I have found that “hearing” God has been great for me when I journal, and for the longest time, journaling has been a part of me and my journey with Jesus. The Lord laid it on my heart a few years ago to encourage other women to journal and so after a lot of hesitation here it is
When I journal it’s another form of conversation with my Lord, and worship to Him through words.
I pen down my deepest thoughts, and pour out my heart to him in prayer and worship. I find that as I do this He slowly unravels the layers of my heart and exposes me to the root of the problem that I am dealing with, or He reveals a problem that I didn’t know existed!
In this post I want to talk about some of the great benefits of keeping a journal – whether it is for daily devotions, prayer requests, or writing in conversation to the Lord. God speaks, reveals and transforms us so much during these intimate moments with Him.
The practice of keeping a traditional hand written journal has fallen out of favour in recent years due to the influx of digital and social media/podcasts etc, however nothing can truly replace the practice of maintaining a journal. Why should you consider starting a journal? I am so glad you asked! I have jotted down some of my thoughts.
Journaling is a deeply intimate and private thing. It is the recording of your thoughts and your heart. You write things that you would not consider to share with others on social media or in person. What I love about it, is that it is a beautiful way to explore and work through your thoughts and experiences in private. This can be deeply impactful as you converse with yourself and God about some of your struggles, weaknesses, pain, joys, and the different experiences that you go through in life.
A BEAUTIFUL EXPRESSION
Journaling can encourage you to pause.
To think through things.
Or to launch into a long list of worries!
In all of this, what it provides is an additional outlet (to personal prayer, devotions etc) for you to express your deepest longings in very creative and emotive ways. Some love words, and like me end up writing pages and pages of love letters to God- or even poetry. Some may like to draw things that the Lord reveals to them in their quiet time, or while they are experiencing different things.
A RECORD FOR MEMORIES
Keeping an intimate journal allows you to record things as they are happening in real time in your life, and then look back on it some time later to remember that season of your life, and reflect on God’s faithfulness to you- every step of your way. One of the beautiful things about journaling, is that when you write, you are penning the story of your life on paper, and this gives you the opportunity to look back on this story whenever you like.
JOURNALING HELPS YOU TO STAY FOCUSED
Have you ever had an experience when you are praying, and your mind just drifts all over the place, upon all the different things that you want to pray for and do etc *raises both hands*. Sometimes we can struggle to concentrate, and centre our focus on what we are actually petitioning God for, worshiping Him for, or why we are putting certain requests before Him.
Journaling helps you to stay focused as you document your thoughts, fears, dreams, and desires in your relationship with God. It gives specific intent and purpose and structure to your thoughts. This then helps you to really track how God has worked in very specific areas of your life.
JOURNALING CAN ENCOURAGE GRATITUDE
Journaling encourages us to always come to God with a heart of true, sincere gratitude- which is so life transforming. It helps us to be very intentional about our thanksgiving to God. We become thankful for everything.
IT DRAWS US CLOSER TO THE WORD OF GOD
Remember, it is all about dialogue, conversation with God where we do a lot of the listening- probably more listening than writing and talking. Journaling enables God to use it as an avenue to draw us into His Word.
Whilst journaling, the Holy Spirit prompts us to go to a specific verse, or Bible passage/story to help us understand a specific issue that we are going through. This helps impress change and transformation in our hearts even more. We can then go back again and again over these journal entries for encouragement and remembrance, its beautiful!
JOURNALING HELPS TO MAGNIFY OUR VIEW
When we journal regularly, something incredibly beautiful happens. We are able to see the flow, progression, direction and growth in our prayer lives. Some of us are praying for huge and really major things, and are believing God for big things.
Some may be relating to our spiritual growth, the salvation of a loved one, a nation, what our purpose in life could be, marriage partners, ministry life, strength, grace, love – all sort of great things. By recording these things in a journal you get to see the bigger, magnified image as you look back through all that God has done, and is doing in your life. Praise God!
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