Keeping a Prayer Journal:

By Monk Preston

 

Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield).

(Co-Founder & President, The Prayer Foundation )

 

Photo: of a lit candle.

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo: Canadian Rockies - Icefields Parkway, Alberta.  Photo Copyright 2006 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.

Keeping a personal Prayer Journal that records when and how God answers your prayers can be a real blessing in your spiritual life and growth in prayer. 

 Our Answers to Prayer pages are really our ministry's "Prayer Journal".  We recommend taking a look through them.  They can be a great source of blessing and a real faith builder.  We post these answered prayers on our website so that we, all those who have volunteered as Prayer Warriors, those who send in their Prayer Requests, and also any visitors to our site who wish to do so can read through them and be both inspired and encouraged.

 Our understanding is that George Muller had an actual 2-column Journal.  In the left column of the page he wrote down the prayer request and the date when he began praying for it, and in the right-hand column the date when it was answered and how.  He had been praying for a particular man to receive Christ for something like twenty-seven years.  It was later learned that the man accepted Christ at Muller's funeral.

George Muller would not stop praying for a prayer request...until it was answered.   

In sharing this story, we are trying to make two points: 

  • 1. George Muller would not stop praying for a prayer request once he wrote it down in his Prayer Journal until it was answered. 

  • 2. George Muller did not actually see the prayer's answer himself, because Muller was no longer alive when God answered it.  

We know that many who are naturally very concerned when they send in a prayer request, do not then later send in to let us know that it was answered, and when and how (once the pressure is off--unfortunately this is human nature).  We once prayed for 6 months for a little girl that the Doctors all agreed would never be able to speak or even reason again, and were finally told (by a good friend!) that she had been almost completely healed several months before, but he that had "forgotten" to tell us about it!

 Another way would be to have one book for prayer requests, and a separate book for answered prayer, and still another way is to keep more of a diary type of journal (like David Brainerd's Diary).  It can be done in many different ways, because everyone is different.  Alternative ways will appeal more to various types people, and perhaps motivate them to continue more than other systems would.

The Four Column Prayer Journal

 An excellent basic book on prayer, "Prayer Made Easy" by Mark Water, has a page called "Keeping a Prayer Diary" which states:

 "In a notebook draw four columns down the page:

  • Column 1: Date of Prayer Request.

  • Column 2: Prayer Request. 

  • Column 3: How prayer was answered.

  • Column 4: Date of answered prayer.

 Then fill in a line with the details of the most important thing you are praying about this week. - You can add to it as much as you like.  One topic per week is manageable for most people. - When a prayer request is answered that is the cue for giving thanks to God." 

A blessing from God, and a reminder to be thankful.

Have you ever tried to keep a Prayer Journal?  If God leads you to do so, He can use it to greatly bless you, and it helps remind us to be thankful to God for all the times that He has answered our prayers.

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Copyright © 2004 S.G.P. All rights reserved.