Gratitude Journaling for 40 Days

Graditude journaling

Self-examination is an important part of fasting in Orthodox Tradition. This is especially true during longer fasts, like Great Lent and the Nativity Fast. One way we can take time to reflect upon ourselves and the way in which we live our lives is through journaling. Writing is undoubtedly a cathartic form of self-expression. It not only helps us achieve mental clarity, reduce stress, and manage anxiety, but it also helps cultivate gratitude and contentment.

In this post, we share 40 different journaling prompts to aid you in your journey through the next major fast. Whether it’s Great Lent – which is nearly upon us – or some other fast throughout the year, you can use these prompts to help spur your spiritual growth.

5 minutes

40 prompts for Lenten journaling

While responding to these prompts, you may find it helpful to have a separate notebook/piece of paper nearby on which you can write down any sins from that day you need to confess. If you haven’t already, make an appointment to go to confession, so you can begin your fast with a clean slate.

Whenever you can, try to carve out a solid 15-20 minutes for journaling, preferably in a quiet space where you can reflect in solitude and peace.


  1. List 5 things for which you are grateful today.
  2. What are your spiritual goals for this fast?
  3. What are your goals for your household this fast?
  4. How can you better serve your spouse/significant other? If you are single, then list some qualities you feel your future spouse would like to see in you.
  5. List 3 reasons you are grateful to live in the country you reside.
  6. What is a bad habit that you would like to break?
  7. Name some things that easily provoke or anger you. How can you improve your reactions to these things?
  8. Is there someone who has hurt you that you cannot forgive? Write about that person today and pray for him/her during your intercessions.
  9. Perform a random act of kindness today and describe how it made you feel.
  10. What is something you’ve been worrying about lately? How can you hand that worry over to God?


  1. What is one nice thing you could do for your priest the next time you see him?
  2. Name 5 things you need to do more often in your daily life.
  3. List 5 things you need to less often in your daily life.
  4. What is on your mind and heart today?
  5. How can you serve God better in your current circumstances?
  6. What are some of your life goals? Where do you see yourself in 5/10/20 years?
  7. Open your Bible to verse that resonates with you, and then explain why it resonates so well.
  8. What new activity/skill would you like to learn this year?
  9. Write about a biblical virtue you are lacking (e.g. patience, obedience, faithfulness, honesty, humility, etc.) How can you cultivate that virtue in yourself?
  10. Name 3 things that cause you anxiety/stress. Can you cut them out of your life? If not, then can you minimize their impact?


  1. Look back to the goals you set on Day 2. How are you doing? What can you do better?
  2. Is there anything you feel guilty about? If so, what can you do to fix the situation?
  3. Write about your family today. For each person – mother, father, spouse, siblings, children – list something about him/her that you love.
  4. How can you be a light for others, both in and outside the home?
  5. Find a Saint that inspires you, then write about why he/she is an inspiration.
  6. What is something you pray God will bless in your life?
  7. What kinds of wicked thoughts do you battle most often?
  8. Name 3-5 things you are insecure about, and then explore why those things matter to you and why you are insecure about them. How can you take control of these insecurities instead of letting them control you?
  9. How does social media positively/negatively influence you?
  10. Look back at the goals you set for your household on Day 3. How are those goals going?


  1. Take another opportunity to list 5 things for which you are grateful.
  2. Who is your closest friend? What about this person’s friendship makes it better than all others you have? How can you be a better friend to him/her moving forward?
  3. Name a fear you have. How can you face that fear, with God’s help?
  4. What talents has God given you, and how can you use them to glorify Him?
  5. When you experience suffering, how do you respond? In what ways can you express gratitude in suffering?
  6. List 5 reasons you are grateful for your current circumstances (i.e. housing, finances, family).
  7. Name 3 things that help you relax after a stressful day.
  8. Read one of your favorite Bible passages and then write about why it is your favorite.
  9. How can you show Christ’s love in your interactions with your spouse/children/family?
  10. What does Christ’s Passion and sacrifice mean to you? How does it make you feel to know someone loves you that much?

Get writing!

Enjoy this time of struggle and self-examination! All you need to start gratitude journaling is a notebook. It doesn’t matter what kind; just choose one that suits your tastes and get started.

Are there other helpful prompts we should work into this list? Share them in the comments below!

Read More: 7 Things You Should Do During Lent This Year

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