Flip Through and Thoughts Cori Spieker 1:01:35 3-ring ½ size binder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D9S6Yq6zBY WAR BINDER PRAYER JOURNAL SETUP- How to Make Your Own DIY Faith Journal | Ideas and Flip Through Kaye Lean Ramos 20:04 3-ring ½ size binder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hmy3Dd9Djc Bible Study Binder & Prayer Journal Notebook: How to DIY Crazy Simple Truth, Nicki Drake 11:57 3-ring binder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7chAgKsfVE Prayer Binder flip through with Dawne! Kari Denker (with Stone Soup for Five) 45:30 3-ring, ½ – size binder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFKLXz1Cdkk Recycle your Toilet Roll Cores into Pretty Pockets! Angela Kerr 44:11 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi6z_xI894c Recycle and Reuse Toilet Roll Tubes Gi Kerr 25:07
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15BoCfZK0Ew Prayer Journal Set Up / War Binder DIY Annie Smith 28:40 spiral-bound sketchbook
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPqnhlAX35M&t=0s Prayer Notebook Gina Garland 8:45 3-ring ½ size binder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRh8QBuTWTA Prayer Binder Walkthrough Kari Denker 11:19 3-ring ½ size binder
http://storage.cloversites.com/arkansasbaptiststateconvention2/documents/Design%20Guide%20-%20Prayer%20-%20Long%20(Final)_2.pdf Scroll down to Appendix A (pg 6) for a list of convicting questions
http://pdfcalendar.com/ create your own calendar