Prayer Journal How-To
This document will explain how to use the Online Prayer Journal.



Contents

About this Site
Signing Up - Create or Edit Your Profile
Logging in and out
Creating a New Journal Entry
Posting an Update or Response to a Journal Entry
Editing your Prior Entries
Subscribing to a Journal Entry
Viewing Other Users' Journals
Controlling Who Can View My Journal

My Home

About this Site

It is my purpose to build an online community here that will praise and lift up God and that we can encourage one another in love as we walk with Christ.

Seeing God shaping our own lives is an awe-inspiring event. I wanted to create a place where we could share our hopes, dreams, and plans. A place where we can equip one another for life and offer a helping hand to anyone who joins this community. My prayer is that God will be glorified and we will make a difference in each other's lives through sharing them.

Here at the Online Prayer Journal you can make your community as small or as large as you would like. You will have the opportunity to keep a Prayer Journal that is only between you and God. You will also be able to add Journal entries that only the people you specify can view. You will even be able to let everyone who is signed up view and respond to your Journal entries. So whether you need a private journal or one to share, begin to record your walk with God now, and be encouraged by looking back to what He has already done for you.

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Signing Up - Create or Edit Your Profile

You can begin your Prayer Journal by signing up. The reason for signing up is so that you can have a personalized, unique journal and so you will be able to add responses and view the journal entries others have posted for you to see.

Begin by clicking the sign-up button on the title page. It is right below the Log In box.

You will now be at the Profile Information form. Fill out this form to create your profile.

User ID - This is the ID you will use to log in to the system. Choose something that will be easy for you to remember such as your first initial and last name. Mine is jhalder. If you put in an ID that is already being used by someone else, the system will ask you to enter in another name.

Password and Confirm Password - This is the password you will use in conjunction with your ID to log in to the system. The system will not allow you to have a blank password, but there are no other restrictions. Enter the same password twice so the system can make sure you typed it right the first time.

First and Last Name - These are required fields and are used to personalize your journal. You may also choose to display this information to others but you do not have to. This information is kept under strict confidence and will never be used outside of this web site. If you are uncomfortable using your real name then feel free to use an alias.

E-mail - Enter your email address here. Make sure it is valid because it will be used to send you your password via email if you ever forget it. You will also be able to receive email when journal entries you are subscribed to are updated.

Display Name - This is how your name will appear to others using the system. You have 3 choices: "Show Login only" will display your User ID as entered above to others, "Show First and Last Name only" will display Last Name, First Name to others, and "Show Login and First and Last Name" will display User ID (Last Name, First Name) to others on the system.

After you have filled out all the fields, click the Save button. If you change your mind and don't want to sign up or edit your profile, click the Cancel button.

If there are any problems, an error message will appear telling you exactly what to do. Just correct the problem and click the Save button again.

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Logging in and out

Logging in to the system is very straightforward. From the Title page at http://www.prayer-journal.com/ you type in your User ID and Password into the Log In box and click on the Log In > link. This will take you to your personalized prayer journal home page.

If you forget your password just click on the I forgot my password link on the Title page. This will take you to a new form where you can enter your user ID or email address and the system will email your password and user ID to you. If the user ID or email address is not in the system, you will be notified with an error message.

Once you have logged in, you can log out via your personalized prayer journal home page. Simply click the Log Out link and the system will log you out and return you to the Title page.

If you forget to logout or you do not use the system for a while your session on the system will expire. If this happens and then you try to use the system, you will be taken back to the Title page to log in again.

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Creating a New Journal Entry

Once you are logged into the system you can create your own journal entries. Click on the Add a Journal Entry link at the top of your personalized prayer journal home page and you will be taken to the form for creating a journal entry. Here is an explanation for each form field:

Heading or Title (Summarize your entry here) - This is the text that will be used as the main heading for this journal entry. If others will have access to this entry they will see this line when they are choosing journal entries they wish to view. It is similar to the subject line in an email. It is required when initially creating an entry.

Entry Detail (Describe your entry here) - Here you will enter the body of your journal entry. This is similar to the body of an email message. Anyone with access to this journal entry will see it after the heading you created.

Check here to allow the public to read and respond to your request - If this box is checked your journal entry will be available to read and respond to for everyone who has signed up. This will override any other family group access that you have assigned (except for Change this Request access). Just remember that when you check this box, it allows everyone on the system to read and respond to your entry.

Give your family groups special rights to this prayer request - This will show any family groups that you have made and allow you to assign access levels to them. The "Hide this request" access level will make sure that anyone you have placed in that family group will not be able to see the journal entry. The "Read this request" access level will allow users in the family group to read your entry but not post responses. The "Respond to this request" access level will allow groups to read and post responses. The last access level "Change this request" allows the group to post updates and edit the original journal entry. This can be used when you want to share ownership rights with other groups.

Creating groups is explained in the "Controlling Who Can View My Journal" section.

Once you have finished entering all the information you may click the Save link to add the entry into the system or the Cancel link if you change your mind.

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Posting an Update or Response to a Journal Entry

When you view a journal entry that you have created or that someone has given you access to respond to, there will be a link at the bottom of the entry that says either Post an Update or Post a Response. If you own the journal entry or have been given "Change this request" access by the owner, you will be able to Post an Update. Updates appear in white while viewing the journal and are meant to symbolize the owners of the journal entry updating the story or prayer. Responses appear in yellow while viewing the journal and generally represent others responding to the owner's story or prayer. You will see the Post a Response link if you have "Respond to this Request" access. If you have "Read this Request" access you will not be able to add to the journal entry at all.

The update and response forms are very similar. Here are the fields they have:

Heading or Title (Summarize your entry here) - The text you enter here will be seen on the screen just above your Update or Response. You may use it to summarize your thoughts or feelings. This field is not required.

Entry Detail (Describe your entry here) - This is the body of your response or update.

Check here if God has answered your prayer. - This checkbox only appears on the Update form and is used to indicate whether you feel that God has answered this prayer. Remember that God's answers are not always a simple yes.

Once you are finished creating your Update or Response and want to post it click on the Save link. This will also send email to anyone subscribed to the journal entry that it has been updated. If you do not wish to save your changes click on the Cancel link and you will be taken back to viewing the journal entry.

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Editing your Prior Entries

To edit any entry that you have written or have access to you will have to first view that journal entry. This applies to Updates and Responses as well. Once the entry comes up you will see an Edit link at the far right side of any post that you have access to edit. Click on the Edit link to edit that entry. You will be given the same form that you used to create the entry and have a chance to change whatever you'd like. The only caveat is that if you are updating someone else's original journal entry, you will not have access to change or view the family group special rights table.

Once you have updated your entry to your satisfaction click on the Save link to keep your changes and alert the subscribers via email. Alternatively you can click the Cancel link to discard your changes.

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Subscribing to a Journal Entry

When you subscribe to a journal entry you will be notified of changes via the email address in your user profile. Each time someone posts or edits a response or update to that entry you will receive an email message telling you which entry has been updated.

In order to subscribe to a journal entry you must view the entry and click on the Subscribe link at the bottom of the entry. If you are already subscribed the link will say Unsubscribe which you can click to stop receiving email notification about this entry.

If you are not getting subscription notifications and you should be, check your email address and ensure that it is correct.

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Viewing Other Users' Journals

From you personalized prayer journal home page, click on the View Other Journals link. This will take you to a screen listing all of the users on the system. The list table contains 3 columns explained below:

User - the user name shown as specified in their user profiles.

Entries - the number of entries that you will be able to view if you look at their journal.

Last Entry - the date of the latest journal entry (excluding updates and responses) this person has created.

Click on the user name to view that user's journal entries that you have access to. To return to your home page click on the My Home link.

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Controlling Who Can View My Journal

Managing Families

You can control which users can view or respond to each of your journal entries. To do this you need to set up user family groups. From your home page, click on the Manage My Journal Families link. This will take you to the Family management form. Your browser needs to support JavaScript to use this feature.

You will start out with a family called default. This family cannot be deleted and starts out with no users in it.

To create a new family type the family name into the text box labelled Create a New Family called:. Then hit the Create link. The drop down list below and to the right should now have your new family name selected and the list below that should be empty.

To add users to a family, make sure that the family you want to add to is selected in the dropdown list labelled Family:. Now select the users you wish to add to the family from the list of available users. You can select multiple users at once by clicking and dragging the mouse cursor over the names. You can also hold down the Control key and click each user you wish to select individually. Once you have selected the users you wish to add, click the Add to Family > link to move them over to your family list.

To remove users from a family, select the users you wish to remove from the family list and click on the < Remove from Family link.

To delete a family entirely make sure it is selected in the Family: dropdown list and click on the Delete this Family link. This will remove it from the dropdown list entirely. Note: You cannot delete the family called Default.

You may repeat these processes with as many families you would like. Once you are completely finished managing your families click on the Save link to save all of your changes. To discard all of the changes you made and return to your prayer home, click on the Cancel link.

Controlling access

You actually control access to your journal entries when you initially create the entry. There are two options when creating a journal entry. You can either make the entry public or you can control access with the groups you have created.

You make an entry public by checking the Check here to allow the public to read and respond to your request box when creating or editing your original journal entry. This means that anyone who has created an account on the system will be able to read and respond to this journal entry.

The Give your family groups special rights to this prayer request section will show any family groups that you have made and allow you to assign access levels to them. The "Hide this request" access level will make sure that anyone you have placed in that family group will not be able to see the journal entry. The "Read this request" access level will allow users in the family group to read your entry but not post responses. The "Respond to this request" access level will allow groups to read and post responses. The last access level "Change this request" allows the group to post updates and edit the original journal entry. This can be used when you want to share ownership rights with other groups.

If you have placed the same user ID in two family groups (for example my wife is in my Spouse group and my Immediate Family group) The user will get the access that is least restrictive. This means if I assign Respond rights to my Spouse group and Read rights to my Immediate Family group, my wife will get the least restrictions. She will get Respond rights.

No matter what happens or what access you assign to yourself, you will always be able to access your own entries. As the creator of an entry you have special rights.

When deciding how to create your groups, think of the different people you know whom you will want to give different levels of access to. I have a group called Spouse in which I have placed my wife's user ID. When I create a new journal entry, I can give the Spouse group "Change this Request" access so she can co-own my requests. I also have groups for my immediate family, extended family, and friends so that I can show relevant entries to each group in my life that may not be relevant to the others. I have tried to make this a flexible system that will meet the privacy needs of everyone involved.

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