This week we continue in our Fresh Start series, but before I begin, I would like to take a moment to pray for our nation as we prepare for this week’s inauguration.

Lord, we humbly come before you and ask you for Your hand of protection upon the current president, members of Congress, and the Cabinet. We ask for your protection over Washington D.C. and the people that live there and work there. We ask for your hand upon the military, police, fire, and the protectors of the land. We ask for your protection over the President-Elect and those closest to him. We ask for your protection over all the families that are impacted by these recent events on both sides of the aisle. Lord, protect the inauguration, and would your healing power be upon this nation as we move forward. Amen!

We continue in our Fresh Start series with an exploration of developing a prayer and journaling habit.

Prayer is the communication avenue we use with God, and it’s one of the ways He speaks with us.

It says in 2 Thessalonians 5:17,

“Never stop praying.”

Pray without ceasing is comparable to having conversations with people. We don’t need to talk all the time, but both parties need to speak to have a conversation. In fact, one must speak, and the other must listen.

For many of us, we have our side of the conversation down perfectly. We ask, and ask, and ask, but we often struggle with the listening part.

Listening or active listening means being engaged in the conversation to hear what is being said and respond after hearing it.

Many times, we are processing our answers and not paying attention to what is said.

I am guilty of this too many times, especially with my team and colleagues.

Praying without ceasing doesn’t mean we have to be 24/7 on our knees; it can mean little arrow prayers as something comes to mind or situations we encounter.

I have prayed many arrow prayers for colleagues as they come to mind or for meetings or conversations I am about to enter into.

Prayer is a relationship between our creator and His children – us.

Where does journaling fit into this picture?

Journaling offers a way to process your thoughts on passages of scripture, write down our prayers, and interact with God in a way that fits us.

Prayer is not a one-size-fits-all action, it has many forms, and there is no wrong answer. Traditionally, we pray out loud in public with our hands folded and eyes closed, but I have seen pastors pray with their eyes wide open, looking heavenward like there is no one in the room.

For many years, I used journaling to process my days and process hurts, struggles, and triumphs. I also used journaling for my prayers.

I found the conversation while writing to be more fluid between God and me. Journaling is not for everyone, but it can help you process your days, especially when they are incredibly stressful.

When I look back over my journal's years, I see how God answered prayers and where I might be selfish with my asks.

Journaling provides perspective, which is great for processing life and all it throws at us.

How do we start a prayer and/or journaling habit?


Starting a prayer habit requires only your time. There is no wrong way to pray. I suggest a short walk to commune with God.

This year, I scheduled prayer walks at my place of business. Every week, I take 30 minutes to walk around my campus and pray for my team, my leaders, projects, and whatever else God brings to mind.

If this new or you feel a little uncomfortable about walking and talking, you can put your earbuds in and walk and talk.

You can also pray before your day starts, in bed, or wherever you feel like it. Once again, there is no right way to pray.

As for journaling, it is up to you. If you prefer the digital approach, DayOne makes a great app that allows you to track by day, and it highlights different things that took place on a particular day over the life of your journal.

If you prefer a physical journal, you can use a regular notebook like Moleskine. If you are new to journaling, you might prefer a more guided experience such as the Full Focus Journal or The Five Minute Journal.

The hardest part of starting a new habit is starting.

If you are wondering if starting a prayer or journaling habit is worth it, it is. Each of these habits can help you grow spiritually and provide a new dimension in your personal relationship with the Lord.


Lord, thank you for your love, your grace, your goodness, and Your Spirit. We ask you to help us build the discipline of prayer and/or journaling. We ask that we would be slow to speak and quick to listen. Please grant us a beautiful week filled with the rich blessings you have for us. Amen!


Listen On…


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Hi, I'm Dave Anthold. I am a small group leader, short-term missionary, and visual storyteller. You can read my story here.

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