Why I Keep a Prayer Notebook


Prayer is quite possibly the spiritual discipline I have to give the most attention. Prayer really doesn’t come as naturally to me as reading does. Several years ago I really wanted to begin praying better and building a more prayer centric life. I have struggled in the past with keeping myself in prayer and I decided to start keeping a prayer specific notebook. After just over a year with the practice, it has proven to be very beneficial for me.

Let me explain to you my prayer notebook. I wanted something I could keep with me all the time. I am partial to Field Notes Brand notebooks. You can pick them up in tons of different colors. I wanted something I was excited about so I would actually use it. I found out the notebook started to get ragged out quick, so I picked up a leather cover on Etsy. The notebook now resides permanently in my back pocket as part of my daily carry.

I start each day with Wesley’s Covenant prayer. I keep a copy in the notebook marking my place. I write down the date and any requests I know I need to be praying for. I list peoples names. I can flip back through the last few days and make sure I am moving things forward.

I like to do this because I don’t like lying to people.

Preachers tell others “I’ll be praying for you” quite a lot. It is easy to forget. Instead, I tell people that now and immediately (in front of them) write it down. If I have told you I am praying for you in the last year…your name is in one of these books.

I also write down short, one sentence prayers during the day or in the evening.

I like my prayer notebook because it is an extremely tactile practice. It keeps prayer right in front of me. It is a constant reminder of the Holy and also of the holy practice of going to God in prayer throughout the day.

As I have journeyed into the discipline of prayer, I can’t imagine doing it without my little notebook. It keeps me centered. Using a notebook reminds me prayer is a terribly practical activity. It is something we actually should be doing, paying attention to. Prayer takes time and effort.

I hope you are a person of prayer. If it is a hard thing for you I really hope you would consider the idea of keeping a prayer notebook. I like to think it has been a big help to me making prayer part of a normal, every day life.

  • Crystal Farmer Boyd

    When you wrote down prayer requests in front of me the first time, I felt heard and cared for the first time in many years. So many times I feel like an alien when talking about my needs with spiritual leaders, friends, and even family, as they stare with a lack of understanding and empathy. Thank you for caring enough about your friends and community to show concern with action. Your integrity is so high that you seek intentionality in doing what you say you will do.

    • Crystal-Thanks for the kind words. You and Dain are pretty awesome as well.