You can journal:
- Devotions as you record insights and revelations
- A Spiritual Journey as you work through identity struggles, lessons learned, and experiences when you were keenly aware of God’s presence
- Daily Life through observations, insights, and reflections
- Difficult Life Seasons and Personal Struggles
- Times of Soul Searching
- Praise and Thanksgiving
- Topics, Sermons, Scripture, and so much more
AND you can journal any or all of these in a traditional manner or in a more creative way.
In our last article we looked at Picture Journals and Pictorial Journals both of which use photos or images as prompts. We also discussed Legacy Journals which pull in other people who are close to us and provide us with a shared experience and a tool for modeling and discussion.
This week we will look at two additional creative journaling techniques. Two that I am simply in love with!
Praying in Color:
According to Sybil MacBeth in her book, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God, “Praying in Color is an active, meditative, playful prayer practice. It is both process and product. The process involves a re-entry into the childlike world of coloring and improvising. The product is a colorful design or drawing that is a visual reminder of the time spent in prayer.”
To Pray in Color:
- Write the name of the person you are praying for on a piece of paper. Draw a shape around it or just start to doodle.
- Add marks, shapes, and color. Focus on the person whose name you wrote on the page as you add these marks and shapes. Ask God to be part of your prayer time. If words come, pray them; if not, enjoy the silence.
- After a couple of minutes, when you feel led, move to another part of the paper and write whatever the Holy Spirit brings to mind about that person: a character trait, virtue, Scripture verse, etc. Draw a shape around it or just start to doodle.
- Add marks, shapes, and color. Focus on this trait, Scripture, etc., as it applies to the person. If words come, pray them; if not, enjoy the silence with your Heavenly Father.
- Continue to add other traits, virtues, Scriptures, or specifics to your “prayer” following the above steps each time.
Praying in Color can be used in prayers of intercession, adoration, thanksgiving, confession, and petition.
Praying in Color is not only for times of prayer. You can use the Praying in Color method as you meditate on a Scripture verse or passage, work through a difficult life season, or record your Spiritual journey. Done in a blank journal or sketchbook, it reaps all the benefits of journaling we have shared in previous articles. The only difference is the process of doodling and color and the look of the finished entry.
Illustrated Bible Journaling:
Writing out Scripture can help us study, remember, and reflect upon God’s Word much more completely than just by reading.
Illustrated Bible Journaling goes beyond simply writing out the Scripture. It’s a way of studying the Bible, and responding to it through your own words, sketches, stenciling, images, painting, stamping, etc. In essence, you are adding your thoughts and research notes in written form or artistically to the margin of your Bible or in a separate notebook.
I have journaled in my Bible since I was a teen-ager, maybe even longer. But until very recently it was done with words written down the extremely narrow margin of my Bible or squeezed in anywhere on the page that I could make the words fit. I absolutely love coming across those notes when I return to a passage through a sermon or new Bible study.
In the early spring of this year, I discovered Illustrated Bible Journaling. I started out with this method in a blank journal but that didn’t last long since I prefer to have my journaling right in my Bible. So I purchased a journaling (or note-taker’s) Bible and began making entries in April. So far, I have journaled from my Sunday sermon notes, books I have read, songs that speak to me, and passages of Scripture that hold personal meaning. I’m so looking forward to reviewing my journal Bible in a year to see what God has been teaching me.
Just as Praying in Color is not limited to times of prayer, Illustrated Bible Journaling does not have to be confined to Scripture study. Illlustrated Bible Journaling (or art journaling) could easily become Illustrated Prayer Journaling or Illustrated Praise Journaling or Illustrated Thanksgiving Journaling. You get the picture!
If your previous attempts at journaling have been somewhat lack-luster or if you simply desire a fresh breath, why not give Praying in Color or Illustrated Journaling a try? If you do, I’d love to hear about your experience.