Prayer journaling is a wonderful way to keep track of the way God is moving in your life. Whether you want to record your prayer list or encourage yourself to grow in your prayer life, a prayer journal is the perfect tool. If you’re feeling creative, why not try making a DIY prayer journaling notebook? Personalizing it and making it your own will make it an even more precious keepsake.
Spending intentional time praying and communing over Scripture with God is foundational to walking with Christ. It is out of these moments together that life is truly lived by His strength and for His glory.
Maintaining an account of both the simple and the profound everyday encounters helps keep you ever-mindful of Him, His Word, and His constant work in and around you.
If you don’t already have a favorite way of recording these things, or if you need a fresh start, try putting together this prayer and devotional journaling notebook to encourage and inspire growth within the wondrous relationship with your Savior.
A dedicated tool to help walk you through your daily time in the Word and in prayer can help you stay organized, motivated, and consistent. Our hope is that this simple resource will lend to a more joy-filled and faithful pursuit of God.
- 3-ring binder or Discbound Notebook
- Colorful Pens
- Highlighters (optional)
- Washi Tape (optional)
- Stickers (optional)
The best part of this notebook is that it is simple and widely customizable. The materials are affordable, easy to find, and a breeze to pull together! You won’t need to fuss over common burnout issues like dated journals (that might frustratingly reveal days missed) or bound pages (that don’t account for the perfectionist in us that doesn’t want ripped-out or mistake-ridden pages). You can interchange sections and personalize the notebook to suit your style and preferences.
Here you’ll find a few favorite ideas for assembling a prayer and devotional journaling notebook, but it is certainly not the only way to do so. The beauty of this simple-to-assemble notebook is that you get to choose the sections, format, layout, and particulars—so be inspired, let it work for you, and organize it in a way that brings life and joy!
Just remember: The important thing is not the physical material, but rather what it will remind you of and spur you toward, spiritually.
Simply label dividers for the following sections and include paper (blank or lined) behind each. Fun colorful pens, highlighters, washi tape, and stickers can bring a spark of color and creativity and assist those who are visually-driven and -inspired toward greater comprehension. And if you opt for a three-ring binder over a discbound system, consider designing and printing a cover photo and slipping it or a piece of pretty scrapbook paper in the front sleeve, or if your notebook doesn’t have a view sleeve, try mod-podging a creative collage or decorative paper to the front.
NOTEBOOK JOURNAL SECTIONS
1 | MANIFESTO
In the very front of your notebook, consider including a personal mission statement or manifesto within a plastic sheet protector. Don’t stress over this—it doesn’t have to be perfect or final. It may even change over time! Including a simple statement of obedience, an aspect of the gospel that resonates deepest, or even a life verse as the first thing you’ll open to will help focus your attention and your heart on what is most important. This is often a centering moment of intention to prepare you for your time with the Lord. Consider writing something that answers the following questions: What am I living for? Why did God save me? What does God want from me? A manifesto can be a great springboard into praying that God would help you fulfill His mission for your life and for your day.
2 | PRAISE
Use this section to pour out your worship and gratefulness to the Lord. You can write out song lyrics, prayers of thankfulness, or simply list specific things you are thankful for each day. You may want to include Scriptures of praise or even create artwork as an offering of worship. Jot down evidences of everyday grace from your week. Date each page in order to reflect back on your thoughts, but feel the freedom to reuse your previously written thankfulness pages and simply add the new date too!
Journaling these things urges you to search, find, and name reasons to praise Him in all things and brings to life Philippians 4:8 “…whatever is praiseworthy, think about these things.” This is also a great place to return to for encouragement during difficult times; remembering all that you have to be grateful for can bring great comfort and true joy. Most importantly, praising God for who He is and all He has done properly frames your perspective before laying your requests at His feet.
3 | PRAYER
1 Thessalonians 5:17 implores us to “Pray without ceasing.” It is the profound and unique opportunity we have to continually commune on the most intimate level with our Creator King and nearest Friend. God longs to converse with us and some of our most significant experiences with Him blossom from the seed of devoting our everyday lives to prayer. Putting the dialogue and insights learned into words through journaling can bring shape and order to the beautiful gift of prayer.
There are countless ways to organize the prayer section of your notebook, so be sure to find one that works well for you and best enables you to stick with it. You can allot a page or two to each person or group (e.g. family, church, school community) in your life and add requests as they come up, order by prayer concern, or organize by date and list all the request of that day. Alternatively, you could plan out a prayer schedule, deciding which types of requests you’d like to cover on particular days or weeks. You may even want to include prayer journal prompts in this section or write out prayers found in Scripture to use yourself. However you decide to organize this section, be sure to leave a space in between each request where you can return to jot down dates and notes of how the Lord specifically answered those prayers. Any relevant teachings, helpful info, or tips regarding prayer can be added to this section and used for inspiration.
4 | SCRIPTURE
This section houses any verses that stick out during time spent in Bible study and also any Scripture you want to memorize. Documenting a list of verses you’d like to memorize during the month or year ahead keeps them forefront and easy to access each day during your quiet time with God. Be sure to keep notes on what it was about the verse that came alive to you or why you’d want to memorize that particular passage. This is also a great place to keep Scripture reading tips or plans handy. Utilizing a Bible Reading Plan can help you stay focused, eliminate frustrating times of feeling stalled or unsure of what to read/study next, and ultimately gain a more comprehensive understanding of Scripture. This would be a great place to include The Joyful Life Quarterly Reading plan printable (available for download at joyfullifemagazine.com/printables) or even create your own charting out a particular book or topic you’d like to study.
5 | STUDY
This final section of your devotional notebook is where you will want to keep track of anything you learn during your Bible study time. Jot down notes you’d like to keep, commentary insights, background or context information for the passage, and new understandings from character or word studies or even from any Bible study books you may be reading. This is also a great place to house sermon notes or any helpful printables. Consider this an open journaling section where you can freely write what God is revealing to you and teaching you through His Word. Put words to your thoughts, all you are learning, and how it is connecting with your heart and the circumstances of your life.
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