The alphabet can be a powerful tool for engaging with God. Some of the psalmists of the Bible, even, used the letters of the alphabet to begin the verses of their psalms.
I find the alphabet something I return to again and again as I spend time alone with God journaling my praise, offering thanks, meditating, and praying.
Lately, however, I’ve been running into the ABCs being used in ways other than journaling as people engage with God. And I find myself going, “Well, why didn’t I think of that?”
A Game for Sleepless Nights
In her post, “How to Rest in the Names of God,” Esther Hosea over at His Dearly Loved Daughter shares that on nights when she isn’t able to sleep, she often plays a little game. The game serves two purposes. First, Esther says it is an attempt to focus her thoughts on God and to thank Him for who He is. Secondly, the game slows her brain down and breaks the cycle of obsessive thinking helping her fall asleep.
How does Esther’s game work? Beginning with the letter “A” and working through to “Z,” she chooses a name or an attribute of God for each letter and thanks Him for it. In order to mix things up and keep it fresh, Esther employs a couple of variations when playing her game. One variation is to choose only one name/attribute per letter. Another way to play is to challenge yourself to think of as many names/attributes as you possibly can for each letter.
A Tool for Scripture Memorization
I ran across this one just last week. Jonathan Peterson shares the story in his Bible Gateway blog post entitled “4-Year-Old Recites ABC’s Using Bible Verses.” The story reveals how church families were challenged by their youth minister to learn a Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet. Skeptical, Taylor Hemness, took the challenge home and included his three-and-a-half year old in the process.
The article shares Taylor’s story, a list of the Scriptures used for this challenge, links to the location of each Scripture on Bible Gateway (displayed in five versions), and a video of Mr. Hemness’ 4-year-old son reciting the A through Z verses.
A Creative Journaling Exercise
The “How-to” for Alphabet Journaling is included in Journaling for the Soul: A Handbook of Methods.
The method is crazy, simple and requires only something to write with and something to write on.
Basically, you work your way from “A” to “Z” in whatever way you choose:
- List the attributes of God.
- Record things you are thankful for.
- Praise His names, one for each letter.
- Pray for others by name.
- Meditate on the promises of God.
- Pray the godly characteristics you desire for yourself, your children, and/or your grandchildren.
The possibilities are endless.
Here are a couple of examples of ABC Journaling from the blog: