Overview of the Practice of Journaling
Journaling is a fairly simple spiritual practice to begin. It’s almost as simple as getting a notebook and pen and just writing! Do it with a goal of making space for God in your daily life and it can be a life-giving experience. Your journal entries might vary, but here are some general ideas: make a list of what you’re thankful for today, write out prayers and answers, write a letter to God, write honestly about all the thoughts swimming in your mind, or journal thoughts that go with the part of the Bible you’re reading. Whatever you choose, use the journal not just as a way to vent anger or summarize what you did today, but as a way of connecting with God.
Incorporate this practice into your life
When you keep a journal as a spiritual practice, it can turn into a record of how God has led you. As you look through old journals, you can remember happy times and dark times and see how God was with you through all of them. You can write things and remember them later. In the Old Testament, you” occasionally find narratives about the people gathering stones and leaving them someplace in particular. Generations later, people could walk by those stones and know that God had done something big. Joshua chapter 4 has one such story. Read it as you start journaling and think about how your journal can be your own version of those standing stones.
Access resource: Joshua 4 at Bible Gateway
How does this practice relate to what I’m facing?
- Journaling – being honest with yourself and God:
- The spiritual practice of journaling can help you grow in being honest with yourself and God. When journaling, you can be totally honest in ways that you often avoid otherwise.
- Journaling about worries:
- When you’re burdened by worries, journaling may be an appropriate spiritual practice. Write a prayer letter to God, relling Him what you’re worried or anxious about. Use this as a way of doing what 1 Peter 5:7 instructs, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
- Journaling about anger:
- The spiritual practice of journaling can also help you reconnect with God when feeling anger. When your temper flares (especially when angry with God), you often need a release — and sometimes journaling about your feelings can help. Try journaling as writing a letter to God and expressing just what you’re frustrated about. Seek to use the letter writing exercise not just to vent anger, but seek God’s truth about the situation.
- Journaling when feeling unloved:
- Make a list of everything that reminds you of the unconditional love of God – things like the change in seasons, birthday parties, unexpected letters from friends, beautiful sunsets, etc. Keep the list somewhere special and refer to it when you’re feeling despair again.
- Journaling about doubt:
- Sometimes, it’s hard to talk about doubts. Yet, your mind is spinning with them. The spiritual practice of journaling may be a valuable one at those times. In your journal, be honest with yourself and God about your doubts — about faith, life, whatever. Write down the doubts you’re having and use the exercise to talk to God about them.