If you're like me, you're often on the lookout for ways to deepen your child's walk with the Lord. Donna Murphy's Prayer Notebook Starter Packet may be a tool that can help.
Except for the actual binder, the packet comes with everything your child will need to begin keeping a prayer journal. Included are five tabbed dividers titled: God & Me, Family, Friends, School, and Hodge Podge. Each section contains five blank Prayer Log Sheets which each have room for six separate prayer entries. For each entry there's a place for the date, the request, Scripture references, updates/answers, and the date the prayer was answered. Behind the tabbed area, there are 25 lined journal pages for your child to use as a diary or anything else he or she wishes. Instructional materials include a note to parents, directions for putting the notebook together, and examples of filled-out pages. My package also came with a fun pen and small sheet of adorable "Me & My Big Ideas" stickers.
This journal could be used independently by children who are able to write down their thoughts well. But you could also use it with a younger child; helping them write down their thoughts and prayers would lead to some great discussions.
The Spiritually Restored website has a page called "Making the Most of your Prayer Notebook" which has some good suggestions for making your child's journal more personal. The use of photos, stickers, and colored pens is encouraged and could be a fun addition to the journal.
I particularly liked Ms. Murphy's idea to try to find a Scripture for every prayer request: "As you grow in your walk with the Lord, it will become a very powerful practice. I make it a challenge for myself to find a Scripture for every prayer request. Then I create a prayer from the Scripture verse that I found. This is what it means to cover someone or something in prayer--using the Word of God!" I think this is a good glimpse into the heart of the author of this product!
There are a couple things I will remove from the package before handing it to one of my children. The "Putting Your Notebook Together" page lists topics and issues your child may want to pray about, some of which are situations I don't want to put into their heads. The sample pages also refer to a child in a traditional school setting. These are easily removed and don't detract from the usefulness of this journal.
My biggest concern with this product is the price. The starter pack costs $11.95 plus $4.50 in shipping charges. Permission isn't granted to copy the blank pages; instead they sell refill packages of 25 Prayer Logs and 25 Journal Pages for $3.95 each plus shipping. I wish Spiritually Restored sold this journal as a download, which would allow copies to be made as needed and save on shipping charges. The price seems a little high for pages I could easily create on my own and a set of five dividers.
The concept behind this prayer journal and the organized layout make it a wonderful tool. I believe using this journal would benefit the spiritual life of any child (or adult!).