Jesus is my safe place, my Rock, the One I trust completely, my Best Friend, my Lord, my King, the One I can tell anything to, the One who knows me fully and loves me fully, the One who made a way for me to come boldly to the throne of grace. As I grow in my relationship with Him, it only makes sense that I would want to use every method of communication with Him. And so, I journal.
Journaling as part of my relationship with Jesus has blessed me immensely over the years. It’s part of our conversation, me meditating on His love letter to me and writing love letters to Him, praying and telling Him everything, inviting Him into every area of my life. It’s so powerful to look back and see Him at work over the years, see all the prayers He’s answered, remember the lessons He’s taught me, and be reminded again and again of His faithfulness. It’s deeply encouraged my faith.
If you haven’t tried journaling in your relationship with Jesus, I encourage you to try it and see how God will use it. If you have tried it, see if this sparks any fresh ideas for you, andn please share in the comments what’s blessed you the most . Here’s 5 ways to journal that have helped me:
- Copy Scripture. When you write something out with pen & paper, something happens in your brain. It becomes more real and concrete. Copying Scripture allows God’s Word to sink deeper into your heart. It helps you slow done and focus on each word. You can copy off individual verses or passages that spoke to you, even make a collection of passages (ie. Verses About Peace). You can also copy off longer portions of Scripture or even whole books, a little bit at a time. As you write, prayerfully meditate on it and let God’s Word work.
- Copy Scripture and Add Responses. As you get comfortable copying Scripture, add in some personal responses. I first started this simply by reading a larger passage (maybe a chapter or two), then copying 2-3 verses that spoke to me and writing a prayer response. It’s grown to a mix of study, digging in, application, and prayer. Some suggested questions to think about and write down: What does this passage reveal to you about God? How does it fit into the context of the chapter, book, and entire Bible? What personal application can you draw from it? How can you respond in prayer? Write it all down.
- Prayer Journaling Writing down your prayers may seem awkward at first, but persevere. I started by writing a list of prayer requests to go through as I prayed. I still do that, but I’ve also found that writing down my prayers sometimes helps me concentrate and also provides a written record for what I’ve prayed. Praying is talking to God, so I see this as writing Him a letter or having a conversation in written-style. I pause to listen as I write, maybe even record His response. It’s so neat to look back at my prayers and see how God has answered so many times, down to minute details, and be able to thank Him for it.
- Personal Journaling. Don’t underestimate the power of personal journaling. Okay, the “had pancakes for breakfast, finished my school in good time, got a magazine, played with my kitty” journaling of schoolgirl days isn’t worth much (yup, that’s the bulk of my journaling at age 10), but pondering life, writing out thoughts and feelings, what God is teaching you, what you’re struggling with, what you’re thankful for, etc… is all very useful, especially when you focus on God all through it and seek Him in it. I’ve like to mix in Scripture that addresses my current situation and end my “entries” with a prayer. Some things, no person needs to hear, but God does. Write it out, pour your heart to God, then lay it to rest.
- Mix of all the above. You can have a journal for each “kind” of journaling, or you can mix it all up in one. My current favorite method is having a journal that sometimes has a copied Scripture passage and response, sometimes has a quote or song or poem that encourage me, sometime has personal journaling, sometimes has it all mixed into one entry, and has prayers sprinkled all throughout. There’s no right or wrong. It’s all part of your journey with Jesus, and you may need different things at different times. Don’t get stuck trying to find a mold, just start somewhere and ask God to lead you as you go along.
Blessings on your journaling!