How to Journal Your Prayers

by Dolly at Soul Stops (reprinted with permission)

We have a guest post this morning from Dolly at Soul Stops. I love the way she uses journalling to recall her prayers and see God’s answers. Thanks for letting us repost this, Dolly.

When the way seems foggy, I remember God’s past gifts.

Photo from our hike at Point Lobos.

A few weeks ago, I meditated on this prayer by Joyce Rupp almost daily:

Gifting God,
Tie a ribbon of remembrance
around my heart,
so that I often recall
those sacred places
where you have made
yourself known in the
hidden recesses of my life.

Stir up my memory cup,
let me look deeply within it,
seeing all the people and events
that have led me to you.

 Refresh the photographs
of my mind
where the vivid traces
of your love
are etched
in our relationship,
and marked
upon my memory.

As I gaze into my
personal history
unlock the storage spaces
of my soul,
reveal the truth of your
bountiful love,
fill my heart
with awe and gratitude.

God of Beauty,
the blessings of your
astounds my being,
the power of your
enriches my every moment.
Blessed are you.

Blessed are you.

   –Joyce Rupp

After reading the prayer a few times, I pause, and listen to see if a particular phrase touches my heart. Then I journal about whatever resonated with me when I stopped to be quiet and listen.

It has taken repeated practice to learn to be still enough to hear God’s gentle voice. Sometimes I fail. But I keep showing up.

After I wrote, “When God gives you a hug,” I looked back on my journal for that morning, and realized I had prayed/written this in my journal:

reveal the truth of your
bountiful love,
fill my heart
with awe and gratitude.

Right above this stanza, I told God how much I missed Jubi that day. Joyce’s words expressed my heart’s cry. I had no expectation, or idea of how God would respond.

Prayer is not going to God like He is a vending machine. It is about our hearts connecting with a loving and holy God.

It wasn’t until I went back, and reread what I wrote that I realized God had answered my prayer. He had revealed the truth of His bountiful love by sending my friend “Pam” to give me a hug.

And my heart was filled with “awe and gratitude” that He would do that for an ordinary woman like me: imperfect, and with trust issues.

So I invite you this week to sit with Joyce’s prayer and your journal. If you don’t journal, may I highly recommend it as a way to process life?

I would have forgotten about my prayer if I hadn’t written it down. Then I would have missed the blessing of recognizing and remembering His love gift to me.

To be clear, God doesn’t always immediately answer “yes” to my prayers.

I have decades worth of journal entries where I poured out my heart to God, and His answer was either “no,” or “wait.” And sometimes I can’t distinguish between the two.

Upon reflection, I can honestly say although He didn’t give me what I asked, He always gave me something better: a deeper intimacy with Him.

He is the greatest gift, and there is no greater gift than relationship with Him. Jesus died to give me access to Himself, Father God, and the Holy Spirit.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. – (James 1:17 NASB)


What has God gifted you with today?

What helps you to see God when the way is foggy?



  1. I think the key is “sit still and listen” (with pen in hand of course – I have been moving so fast lately I have almost forgotten this most important part of drawing closer to our Lord Jesus!

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