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).