Learn why spiritual journaling can be an effective tool in cultivating a deeper relationship with God through prayer and studying the Bible.
When I was a little girl I kept a diary for a short time. I’m sure I would laugh if I read it now. But for a while, it was a place to pour out thoughts and feelings, to keep a record of the things that were going on in my life. I think there was probably some real value in that. A safe place to work out ideas and feelings about life.
Just imagine using a safe place like that to write about spiritual things.
What is journaling for spiritual growth?
Journaling is simply taking what is in our head and writing it down on paper. It’s a recording of our thoughts and ideas—and when we journal for spiritual growth—of prayers and spiritual insights.
Don’t let the idea of writing intimidate you! You don’t have to be eloquent or have perfect grammar, and you don’t have to spell every word correctly. You don’t even have to use complete sentences. Jot down phrases, make lists, even draw. You have the freedom to do it in a way that works for you. There are no “journal police” who will be making sure you follow certain rules.
The goal of journaling for spiritual growth isn’t to create a literary masterpiece. It’s to develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with your Savior.
Journals are personal. You don’t have to share them with anyone else. When you keep a journal for spiritual grow, it is between you and God only, unless YOU choose to share what you are learning with others.
Why Use Journaling as a Tool for Spiritual Growth
1. Spiritual journaling requires us to focus.
We live in perhaps one of the most distracting times in history. People often have instant access and expect us to be constantly accessible. And we are busy. We are so blessed to have the many opportunities that are available to us today. But with that blessing we have to learn to say no, to put the phones away, to choose the best over the good.
We need a way to focus our hearts and minds on God. The act of writing things down helps us to do that. Journaling requires us to sit down and think in order to write. It isn’t something we can do while doing other things.
2. Spiritual journaling forces us to slow down and think.
William Zinsser describes writing as, thinking on paper. Thinking takes time. We need time to clarify our thoughts and to see connections between concepts and the truth of Scripture as a whole. We need time to consider how we will live in light of what we are learning. We need to slow down and learn to be patient if we want a deeper relationship with our Lord.
3. Spiritual journaling helps us take time to remember.
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11–12
Throughout the Bible we see the idea of remembering, and journaling can help us to do just that. When we journal, we keep a record of what God is doing and has done in our lives. Our spiritual growth, the lessons we are learning, the answers to our prayers can all be recorded so that we will not forget.
A record of His works reminds us of His faithfulness. It helps us to see the weaving of His story in our lives in unexpected ways. And we realize that His story is so much bigger than us.
4. Spiritual journaling engages our hearts and minds.
We interact with the text when we journal. We can ask questions, record our struggles and doubts, and make mistakes along the way. When we journal we can be honest and real and messy. Journaling allows us to combine the practice of prayer and Bible study in a seamless conversation on the page as we pray and study and pray some more.
Of course simply reading the Bible and praying grows us. But when we add an element of journaling, learning becomes deeper, richer, more personal.
If you need a little help…
I believe the most important thing you can do for your kids is to nurture your heart first. And journaling can be one of the tools you can use to do just that. Growing Faith: Establishing Strong Deep Roots will help you cultivate a deep relationship with God through prayer & Bible study. You’ll create a spiritual growth notebook & journal so you can be consistent in your time with God. It includes. . .
- Some of the most popular posts on faith from Heart-to-Heart Homeschooling
- Workbook questions to help you think about your faith
- New articles including A Simple Guide to Prayer, A Simple Guide to Bible Study, & more!
- A simplified overview of the Inductive Bible Study Method
- Almost 30 printable pages so you can customize your own Spiritual Growth Notebook & Journaling binder
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.