Journaling is a powerful tool to focus your mental prayer on what you truly want to say to the Lord and help you listen carefully to His response. By capturing on paper your growing relationship with Him, a prayer journal provides a concrete way to see how the Lord has worked in your life to answer prayers and fill you with supernatural grace. Your journal will become a testament to God’s faithfulness to your continued prayers.
It’s no surprise then that journaling has a rich tradition in the Catholic Church. Great saints such as St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Faustina, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Perpetua, and more have kept spiritual journals of their walk with the Lord.
If you’re new to journaling during mental prayer and aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few basics to get you started:
How to Journal During Mental Prayer
- Place Yourself in God’s Presence
- Write Down Your Petitions, Joys, and Worries
- Record Our Lord’s Response to You
Place Yourself in God’s Presence
Before you dive into writing, the first step of journaling during mental prayer is remembering that you are in the presence of the Lord! Be sure to greet Him in prayer. You can pray the following:
My Lord and My God, I firmly believe that You are here, that You see me, that You hear me. I adore You with profound reverence; I ask Your pardon for my sins, and the grace to make this time of prayer fruitful. My Immaculate Mother, St. Joseph my father and lord, my guardian angel, intercede for me. Amen.
By offering this prayer to the Lord, you set the stage for a fruitful dialogue with Him. This is no simple diary entry--you’re recording a conversation with God Almighty!
Write Down Your Petitions, Joys, and Worries
Next, spend time writing down all the things you want to tell God. Are you thankful for answered prayers or continued grace? Write that down. Are you concerned about the health and wellbeing of a family member or friend? Write that down. Are you anxious and worried about your finances or the stability of your job? Write that too!
Journaling helps focus our mind’s eye on what we really want to say to God. It allows us to get past the fuzzy whirlwind of emotions and worries to pinpoint the precise things we are asking God for. Keeping a journal over time also draws our attention to weak points, repeated areas where we stumble that may require extra grace and effort on our part.
Record Our Lord’s Response to You
After you’ve written down your petitions, it’s time to sit in silence and hear what the Lord is speaking to you. Like Samuel, you can place yourself before the Lord as His servant ready to hear His voice.
What is so remarkable is that the Lord of the universe desires to have intimate relationships with each one of us! Journaling helps capture the unique ways He answers us individually.
As you write down what you hear the Lord saying to you, you’ll have the start of a record of how He has responded to your prayers. Over time, your journal will be proof of how God has worked on your problems with love and attention, albeit on His own time. Past journal entries of answered prayers can encourage us to be patient in the Lord when it seems our current prayers aren’t being answered.
The Peace Through Strength Prayer Journal
We are excited to announce our Peace Through Strength Prayer Journal is available for pre-order now! This 90-day leather-bound journal is designed to help you grow strong in Christ and feel His peace. Learn how to incorporate “best practices” of the Church to live an authentically Catholic life. Get spiritual advice from the saints. Experience true heart-to-hearts with God on a daily basis. And start enjoying the peace that comes through strength in Christ.
Join our community here for updates on our prayer journal and for the opportunity to join Catholics around the world on their walk toward Christ in our 90 Days to Peace Campaign here. Together, let’s fight to stay close to Christ and feel the peace promised to us as sons and daughters of God!