Evergreen Christian School

100 Prompts for the Spiritual Discipline of Journaling (Part 2)

Young person journaling

Article by Trina Dofflemyer

In part one, we looked at what the spiritual discipline of journaling is, what the Bible tells us about it, and why it has added significance for a Christian. In part two, we offer 100 practical prompts to help you begin the spiritual discipline of journaling.

After reading the diary of missionary David Brainerd, Jim Elliot mused in his own journal in 1949. Commenting on the value of Christian biographies in light of Hebrews 13:7, he penned, “Consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.” Reflecting on the lives of heroes of the faith, Elliot was stirred to compose a one-sentence prayer, “O Lord, let me be granted grace to ‘imitate their faith.’” Less than seven years later Elliot would be martyred as a missionary attempting to reach the Huaorani people of Ecuador.[i]

Within the pages of a journal disciples of Jesus Christ wrestle living within this world and yet not being of it. They narrate their adventures, document their life events, process thoughts and emotions, and navigate their faith through pen and ink.

But what exactly should a Christian chronicle or ponder within the pages of a journal? The following list of 100 prompts is to guide and inspire in practicing the spiritual discipline of journaling.

Make a list…

1. What are you grateful for in this moment?

2. A to-do list for the day, and then mark priorities

3. People to pray for who do not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ

4. Goals: for your private life, your career, or in the spiritual disciplines


5. Something you see

6. What you hear

7. How you feel

8. A food or drink you tasted

9. A place you visited

10. A person you met

11. Your struggles

12. Your joys

13. Your losses

Write down…

14. A beautiful poem

15. A meaningful quote

16. An inspiring illustration or story

17. Ideas to incorporate in your work

18. Ideas to decorate or arrange your home

19. Your travels, through a day or through a year

20. Random ideas you may want to consider when you have more time

21. The path you traveled that day

22. A conversation you had with God

23. Exciting news

24. Upsetting or sad news

25. Thoughts on a book, a blog, or a podcast

26. Meaningful daily events

27. A funny story

28. Your testimony

29. A conversation

30. What you want to say to someone else, but you know this would not be wise. Pray through your response with God, asking for his perspective.

Reflections on…

31. A sermon, perhaps key ideas or principles

32. A book or article you read

33. During and/or after significant life transitions

34. A decision you must make

35. What is depressing you

36. What brings you joy

37. What gives you energy

38. What drains your energy

39. Your day’s journey

40. Your favorite music/podcast/book/television series

41. Your limitations and how to live in spite of them

42. Your temptations and how to avoid them

43. A personal trial

44. A treasured victory

45. Ways to serve your loved ones, friends, and work colleagues

46. A testimony of God’s faithfulness that day/week/year

Relating to reading and studying the Bible…

47. A scripture to meditate on throughout the day

48. An application from a devotional on which to focus

49. Prayers of response to what was read or studied in scripture

50. A scripture God brings to mind during the day in answer to your pleas or in a time of need

51. Insights or questions on a passage

52. Convictions on how to apply a biblical principle or verse


53. Questions about God himself

54. …His character

55. …His ways of interacting with the world

56. Questions you want to ask God

57. …When you do not understand what He is doing

58. …When He seems far away

59. …When a dream has been destroyed

60. …When you are experiencing a life you didn’t sign up for

61. Questions about the Bible

62. Questions about whatever is confusing

Record things you do not want to forget…

63. Adorable things children say or do

64. Inspirational quotes

65. Important family events and/or dates

66. Significant events in the lives of loved ones

67. A time when you laughed and who you were with

68. How someone encouraged you

69. How you encouraged someone else

Relating to prayer…

70. Favorite prayers from church history

71. Meaningful liturgical prayers from your faith tradition

72. Prayers for your calling and/or ministry

73. Prayer requests from others and your prayers for them

74. Answers to prayer

75. Confession of sin

76. Prayers about your hurts, fears, or compulsions

77. Prayers reflecting your longings and the desires of your heart

78. Prayers about your anger, loneliness, or a crisis

79. Prayers for loved ones

80. Prayers for missionaries close to your heart

81. A prayer response to something the Holy Spirit impressed on you

82. Outline your day and pray through it with your Heavenly Father

83. Concerns relating to health, work, finances, or other struggles

Items to place in a journal (adding a few thoughts or details)…

84. Family pictures (print one occasionally instead of keeping all of them digital)

85. Movie ticket stub, including insights from the movie and/or whom you went with

86. Clippings from a paper or magazine

87. Pictures from a catalog

88. Drawings, of your own or from your children

89. Collage you create of your goals

90. An article or essay that affected you

91. Photocopies or printouts of special stories/illustrations

92. Pictures of places and experiences

93. Photos with a caption

94. Notes or cards from loved ones or friends

95. Encouraging emails from loved ones or friends

Other Ideas…

96. Compose a song, poem, or story

97. Sketch an image of one of your day’s experiences

98. Sketch a drawing to express your emotional state

99. Put down on paper whatever will not stop swirling around in your mind

100. Attach a printout of one of your favorite hymns

End a time of journaling with a prayer:

Thank you, Holy Father, for your Presence. Guide me on my pilgrim journey with You.

When disciples of Jesus Christ acknowledge God’s Presence, they invite the Creator of the universe to engage with them in an intimate way. As subjective perceptions and experiences spill over onto the pages of a journal, the Holy Spirit is able to use the impressions and ramblings of Christians to refocus their minds and remold their hearts. They begin to see his faithfulness and inter-workings throughout the hours and days and years of their pilgrimages through temporal time as they journey towards a future eternal hope.

For more articles like this one: RZIM.org

[i] Elisabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty, p. 108.

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