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How to Prayer Journal

Beautiful words stir my heart.
    I will recite a lovely poem about the king,
    for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. -Ps 45:1, NLT

We've all done it. We run into a friend who shares that life isn't going well, or they are seeking wisdom. At the end of the conversation, we encourage them with the words, "I"ll pray for you." We mean it. When our time of prayer comes through, we can't remember all of those knows and faces we've said it too. TIP: When these moments happen, stop right then and pray.

Or maybe, you've always wanted to have a better prayer life. You want to be one of those people who stop and spend time with God daily. You want to see God work in your life like you heard other people talk about, but you don't know how.

Prayer Journaling helps with these things. Before the men say, "Isn't that a women' thing?" please note, Pastor Philip asked me to prepare this list helps because prayer journaling has made a positive impact in his prayer life. It's something for everyone.

What is Prayer Journaling?

Prayer Journaling is when you write down pieces of your prayers, make a prayer list, or all of your prayers for the sake of remembering what your life to God so you can see how he has answered your prayers. For people who are creative and artsy, feel free to let loose and make your journaling reflect who you are. If you are a person who likes to write, then make your journaling a sea of words unveiling the events within.

It is also beneficial to write down praise or God sightings as well. These are things that God has done for you to help support you, or places you've seen God work in your day. It's compelling to go back over time and see all the things God has done. It's also encouraging when life gets us down.

Why Does Journaling Help?

For many people (including myself), minds can wander during prayer. It takes a lot of focus and practice to pray for an extended time without getting distracted. Having a list of things to pray over, or writing down one's prayers, is a simple way to keep the mind focused.Journaling also helps in the future. Sometimes it takes a while for God to "answer" something. Depending on the prayer, the answer may be entirely different than we anticipate. When we write our prayers down, we can go back and look at them later, see how God has worked in our lives over time.

Ways to Prayer Journal:

This list is not an exhaustive list by any means. I tried to gather as many different ways for prayer journaling so that I could accommodate different personality types. If you've found something different that works for you, please share it with us.


Writing in narrative form is helpful for people who like to write and who prefer not to pray out loud. I would suggest marking what you're praying for so you can find it easily later. The Modern Mary recommends starting your writing by staying,  “Father, what do you want me to know about _________?” or “I am sensing that I am supposed to pray about ___________.”


Many of us make lists to keep our life organized, so why not create a list for your prayer life. You can do this in many different ways. You can make a running list of people to pray for, going over it every time you pray. (If you do this, it's helpful to date when you add someone to the list, and when you're done praying for them). You can also group your list into categories: -Praises -Family -Self -Friends -Church - Community -Nation/World. Using lists, you can organize what you're praying for so you can focus a topic a day if you want. You can download a template from Daily Dwelling.


It may seem less personal, but our phones/computers are with us all the time. Some people find it easier to not carry around a separate notebook to journal in. Of course, you could do the two options above on your computer in Word, just like you would on paper. You could also create a list using Excel, making a column for date started, and date answered. That would give you the ability to sort your prayer request. There are also some phone apps that you may like to keep your lists so you can add people on the spot. I love how simple the Echo Prayer App is to use. You can add prayers, set how long you want to pray and even have reminders for prayer. The Prayer Mate App for iOS allows you to categorize your prayers. Give one a try.

Posted by Faith Parry with

12x12 Orientation Sessions This Week

I had no idea what to expect two years ago when 12x12 began. Since then, we’ve had twelve people meet over thirty times and grow in our discipleship and leadership. Meeting together, this team exceeded my expectations! Last year expectations were exceeded and in February, we will begin our third year of 12x12 with another team!

What is 12x12? It is a program designed to recapture our Biblical and historical roots. Jesus began with twelve disciples that formed the church and changed the world. John Wesley organized class meetings (small groups) that laid the foundation for the birth of Methodism. Today, there are still a great many possibilities when a small team grows in discipleship and leadership together.

The general expectation is to meet for twelve months once a week for two hours with holiday and other breaks scheduled throughout the year. 12x12 is a high commitment and attendance is expected unless prevented.

During each session we will seek to learn and grow in our discipleship together. We will also grow in leadership and in identifying and using our gifts for God. We will encourage each other, dream together, and hold each other accountable with love. 12x12 seeks to be exponential and invites participants to form their own teams, renew existing teams or chase God sized dreams.

If you want to know more about 12x12 there are two orientations this week. The first will be on Monday, January 14, at 5pm in the chapel. The second will be on Wednesday, January 16, at 7pm in Room 106. Come check it out and see if 12x12 is something for you this New Year! The plans are to launch our new 12x12 team in February!


Posted by Philip McVay with
in Reach

Mexico Mission Team Visits Orphanage...Again

“I love you, Miss Connie,” Raul said as he was heading back to the boy’s dorm.

“I love you” is something I say to my adult children whenever we talk on the phone. Sometimes it’s said so routinely that the phrase loses its power. But this time, it brought tears to Connie’s eyes because of the story behind it.

When the Mission team made its annual trip to Casa Hogar Elim Orphanage in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, it was Mark and Connie Wilson’s ninth trip.

This year, five members of Shalimar UMC joined the multi-church mission team: Mark, Connie and their son Kyle along with Kyra and Aspen Lenox. It was a seven day trip to bring love and hope to the 95 children who call Casa Hogar home.

Mark and Connie met Raul nine years ago on their very first visit. At the time, he was eight years old and full of misdirected energy acting out so much so, that he became a real distraction for the other children. The particular circumstances of Raul’s life are not the subject here, but the children of Nuevo Laredo are often given up by parents out of desperation or find refuge there from the violence of the local drug cartel. Raul’s anger issues were understandable under the circumstances. The Wilsons, however, along with other members of the team showed unconditional love to Raul while the rest of the world showed cold indifference.

Now nine years later, Raul is a confident and loving seventeen year
old young man ready to face the world with the strength of God’s love. Last year, he even traveled with the mission team to Puerto Vallarta and learned what it was like to serve instead of being served. It was not the attention they gave him that first year, or any particular year, but the ongoing, long-term love they showed each time they visited. Raul came to understand that he would see them again each year, and that he could count on them. It is in
these long-term relationships that we are able to make a real difference in the lives of other people.

We can be so proud that our Mexico mission team is transforming the lives of these children, one person at a time. We can also be proud that this is made possible through the efforts and generosity of our church family. If you would like to be a part of this wonderful ministry, contact Mark or Connie Wilson. There’s room on the bus for you! If you are unable to
go to Mexico with them, just know that you are still part of the team in any way you support them. Thanks to our church family for making this possible.

See you at Shalimar,
Pastor Brian

Posted by Brian Dale with

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