Did you know that God keeps a journal too? God doesn’t forget, nevertheless, He has recorded some things about us in a book (as you will read at the end of this article). But I can forget, so I started writing down prayer requests some time ago. If you keep prayer requests written down because they leak out of your brain like mine, here’s a great way to make your prayer requests list into a prayer journal. I have several friends who are on my prayer list, but I keep this private out of respect for them. I write out my prayer requests that week, and I put a date for the week, beginning on Sunday, the first day of the week. When I record someone’s prayer request, I put their name down, tab over, then put specific things I am praying for them about, and finally, at the end, I put the date down.
I had originally only kept a prayer list for friends and family. I have begun to increase my prayer requests from the many friends I have made since I’ve been keeping a prayer list. I then just rewrite the list for the next week and those who requested to be taken off of it are removed, and those who wish to remain on it stay there permanently, until they tell me otherwise. But it occurred to me that before I remove their names and requests for prayer when they ask me to, I wanted to start recording the answers to these prayers. This gave me the idea of journaling the previous weeks prayer requests into a prayer journal. This allows me to look back at what God has accomplished for these dear friends of mine in the past week or weeks. And this is encouraging to see answered prayer. I look back several weeks or months or years back and say, “Wow, I remember that!“. It's uplifting to look back and see all the answers to prayers. It builds my faith and trust even more deeply than it already is. I begin to see, more and more, that my prayers crash through the ceiling and reach the Mercy Seat and Throne of God. That’s exciting and since we are given an imperative command to pray for one another, I feel I am making a difference in the Kingdom.
Some people have requested to stay on the prayer list while others tell me that I can remove them from it for God has answered their prayer, in one way or another. I always honor their request. Like the people of Haiti, they will remain there for some time, but unless someone tells me specifically to take them off the prayer list, their name and their request will remain on it. Sometimes the details change from one condition to another or there may be several ongoing conditions.
So I take all my weeks prayer requests on Saturday night and transfer them onto a new list for the next week. What names remain, at the persons request, remain. Others who had wished to be removed from it, come off of the list. Then I take the last weeks prayer request list and put it under the new one and place it in a manila folder with the previous weeks prayer requests. I can, in time, look back to see what has been happening to these precious friends of mine…how God has been working in their lives and what He has accomplished. This allows me to really take heart in the fact that prayers do make a difference and I can brag on God for what He has done in the past. This is encouraging to others on the list, as I can remind them of several weeks or months ago, and it encourages me to see that God does hear and answers our prayers according to His perfect and good will.
I keep all prayer requests and the reasons for these requests completely confidential and I will never release names or conditions to anyone, except only to the Father in private. You can see how easy it is to make a prayer journal. If you write down prayer requests daily or even weekly, you’re already halfway there!
By the way, God has written our names in the Book of Life and He has recorded our names on His mighty hands, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have written you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me” (Isaiah 49: 15-16). “You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book“ (Psalm 56:8).