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What is a War Binder?
A war binder is essentially a prayer journal where you organize your faith into various categories. It is inspired by the movie War Room, and is for those who do not have an empty corner or closet in their home that they can convert into a war room (especially perfect for college students). By organizing all of your prayers into one notebook, you can become a prayer warrior! The best part about these prayer notebooks is they are completely customizable, and they are fun so they inspire you to get praying!
What it can do for YOU!
I was feeling pretty lost and disconnected from God recently, and my war binder has helped me to find my way back to Him. I enjoy decorating it and writing in fun colors, so it draws me to prayer more frequently. So often I hear of people saying that they do not have the time to pray or are not sure how, so this is a perfect solution for you! By breaking your faith into different sections, you will be able to clearly see what you need to pray for, and be able to jot down quick prayers whenever you have the time.
Your war binder will get you into a routine of prayer, that way it becomes a simple (but significant) part of your daily life! Working God into your everyday life (instead of just pushing Him off until Sunday) will help you to really connect with Him, which will enrich and improve your life in ways that you never would have expected. Writing out your struggles, hopes, and prayers is also helpful in itself because it allows you to go back, reflect, and notice the differences that He has been making in your life.
“But What if I am not Creative Enough….” and Other Excuses
A lot of people have a hard time getting started in their war binders because they get overwhelmed by all of the things that you can do with it! If you research war binders you will find photos and videos of beautiful pages covered in art and stickers and stamps… and so on. To some, this is intimidating because it seems to require a lot of talent and time. In the beginning, I struggled with starting my war binder because I wanted it to be perfect as well. I wanted to make sure I chose the right sections, designed the pages well, got all of the “necessary” supplies, etc. The only thing that these thoughts did was hold me back! (The devil will try to stop you from doing something that brings you closer to God- so watch out for that!)
The best way to combat these fears is just to get started. When I started my war binder, I used a notebook that I already had on hand and just added a couple of sections that I felt drawn to. As I began to use it more and figure out what worked for me, I decided to invest in a traveler’s notebook because I knew that I would use it. If you are feeling intimidated by the process, just take the first step and it will be much easier from there! Do not let fear hold you back from a relationship with Christ.
How To: Get Started!
You can start your war binder with whatever you have on hand! All that you really need is some paper and a writing utensil. If you are looking for a cheap/no cost war binder, start in a simple composition book or spiral bound notebook. If you are looking to jump all in and work in a notebook that you will love, try a traveler’s notebook! I recommend the Webster’s Pages notebooks, which is the one that I have. As for pens, any old pen or pencil will work (obviously). Personally, I love using fun and colorful pens and often use the Stabilo pens in my war binder.
Once you have your notebook, choose a few sections that are important to you. I started off with mass, prayer, relationship, scripture, and one section that was for any random things that I felt like writing out or doodling. Take some time to reflect on the areas of your life and your faith that you want to focus on, and make those into your section. If you are having a really difficult time deciding, do not label your sections! Just write about whatever is on your heart, and organize as you go.
Again, if you are hesitant to start a war binder because you do not feel that you are crafty or creative enough, do not worry about decorations in the beginning! Just start writing, and you can go back and decorate later. I find that if I wish to spend some time in prayer but do not feel very creative, I can just write. If I want to spend some time in prayer but do not have the words to express what I am feeling or thinking, I can go through my old pages and decorate.
Some Inspiration… (How I Use Mine)
I have my war binder divided into the following sections:
- Mass: I bring this section to mass every Sunday and take notes on the readings and homily. This has helped me to focus during mass and actually get more out of it. Also, I enjoy being able to go back and reflect on what God has been saying to me through the readings over the past few weeks.
- Prayer: This section is just for any general prayers. The prayers can be for friends, myself, people I do not know, etc. Some people will divide each of these groups into their own section, but I prefer to just put them all together.
- Relationship: This section is for my relationship and for my partner. Here I include prayers for us, for him, and also inspiring quotes I find about Christ-centered relationships.
- Scripture: In this section I am currently doing a scripture writing plan. Every day (well almost every day) I write a couple of verses of scripture, following along with a plan that I found on Pinterest. The one that I am doing now contains verses that center around waiting on God. I have decided to add this to my morning routine, which allows me to spend a little bit of time in the word before starting my day.
- Fun: This section is for any doodles and quotes that I want! I use the insert with blank pages and practice drawing, lettering, and try out my new supplies. Typically, I am writing out inspirational quotes. This section is essential to me because sometimes I want to write something that just does not fit well into my other sections, so instead of stressing about it, I just throw it in here.
Of course, you do not have to use yours in the same way! Do what feels comfortable to you.
If you still need encouragement (or did not feel like reading all of the information above) here are some quick tips for starting your own war binder:
- Do not try to make it perfect. This will only lead to stress and steer you away from war binders, which will keep you from an amazing opportunity to grow in your faith.
- The enemy absolutely will try to stop you. He will tell you that you are not good enough, that you do not have the time, he will overwhelm you and confuse you, all preventing you from starting your war binder and becoming a prayer warrior.
- When you do not know what to say, decorate your war binder. When you do not feel creative or feel overwhelmed by the decoration, just write. This is a space for you to feel peaceful and close to God, do not let any stress in!
- Take time to be still and focus, ask God to be with you as you journal. If you need help being still, here are some tips: Four-Step Process to “Be Still” in Prayer
Make Your Own War Binder
The first thing that you will need to start your own war binder is a notebook! Of course you can use whatever you have on hand, but I highly recommend a traveler’s notebook! I use this floral one and love it so far! It is beautiful, durable, and easy to carry around.
Next, you need inserts! Your traveler’s notebook will likely include a couple, but you probably want to start off with at least 4-6 so that you can set up your sections. There are also some neat inserts you can buy like one that includes a zipper pouch and pockets! The pockets are perfect for holding stuff like stickers and prayer cards. You can find that one by clicking here
My favorite pens are definitely these Stabilo pens that I mentioned before. They are small enough that I can both write and draw with them, and they come in a ton of colors! Colorful pens are always fun, and they add a new level of creativity to your war binder.
Now, there is a TON of fun stuff that you can use in your war binder. I personally love washi tape, stickers, and cute paper clips, but it is really up to you! Here are some examples of things that you can get started with. For more products, I recommend Dayspring.