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Christian Life

Tips on Journaling During Devotional Time

What is journaling exactly? How do you do it? Is it like keeping a diary?

This type of journaling is different from keeping a diary. When we journal for devotional time, we aren’t keeping a record of our feelings or how our day went. When we talk about journaling during our devotional time with the Lord, we’re talking about writing down what we learn from spending time in prayer and Bible study and how to apply what we’ve learned to our own lives.

No one’s journaling looks the same as anyone else’s, but here are some tips for things you may want to include in your journaling.

  • The Bible verse or verses that captured your attention – Writing down the Scripture you’re studying will help you remember the context of your journaling.
  • Thoughts you have about the verses you’re journaling on – Write down important points in the verses, your own thoughts and anything you feel like God is speaking to your heart about the verses you’re studying. This can lead directly to figuring out how to apply what you’re reading to your life.
  • Application – What does the Scripture you’re reading say about God, life or how to treat others? Psalm 1:2 says to meditate on the Word day and night. John 14:12 tells us to believe in Jesus Christ and do great things like He did. Write down what the Scripture says to do and then find a way to do that in your own life!
  • Prayer – Many people write out short prayers in their journals based on what they read. It can seem weird to write down a prayer, but whether you’re used to praying silently to yourself or out loud in front of others, we all use words in our prayers and words can be written down. Writing down our prayers also helps remind us how God has answered our prayers in the past.

Journaling isn’t exact and everyone has their own unique way of doing it. The important thing is to do it regularly. When we write things down, it helps us to remember them better and it gives us a place to go back to if we forget. Journaling takes time. It’s easy to read a few Bible verses and then go on with our day just like any other day. Journaling forces us to take a deeper look at what we’re reading and to spend a little time listening for what the Lord is trying to tell us.

It’s also a cool way to track our growth in the Lord–as you look back through your journal, you’ll notice how understanding the Bible gets easier the more you spend time reading it and praying about it. You’ll also be able to look back and see how God has helped you with the things you struggle with.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t really matter what your journaling looks like as long as you keep it up and let God’s Word speak to you and change you from the inside out.

Do you journal during your devotional time with God? Do you have a specific journaling format that you follow?

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does (James 1:25).

Image: Thinkstock | Photodisc

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11 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by ClassyPlatypus on July 22, 2012 at 19:01

    Before I start reading a passage, I usually pray and ask God to help me understand what I am about to read. I sometimes write down my thoughts, but I usually just write verses that spoke out to me. Writing down your thoughts can really help you, because you have something to look back on. I usually pray after I read to ask God to help me apply this message to life or help me understand if I don’t. I don’t think there is a right way to journal as long as it is effective to you.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by jesussaves on June 28, 2012 at 13:02

    These are great ideas! I started journaling over what I read in the Bible day to day, and it’s really helped. I’ve been trying to read through the whole Bible in a year, and it has really helped keep me accountable. I usually write what I read, what I learned about it, and how I can apply that to my life. At the end I write a prayer to God, and it usually ends up like a letter to him. I write about what happened that day, the good and bad stuff, (which is why it is a bit like a diary), what I need help with, and I pray for people in it. I love it because, in a very strange way, it helps me know a bit more about myself, if that makes sense.Like when I’m going through a hard time, or just really confused about something that’s going on in my life, reading through what I just wrote to God helps me sort of make sense of it all. It’s also really cool to look back on and see how God helped with certain situations I or other people were in. I leave a bit of space in the margins of my journal to write in there about how God helped me handle the situation I was struggling with, which makes it really fun to look back on 🙂

  3. Paris

    Posted by Paris on June 26, 2012 at 21:31

    I like writing,so I might try it!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by jesussaves on June 28, 2012 at 13:03

      You should! I love to write too, and keeping a journal has really helped me develop my own writing style!

  4. devsings

    Posted by devsings on June 22, 2012 at 16:29

    I actually recently started something called faith booking and it is basically scrapbooking about your faith! It’s really fun!!! It’s a lot like what this article is talking about only with a scrapbook! 🙂

    • Posted by Nicole on June 23, 2012 at 00:08

      oh wow that’s a really cool idea! What are some things you put in your book?

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by rachel97x3 on June 25, 2012 at 20:25

        That does sound really cool!! 🙂 Hey Nicole I remember hearing that you were going to have a magazine. When is it coming out?

  5. brennaeskyler2

    Posted by brennaeskyler2 on June 22, 2012 at 12:53

    In my devotions, I’m going through a book. Usually, I write the things the person says helps me grow in the Lord and sometimes when she says to write my thoughts down on what I think on the versed I do that!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Lili on June 23, 2012 at 20:39

      I like doing that too! It’s especially nice when they already have passages in them so you don’t always have to have your Bible with you to do it. It can be hard juggling around three books at once lol. Two of my favorites are “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric and Leslie Ludy and “Authentic Beauty” by Leslie Ludy. They’re super good. <3 "When God Writes Your Love Story" is great to use as a devotional since it use a LOT of scripture. "Authentic Beauty" I would use more as a side book, since it doesn't cover as much in a Biblical sense. <3

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by Lili on June 22, 2012 at 06:05

    I just started doing this recently. First I write down what I’ve read and any thoughts I have on it. Then I write a prayer to the Lord. Mine are pretty long though… ^^”
    Sometimes it does end up being a little like a normal journal, if I decide to tell God about my day. Either way, this is a great method for people like me who have a HORRIBLE time concentrating on things. I love it. <3

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by emj20 on June 22, 2012 at 14:06

      I’m the same way as you, I love talking to as if he is my best friend.I go on and on with my journal to God.Sometimes its a prayer but then sometimes it is about my day. (praise songs help to, if you want to get in God’s preasence)