Exceeding Abundantly: 4 Reasons to Keep a Prayer Journal

Prayer Journal

A couple weeks ago the children and I did a two hour drive north of Toronto in our old van, and drove back again in our new one. Isn’t she beautiful?

A Prayer Journal

  1. keeps me focused during my prayer time
  2. helps me not to forget the things I want to pray for
  3. helps me think about  my husband and children’s (and others!) needs more as I write down specific things in their lives to pray about
  4. is a tangible way to see God’s faithfulness and provision in my life

About My Journal

  • it’s a notebook from the dollar store, nothing fancy
  • I use two sets of colors; blue/black for recording prayer requests and pink/red for answers
  • Each month I start a new list {I usually use 1-2 pages double sided per month}
  • I keep it simple but I try to write down specifics because it makes it easier for me to be aware of God’s hand in the every day
  • I write down as much as possible that way when God answers it, I get to write the answer down beside the request. Sometimes I just put a pink check mark and other times it requires a sentence or two of how He has answered.
  • I don’t pray through my whole list every day {though I wish I did}, but usually make it through the list several times a month.
  • I usually leave one or two lines between each item so I have space to write the answers and the date God answered.
  • I also add in verses that I come across during bible reading that pertain to prayer. I usually write them at the top of pages but they are scattered about.

I thought I had started praying about my van in the fall but apparently it was in July 2014 that I started praying earnestly about wisdom in knowing how long to drive our current van, the finances to replace it when it was time and the wisdom to know which van would be the right choice for us. Knowing I had been praying about it for 9 months, and even more earnestly the week we were deciding on this van, helps make for a peaceful, trusting heart when handing over the bulk of the savings account.

Back story on the old van – We bought our 2004 Montana in 2007, when we just had baby Chloe. It was a good van and it was an incredible answer to prayer back then. I had a limited budget and knew that we needed a van within that budget and the mileage and year I would like. It felt like I received a million “you won’t find a van in that price range with XXX km and only 3 years old”. But you know what? God provided it, despite the impossibility of it. I know nothing about vehicles, which I suppose makes me fall to my knees all the more before the big purchase. You know something else amazing about that purchase? The van had captain seats in the second row, something that mattered to me very little back then. But God, in His amazing way, provided for a need before we even knew we’d have that need. Fast forward a couple years and we find ourselves with a special little boy who needs {for now!} a wheelchair. We just removed a captain seat and his chair fits in perfectly. He met a need four years before we knew we would need it!

Fast forward again to March 2015. I continue to drive our Montana but the list of things wrong has grown longer than my arm. The cruise has gone, the rear wiper no longer works, the head lights are the equivalent of holding a flashlight out the window to see, the power locks don’t work, the driver window has issues coming back up, I can’t see all the digits on my clock, the shocks are going, the trunk doesn’t stay up when it’s hot, cold or a medium temperature {it often conks me on the head}. She has 340,000km on her, but she’s paid for and as long as it is safe, we’ll drive her. And then…the windshield cracks and the brakes start doing something funny.

Scott gives me the green light and the budget. And I start van shopping!

We wanted 2012 or 2013 with less than 50,000km on it. I wanted tinted windows since we often have the kids changing in the van while camping or at the beach. Also, there are times when places don’t have a change table that  accommodates Isaac. At 50 pounds and over a meter long, not all change tables can handle him so I change him in the van. Tinted windows offer a bit of privacy. Anyway, we also required the captain seats for the second row so I can put the wheelchair in. And I really, really wanted stow and go.

I got $150 trade in for my old van {poor van!} and went $500 over budget but I remind myself, it wasn’t God who set that budget. I love our new van and believe that this is the one God had for us. It’s beautiful and has everything we need. I love, love, love the cruise control {I tend to speed if I’m not careful.} I also love being able to see for miles with these lovely bright head lights. I’m also enjoying playing with the feature that shows how economical your fuel consumption is (L/100km). I try to drive and get it as low as I can.

As I flipped through my prayer journal to find the place to record this answer to prayer, I was so encouraged. I write my prayer requests in blue or black and then answers in red or pink so they stand out. I keep things pretty short and sweet. Looking through the book, I see how faithful God has been. He faithfully answers when I ask, opens when I knock and provides exceeding abundantly.

Just for fun – John had his heart set on a red van. Apparently he thought I said we were buying a red van. I told him black vans went faster than red ones anyway. He didn’t believe me but did tell me, “Don’t worry mama, Chloe and me can paint it for you.”.

Um, no! Stay away from my van!!! {but thank you for the offer}

So that’s my new van and also a peek into my prayer journal. Do you use a prayer journal at all?


  1. Congratulations! And no but I’ve often thought about it and now I’m going to. 🙂

  2. Kirsten, it’s pretty neat when you get to write in the answers to prayer!! You’ll enjoy it!

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