7 Habits That Promote Soul Rest: Prayer Journaling

in the morning I lay my requests before and wait expectantly.

When my mind is filled with confusion and agitation, when my heart is filled with anxiety or disappointment, there is one habit that I turn to again and again: prayer journaling. Pouring out my soul to God on paper untangles my thoughts and connects with the Father who calms my soul.

Why journal my prayers instead of just voicing them or thinking them? Putting a prayer in a little book does not mean God is more attentive to it. Writing it out does not make it more spiritual. But there are three reasons that prayer journaling is helpful to me:

7 HABITS #6Using a prayer journal keeps me focused. I don’t know about you, but when I try to pray silently, it doesn’t take long for my mind to wander off. I start thinking about what I’m going to make for supper, an odd comment a friend made, or even the strange dream I had the night before. Writing out my prayers helps my mind concentrate.

Using a prayer journal helps me untangle my thoughts. When I put pen to paper, suddenly things seem less confusing. The Lord helps me see solutions and ideas that I never thought of before.

Using a prayer journal gives me a record of my prayers. When confusion starts to creep in again, I reread my prayers and regain peace. I can also use the journal of a written record of my prayers and rejoice in God’s answers.

I encourage you to try prayer journaling. You might be thinking: But where do I start?

Using the book of Psalms for inspiration, I came up with eight journaling prompts especially designed for soul rest.

  • Psalm 5:3:  Listen to my voice in the morning, LordEach morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Lord, today I bring my requests to You and lay them at Your feet. What I need most today is…
  • Psalm 4:1: Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! Father, I thank You that You hear me when I call. What I am distressed about is….
  • Psalm 22:11: Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. Oh Lord, trouble is near. I need Your presence now more than ever. Let me tell You about all that is happening…
  • Psalm 25:4: Make me to know your ways, O Lordteach me your paths. Father, I am feeling confused. Right now I need Your guidance about…
  • Psalm 51:1: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Jesus, I messed up. I need Your mercy and unfailing love. Forgive me for…
  • Psalm 56:3: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Spirit, help me put my trust in You. Fear is threatening to take over my emotions. I am afraid…
  • Psalm 31:14-15: But I trust in you, O LordI say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand. O God, things are not looking good. But I’ve decided to leave the matter in Your hands. Today, I give You my concerns about…
  • Psalm 31:19: Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you. Father, I thank you for the many blessings You have given me out of Your abundant goodness! Right now I thank You for…

Give prayer journaling a try. In prayer we give our burdens to the Father and the Spirit gives us peace through God’s Word.

Next step: Find a journal. Grab an empty notebook. Or open up a Word file. Pick a prayer prompt and start writing. Don’t worry about proper grammar or pretty handwriting. Just pour out your soul to a loving Father.

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