How to Use Journaling for Spiritual Growth

Journaling is a dynamic tool for spiritual growth.

When we incorporate journaling into other spiritual disciplines, benefits abound. For example,

Journaling…

Improves focus – helping us better meditate on God’s Word and listen for what He is saying

Encourages introspection – allowing us to take a closer look at what is happening in our own heart and mind.

Invites relationship – helping us draw closer to God and to others.

Constructs a recorded history – providing you with documentation of your faith walk and what has happened at different periods of time in your life.

There are many other benefits to the process of journaling, all of which help us discover the character and person of God, experience truth, and grow in grace.

Consider the following practical ideas for incorporating journaling into your other spiritual disciplines.

Bible Reading

  1. Read a passage of Scripture straight through. Then meditate on it by handwriting it into your journal.
  2. Using your highlighter, look for repeated words or phrases. With your pen, number items in succession. Then record any observations or questions you may have.
  3. Rewrite your chosen passage in your own words.

Prayer

  1. In your journal, keep an ongoing list of prayer requests and praises. (Tip: Use one color ink for requests and another for praises.)
  2. Write out your prayers.
  3. Pray the alphabet. Some of the psalmists of the Bible used the letters of the alphabet to begin the verses of their psalms. Using their example, write the letters of the alphabet down the left side of your journal page. Then pray, from A to Z. (Pray for whatever comes to mind or concentrate your prayers on the needs of others, the attributes of God, missionaries your church supports, or any other focused topic.)

Soul-searching

  1. Daily record two to three Dot Points (or bullet points) about what is going on in your life. Review your Dot Points on a regular basis.
  2. Do a Google search for a set of great questions for soul-/self-reflection. (Check the list first to be sure they are scripturally sound. A great list will include questions such as “Am I experiencing victory in my life?” “What are the priorities in my life?” and “Am I investing my life into the lives of others?” Then schedule a time to sit quietly with the Lord, your journal, and some honest answers.
  3. We all have fears. Fear is not the issue. The issue is in how we handle our fears. Satan is cunning. He would like nothing more than to immobilize us with fear. Take your fears to God through journaling – name them, work them out on the page, reflect on them, pray about them. Search for Bible passages that refute the fear and consider writing a goodbye letter addressed to the fear.

Thanksgiving

  1. Keep a journal by your bed. First thing in the morning or each night before closing your eyes, record one, two, three, or more things for which you are thankful.
  2. Choose a target number – 50, 100, 500, 1000. It’s up to you. Then begin “counting” things you are grateful for in your journal. Keep counting until you reach your target number.
  3. Grace is often defined as the unmerited favor of God toward man. In the hustle and bustle of our days, it can be easy to lose sight of His unmerited favor toward us. Grab a journal and pay attention. Look closely for His grace poured out to you. Then record it in your journal.

Worship

  1. Turn your eyes toward your Heavenly Father. Dig into the Bible and journal what you learn about your Father.
  2. Journal His names or His attributes. List them. Expound upon them. Consider what each tells you about His character.
  3. Write love letters to God on a regular basis. When kept in a journal, these letters become a precious record of your relationship with God and can be used for worship through reflection, prayer, and thanksgiving.