Journals have been key to my spiritual growth for many years. Journaling is the one thing that I’ve been able to stick with no matter how bad things have gotten.
I’m a writer by nature so the simple act of writing things down really helps me process my thoughts and experiences. But journaling as a spiritual discipline is really more than that.
Journaling is great for any level of faith.
- If you are a new Christian it’s a great way to begin learning about God and cultivating biblical disciplines without being overwhelmed.
- If you are feeling stuck, trying something new can be a creative way to breathe life into your faith walk.
- If you are looking for a way to go deeper with God but you have limited time, journaling is something that can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day.
The Benefits of Journaling
I’ve kept a journal ever since I was a child, I love them. It is what started my love of writing. Over the years my journaling has changed and grown and I have also come to have a new appreciation for it.
The one thing that I really love about journaling is how easy it is to get started. Get some paper, something to write with and start writing down whatever is on your heart or mind.
What to Journal?
The answer to this question is an easy one: anything! Every person’s journal is unique to them.
My journals are full of prayers and questions to God, especially during a hard time.
I copy down quotes from books that I find encouraging, song lyrics that inspire me and verses that speak to me.
What you journal is entirely up to you!
Here are two reasons to journal:
- To clear your head
- To remember
Writing is a great way to process your feelings, make decisions and sort through your thoughts.
Also, write to remember. Write so that you can look back a see all the things that God has done over the years.
4 Ways Journaling Can be a Tool for Spiritual Growth
Here are some of the ways that journaling can help you grow spiritually:
1. Gratitude Journaling
One thing that is key to getting through hard times is learning to count your blessings. It’s not just one of my favorite hymns or a fad started by the beautiful Ann Voskamp. Scripture tells us over and over again to be thankful in all things and to praise the Lord for His mercies and goodness.
I used to keep my lists on my computer but I really love putting pen to paper and writing down all the blessings in my life. It’s also great to have on hand to look back and remember all that God has done.
2. Prayer Requests
I know that I’m not the only one who forgets when I promise to pray for someone. I’ve learned the hard way that writing down requests is the only way I can be sure to pray for them. If you’ve ever emailed me a prayer request, then you have a page in my prayer journal! My favorite part about writing down prayer requests is getting to go back and write down the praise reports as they come in.
DaySpring actually has a Prayer and Answer journal that is perfect for keeping track of requests!
3. Sermon Notes
On Sunday mornings you will find me trying to scribble down all the godly wisdom and scripture references my pastor mentions during his sermon. Sometimes I’m trying to write down something he said that really struck a chord with me. Most times I’m writing down verses to check out when I get home because I can’t follow along during service (training littles and not-so-littles to sit still at church means I miss things occasionally).
I also like to write down the names of songs we sing in church that I don’t know so I can listen during the week.
4. Journaling for Spiritual Growth
This is my favorite thing about journaling. I write down my conversations with God. I ask a question and then He answers. And I like to have a record of these talks. I have lists of verses and songs that God brings to mind during my prayer and devotion time. I write down words from prophets and dreams.
I write down the things I’m struggling with and things I just don’t understand. Having a record of my struggles and questions (and God’s answers) is a great way for me to see growth. I see the things I struggled with and how I learned to handle those things God’s way. I can go back and read a message from God or a verse that gives me wisdom for my current situation. The possibilities are endless when it comes to journaling this way.