Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)
Keeping a prayer journal is a great way to stay focused while you pray, to encourage you that you really did pray, and to look back to see how faithful God has been in carrying you through so many prayer requests. Just as there are a variety of ways to pray, there are numerous ways to keep a prayer journal. Today I’d like to show you how I do My TEA CUPP Prayers prayer journal, and soon I hope to give you one along with my book.
For now, start by finding a notebook you know you will use. I like a spiral notebook that is about the size of my Bible. The prayer journal and Bible fit nicely together in my book bag. The spiral binding allows me to open it flat or flip it completely open while I am journaling. You can find inexpensive notebooks and journals at Walmart or Target or Family Dollar, or you can find a pretty flowery one at an office or gift store. Whatever inspires you and helps you pray is perfect!
Next, find your pens. If your favorite color is purple, perhaps you’d like a purple pen! I use blue Pilot G-2 pens for most of my journaling because of the smooth writing ability. I always need two or three, because they run out right in the middle of my prayers and I don’t want to have to get up and search the house for another one. Have extra pens right by your Bible and journal in your quiet time spot.
My quiet time begins with Jesus having the first Word as I read my Bible. I follow the one-year Bible reading plan found in the Our Daily Bread devotional. I have also used a One Year Bible in the past, which has the Bible divided into daily readings already. I pray,
“Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.” Psalm 119:18 (NKJV)
I soak up all He has to tell me and underline my favorite verses. I label the verses with the letters of the TEA CUPP acronym, so I may use them in my prayer journal. Then I open my journal and get it ready for my prayers. I write the date, then going down the page I write T-E-A. On the next page I write C-U-P. And on the next page I write another P.
Some Bible reading days have so many verses that it is hard to pick which ones to use. Other days I don’t have enough verses, so I go back and use verses I underlined in the previous weeks. I find a THANKSGIVING verse and write it next to the letter T to thank God for His blessings. I find an EXALTING verse and write it next to the letter E to exalt and praise my Jesus. I find an ADMITTING verse and write it next to the letter A to admit my sins and ask Jesus’ forgiveness.
On the second page of my journal, I find a CALLING verse for something God is calling me to do today and write that in my journal next to the letter C. I find an UNDERSTANDING verse and write it next to the letter U as I try to understand my story a little better. I find a beautiful PROMISE verse and claim that as I write it next to the letter P.
On the third page, I find a PETITIONING verse to use to pour my heart out to Jesus in prayer. I pray all the parts of My TEA CUPP, filling in the extra spaces of my journal with more prayers on each letter. Then I fill the rest of the PETITIONING page and perhaps another page with all my prayer requests for family and friends and loved ones.
If I am traveling or just had a new baby, I sometimes do just one letter a day in my prayer journal. But I feel most complete when I have time to do all the parts and talk to Jesus about everything that is on my heart that day.
Today’s TEA CUPP: I hope today’s devotion helps you as you fine tune your own prayer journal and devotion times with Jesus. If you need ideas for Bible verses I have oodles for you here. Someday, you will look back on all these prayers and be praising Jesus for His goodness all over again!
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.