In his book How to Keep a Spiritual Journal, Ron Klug said:
“I consider the time spent writing in my journal as Sabbath time – a time of rest and solitude, a time to come apart to be with God and to reflect on his Word, to search for his will, and to record the insights I receive. My journal has been the channel of many blessings” (p.17).
Throughout the centuries, some of the greatest men and women of God have kept journals. But journaling isn’t just for spiritual giants. It’s for you and me.
If you find it hard to concentrate in your quiet time, a journal can help you focus on God and His Word.
Recording Scripture in a journal can help you remember and meditate on God’s promises.
If you have a desire to leave a record of your spiritual journey for your children or others, a journal is a great place to do so.
A journal can be a great place to capture ideas and pray for God’s timing and will.
A journal is a good place to record prayer lists, concerns and answers.
So what about you …
Do you keep a spiritual journal? Maybe you call it something else: a prayer journal, a Bible study notebook, or a Scripture journal.
Maybe you’ve thought about keeping a journal. You hear other people talk about it, but you think it would take too much time.
Maybe you hated writing in school and you can’t believe you’re even thinking about writing in a journal.
But a journal can be anything you want it to be. It can be handwritten or in an electronic format. Smart phones and tablets have dozens of apps to fit every personality.
You can write a paragraph or a page, record a verse or a passage of Scripture, a prayer need or a prayer list. You can write everyday or only occasionally.
Here are some prompts to try as you journal or experiment with journal keeping:
Start with the simple word “Yesterday …” then record the events of the day. At times this may lead into prayer for people or situations.
Use the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6.9-13) as an outline for prayer.
Write out a verse or short passage of Scripture. Then rewrite it in your own words.
Use an acronym like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) and a prayer guide.
Since Jesus said that the greatest commandments are to love God and love others (Matt. 22.38-40), allow the Holy Spirit to help you examine the quality of your love by asking, “How did I do today? Was I patient? With whom was I impatient? Did I seek forgiveness from God and others? Was I kind? With whom was I unkind? …” working your way through the qualities of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13.4-8a.
Select a verse of Scripture or character quality and turn it into a personal prayer. An example might be Philippians 2.14-15:
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
You might pray something like, “Lord, help me to do all things without grumbling and complaining. I want to have a good testimony so I can be a light shining in a dark world.”
Keep a list of goals or tasks.
Write down your biggest challenge and an appropriate verse of Scripture to help you respond in a way that’s pleasing to God.
Write out your prayer as a simple conversation with God.
These are just a few prompts to get you started.
Are you already a journaler? If so, what are some of your journal prompts?
Want to read more about keeping a spiritual journal? Get a copy of Ten Benefits of Keeping a Spiritual Journal.