When you think of our app, you probably think “Bible study”. At least, that’s what we’re going for! But there are so many creative ways you can use our app, and prayer journaling is one of those ways.

In this post, we’ll first teach you about prayer journaling. Then we’ll share a video on how to organize your prayer journaling notes in the app. Lastly, we’ll give you some extra ideas to get you pumped for starting this prayer journey.

What is Prayer Journaling?

So, what constitutes prayer journaling?

We like to keep things simple: journal your prayers. It’s okay if you aren’t a grammar wizard or have sloppy handwriting. It’s also okay if it has been a long time since you’ve last prayed.

JOURNALING TIPS

Writing down your thoughts (prayers or not) can improve your mental and even physical health. It doesn’t really matter how you write out these thoughts, just that you do it. You could:

journaling
  • Pull out a scratch piece of paper and write down what comes to mind
  • Create a note in your phone that you add to continuously
  • Buy a paper notebook and fill it out
  • Write down one sentence on a sticky note
  • Create or find a list of prompts

It’s okay if you don’t journal every day or in the same place. That isn’t the point. The benefit is getting your thoughts written down in a mostly cohesive way. Doing so helps your brain and body connect over the important moments of your days.

PRAYER TIPS

Of course, we recommend you turn these thoughts into prayers. How comforting it is to know that God is listening!

The apostle Paul recommends this as well in his letter to the Philippians:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7, NIV

prayer

It can seem overwhelming when Paul says we should pray in every situation. However, we invite you to think of this as freedom! In the same way that journaling isn’t something you have to do every day to do it correctly, prayer is good for you always.

Here are a few prayer tips that are from personal experience.

  1. Don’t get hung up on how long it’s been since you last prayed. That shouldn’t be a factor in keeping you from praying again.
  2. It’s okay if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes saying “I don’t know what to say” is the prayer.
  3. If structure sounds useful to you, try using “ACTS”: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.
  4. Look for inspiration. Christ is in all and through all. Stepping outside, talking to another soul, or reading Scripture can remind us of God’s role in our lives.

JOURNALING + PRAYER

Now that we’ve added some depth to our understanding of journaling and prayer, it’s time to put them together.

In the same way that journaling can be either sporadic or structured, praying can be that way as well. In fact, a health mix of both is probably good for us!

But there one MAJOR benefit that occurs when you combine journaling and prayer…

When God answers your prayers, you are more likely to realize it.

If you organize your journaled prayers well, you’ll be able to look back on different times of your spiritual walk. Imagine the richness of being able to see God’s faithfulness over the years in your own writing!

Organizing Your Prayer Journaling

As we’ve already shared, there are SO many methods you can use for prayer journaling. But we really do recommend that you try to stay organized or else you miss out on some of the benefits.

Our app lets you make notes in a few different ways, and organize them in a few different ways. It provides enough flexibility that you can make it your own but not so much that you’re left wondering where to start.

So, check out this video to learn all about that. We’ll also provide some of the same information below.

MAKING NOTES

There are three ways to make notes in the app.

First, you can make notes by tapping a verse reference number.

When you do this, it attaches your note to that verse across all your Bible translations. So, if a certain passage sparks a prayer, make a note! Then you can be reminded of this prayer every single time you come back to that passage. Maybe you add to it over time? Just an idea!

The second way to make a note is by highlighting text.

When you make a note this way, the note will not show up in all your translations. It’s your personal preference whether you want to make notes this way or by tapping the verse-reference number.

The third way is by making the note through the note section of the app.

In the video above, we only showed you how to access that section through the main menu for the sake of brevity. But you can also access all your notes in the “Note” tab of the Study Center.

When you make a note here, the only real difference is that it won’t show up in your Bible text. A lot of your prayers may not be related to a specific passage of Scripture. So you’ll probably want to make your notes this way a lot of the time.

ORGANIZING NOTES

There are two ways to organize your notes: categories and tags. It’s really up to you how you choose to use these, but we recommend giving it some thought before diving in. It could be cumbersome to reorganize everything later if you realize you don’t like your structure.

Assigning Categories

The idea we shared in the video above is to use your categories to organize notes dates. Also, you may want to even make your parent category “Prayers” since you could also use our app to take notes on sermons or Bible study.

categories for prayer journaling in the olive tree bible app

Then you can add subcategories to your heart’s delight. In the example, we created a folder called “April 2020” and then a subcategory for prayers for people. If you really enjoy setting aside time to pray for people you know, this could be a very easy way to keep track.

Assigning Tags

A note can only be assigned one category, but it can be assigned multiple tags. Our example was to use “answered” and “unanswered”. Technically, you could use categories to do this as well, but it is all personal preference! It might be easier to imagine categories as the never-changing aspect of a note. Then tags can be added to track other attributes that change over time.

using tags for prayer journaling in the Olive Tree Bible App

Using Tags and Categories

Making use of your categories is fairly simple. You can drill down into the folders to find what you are looking for. The goal is to make it as easy and quick for yourself as possible. We love using the Study Center to access our notes while keeping the Bible text open, too.

Using tags efficiently is a bit different, though. We have some topics that you can use as tags by tapping the “Tag with Topic” button. It appears next to the “Create New Tag” button.

What is the benefit of using one of our topics? Well, if you use the Look Up feature and search “Petition”, you’ll find both articles on petitions from your resources, but also your prayers that you’ve tagged as petitions.

Maybe you want to keep things separate and that’s fine! But if it excites you to build a web of information AND experience, we’re here to support you in that!

look up feature for prayer journaling with the Olive Tree Bible App

Get Started Prayer Journaling in the App!

Alright! This was a lot of information, but we hope you found it helpful. If you take anything away, we hope it is this:

There is no wrong way to journal, pray, or journal your prayers.

It’s all beneficial. But if you want to keep track of your prayers, we have some tools to help you with that.

If you’re looking for motivation, here’s some. Open the app to prayer journal right now. Create a new note. Write at least three sentences sharing with God how you feel about prayer. You got this!

20 Comments

  1. Thank you for the information! I am going to try this to help me in studying the Word!

    • Eloise Collins Reply

      Great information! I will definitely start using the note tab..

    • The notes section of the Bible app is what they are talking about. Click the menu button and scroll down about half way until you see “Notes”.
      Tap and start typing!

      Hope that helps a little.

      • When I am in a book I can highlight a word and then right click to “add a note” but I do not see “notes” from any menu. Can you explain where to find it in a little more detail?

        My menu doesn’t say anything about “notes”

    • Senthilvel K Reply

      Awesome. I’ve used it before , but never in a serious manner, now am all set to go for it full time!

  2. Thank you. I had no idea I was able to do this using your App. This morning has not started so we’ll so I am off to prayer journal now.
    God Bless.

  3. Jeanette Salveson Reply

    Thank-you! I already make notes while studying. Now I will add prayer notes as wel!

  4. Andrew Osakue Reply

    This is very enlightening. I have my prayer journal in anther App called pages. Is it possible to pick a prayer from there into your Olive Tree bible App?

  5. Thomas Cison Reply

    I’ve been trying to use the app as my journal for some time now. I continue to use a paper notebook because I can scan all of my notes much easier. than clicking in and out of them. It would be nice if you could provide a view of all your notes as if they were in a notebook or journal without having to open and close links to see them.

  6. How can I get the scripture references in a note to be hyperlinked at all times? I find they sometimes light up as hyperlinks, but usually they don’t.

  7. Dear Team, your Bible app is awesome and very easy to handle thanks. I have one big whish since a long time:
    Please, please please add the Export feature, I am looking many times a year for an alternative to Olive Tree only because of the minimalistic neglected notes possibilities. I’m sure you will get applause from many many users, and I’m sure you got that request years ago already. I have no alternative so far, because all the other apps are to complex for me….. So please do the Kingdom of God a favour and add the export all feature. Thank you and bless you for your wonderful work – Max from Switzerland

    • Cierra Klatt Reply

      Thanks for your suggestion, Max! We’ll take note of it.

  8. Terence Westoby Reply

    Highlight the text in ‘pages’ and copy. Then paste into the Bible app as a note.
    You can also share the note you created, eg with the cloud. Open the note and click the 3 buttons top right. Select ‘share’.

  9. I tried it now just now. It is a great feature~ God bless you! As I read this verse from Acts 2, “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven”. I wrote my one line prayer asking Lord to make me devout and send me to Jerusalem. I’ve been to Jerusalem last year, and I felt presence of Jesus everywhere I went to. Where Jesus preached (Galilee), where Jesus prayed (Gethemane), where Jesus walked on the water (Galilee), the mountain Jesus preached about beatitudes (Mount olives), Jordan river where Jesus was baptized by John the baptist, and where He was crucified and raised to life again. I can wait for Jesus’ return there and share the good news with Jews and Palestines. They are both good people and lot of them did not know the son of God, all because God wants to save us Gentiles and save all who will come to Him in the end. I pray for my brother who is starting to see the true faith of obeying God by following Jesus, the way the truth the life. The only way to Heaven. I also pray for people perishing in this end times. May merciful God fix this land and give us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit~ May God rid of all the evil things that blind us from the glory and truth and bring all believers of Christ together and may all the false prophets now repent and now serve God in God’s way, not man’s way and may we not love money and use the money for God’s glory and rely on God without pockets in supplication! In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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