How a Gratitude & Prayer Journal Becomes a "Gift of Joy" by Bev Wicher

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

How I Got Started

Several years ago, I was introduced to visual faith practices by Connie Denninger. At first I was overwhelmed — while fascinated by the process, I am not an artist and felt it was way past my comfort level. But as I listened and watched, I was drawn to the practice of gratitude and prayer journals.

In a gratitude and prayer journal, there is one page to document a gratitude for each day and, on the opposite page, an image with spaces for writing in names and concerns to keep in your prayers.

For each month, a page to record one gratitude each day and an open image to record prayers - a visual reminder to continue to pray and to live in gratitude.

Prayers Remembered

Often people would ask me to pray for them, but many times I would get busy or forget. The prayer journal page creates a convenient place to write down their names. Now I’m able to see all the people I promised to pray for and have a quiet, dedicated time to remember to pray and lift them up to God. As I pray and color, I am also drawn away from distractions. The picture and movement of my hands helps bring focus and clear purpose to my prayer time.

Counting Gifts

There has been much research recently on the benefits of counting gifts or gratitudes. We live in a world that doesn’t talk about “who we are thankful to”, rather just that we need to be thankful. As Christians, we do know Who deserves our thanks. All that we have comes from our Heavenly Father who has blessed us in so many ways. All too often, we take those blessings for granted, finding it easy to come to God with our pain and hurts while forgetting to thank Him for His many gifts.

Looking for gifts from God each day has been rewarding! Even on my most difficult days, I find reasons to express thanks to God. The practice of noticing a blessing and writing it down, keeps my focus on gratitude. It can be as simple as a delicious dinner, a child’s laugh, or a beautiful sunset; it can also be bigger things - a cancer in remission, safety from a dangerous situation, and so on. Whether big or small, recognizing the gifts God gives to us is a helpful, joy-producing process.

How My Gratitude and Prayer Journal Became a “Gift of Joy”

Did I even expect this practice to turn into a wonderful “Gift of Joy”?

Bev’s sister, Billie, who is now living with J