Start Prayer Journaling Today: A Beginner’s Guide to Daily Prayer

A Christian woman journaling as part of her daily prayer routine at the kitchen table

By Joanna Eccles

I remember receiving my first prayer journal. A guest speaker came to show the teenage girls in our youth group how to improve our daily prayers through journaling. 

We had a special luncheon where the speaker placed a blank book at each girl’s seat. Mine had a red spine with a beautiful still-life painting of flowers on the front. 

The woman gave us simple instructions for starting a prayer journal. 

It wasn’t a diary to record everything we did but an invitation to join the presence of the Father. 

Prayer ushers us into the throne room of God. 

We can stand in awe of who He is, what He has done, and what He can do. 

She encouraged us to start out each prayer like writing a letter with “Dear God.” 

Capturing the circumstances behind our entries contextualizes why we felt certain ways when we read our daily prayers later. 

We wrote the day of the week, date, and time we journaled. The leader even suggested including the weather.

Next, we dove into the meat of recording our daily prayers in written form.

The woman shared an acronym to use while petitioning the Lord called ACTS—Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. 

A Christian woman in daily prayer with an open journal and an open Bible

A Framework for Daily Prayer

These elements provide a solid foundation for balanced daily prayer.

A – Adoration

Yahweh, You are my God; I will exalt You. I will praise Your name, for You have accomplished wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” – Isaiah 25:1 HCSB

Start prayer with adoring the Lord by remembering the names of God that tell us who He is. 

  • Jehovah-Jireh – the Lord our Provider
  • Jehovah-Nissi – the Lord our Banner
  • Jehovah-Rapha – the Lord our Healer 
  • Jehovah-Rohi – the Lord our Shepherd
  • Jehovah-Shalom – the Lord our Peace

Adoration focuses on God’s character—such as loving, faithful, and good. 

When we exalt God, we receive perspective on our life’s circumstances because we acknowledge God is mightier than any challenge we face.  

C – Confession

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 HCSB

Next, we confess our wrongdoings to the Lord—both big and small. 

When our hearts are full of sin, we are separated from God. 

We are reunited with the Lord when we seek forgiveness for our disobedience. 

Repentance clears any potential blockage and provides a clear line of communication to Heaven.

A prayer journal with the words "be still" written on a fresh page

T – Thanksgiving

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.” – Psalm 100:4 HCSB

Thankfulness is a powerful spiritual weapon; it brings peace. 

Instead of focusing on our lists of wants, we thank Him for all the good things He has already done. 

We praise God for His faithfulness.

The same God who helped us before can handle any new struggles we have. Our hearts flood with peace when we lay these concerns before Him.   

S – Supplication

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.” – Psalm 143:1 KJV

Supplications raise our burdens for ourselves, friends, and family to the Lord. 

We have confidence in God’s ability to perform miracles on our behalf because we have spent time abiding in His presence and focusing on His character.

A prayer journal with a Christian woman's new year's resolutions, including drawing closer to God

Watching God Work 

One benefit of consistent journaling is tracking God’s work in our lives. 

The leader of our high school group suggested marking answered prayers in our journals. She used stickers and included the dates for when God answered. 

I didn’t have stickers, so I drew stars beside my praises. In hard times, I flipped through my journal to see how God had responded to my prayers. 

The Lord’s character remains unchanged (Heb 13:8) even when our circumstances change.

I’ve kept my original red journal from high school and every subsequent book over the years, filled with pleas to the Lord. 

Every January, I visit a coffee house to read my prayer journal from the previous year. My heart is strengthened to review how God faithfully moved despite the obstacles I had faced.  

We never know what fruit God will grow from our daily prayer journaling. 

A Christian woman with an open Bible and writing in a journal as part of her daily prayer time

Making Prayer Journaling a Habit

To make daily prayer journaling a regular part of your spiritual life, here are two tips.

1 – Handwrite prayers.

We focus better when we handwrite in our prayer journals. Putting our requests onto paper forces us to slow down. 

Writing out prayers can help us collect our thoughts. Rather than having concerns swirl in our heads, the words are captured on the page where we can turn them over to God. 

2 – Find an attractive journal. 

We’ll be more willing to journal when attached to a cover we find inviting or beautiful. My current prayer book has a peacock with gold sparkles on the tail. 

When our journals are a beautiful and special place to connect with the Lord, we cultivate a habit of lifting up our requests to Him.

Now that we’ve learned the basics of prayer journaling consider buying a new blank prayer journal and embark on a daily prayer journey with the Lord!

God’ll be happy to hear from you, and you will grow in your relationship with Christ as you see Him work over time.  

Joanna Eccles

Joanna Eccles founded Words from the Honeycomb to share sweet words to encourage people in Christ. She has led Bible studies for over a decade and desires to shape culture through her writing by addressing truths in relatable ways. Joanna can’t wake up without a cup of coffee, loves reading, and lives in Florida. Connect with Joanna on Facebook and Twitter.

Share this Article with Friends Online!

Read More on the Living by Design Blog:

Stay Nourished

with our Weekly Blog Posts & SOULfood Saturday E-mails​

By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Scroll to Top