How to Grow Closer to God through Journaling
Think about David. The whole book of Psalms is basically one man’s “prayer journal.”
Journaling can be a wonderful adventure and help you nurture a deeper relationship with God. It can also help you grow in knowledge of God’s Word and teach you how to truly bring your burdens to Him
Getting started might seem difficult if you’ve never tried creating a spiritual journal.
Here are a few tips to help you along the way…
1. Start by Choosing a Time
Many people enjoy spending time with Jesus first thing in the morning. This is a great choice to starting your day off right, but might not be ideal for everyone. Maybe you work odd hours, have a newborn baby, or a medical condition that makes morning rituals difficult.
Don’t beat yourself up over it. God delights in meeting with you – whether that’s at 6am or 6pm or any time in between! Just pick a time when you can show up and give God your full attention. Ideally, choose a time when you will have the least amount of distractions.
2. Pick a Location
Besides choosing a time to journal, it can also be helpful to pick a cozy, quiet, distraction-free location. However, sitting at your dining table is perfectly fine!
Remember David prayed to God in many locations – in caves, on mountains, during battle, in the Temple, and in his palace. God showed no preference over the location. He just cared that David came to Him.
3. Use a Guided Journal
When you’re new to journaling, it may be hard to know what to write. That’s why it can be helpful to grab a guided journal. A guided journal typically includes prompts or questions (usually faith-based) to help you get started.
Of course, you don’t have to use one. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a blank journal and starting your letters to God. But if you’re having difficulty with the writing practice, you might benefit from a guided journal.
4. Show Up Consistently
You can’t grow a deeper relationship with someone if you only see them once or twice a year and never speak the rest of the time. If you want to build a close relationship, you have to cultivate it. In our human relationships, that means chatting face to face, phone calls, text messages, cards, Skype sessions, Facetime, silly videos, funny memes, and even exchanging GIFs.
In building our relationship with our Heavenly Father, that means stopping to pray, reading our Bibles, and journaling. Of course, you may not journal every single day, especially not at first. But, if you keep working to make it a habit, you will get there eventually.
5. Don’t Focus on Your Emotions
When you feel the presence of God during your journaling sessions, it’s amazing. It feels like you’re sitting down with the Holy Spirit and sharing your heart…as if you have a special relationship that no one else can see (and you do!).
But not every journal session will feel like you’re standing on the mountain. Many people feel rather ho-hum about their journaling, particularly when they’re first starting out. Don’t let this discourage you.
Instead, focus on meeting with God and spending time with Him through prayer and reading your Bible. Then, challenge yourself to write for five to ten minutes in your journal. The more you do, the more you’ll learn to recognize your Heavenly Father’s voice and feel His presence.
Remember, your journals don’t have to be filled with perfect grammar and punctuation. God isn’t grading your penmanship. He’s listening to your heart. He’s delighted that you’ve made the decision to spend more time with Him, and He can’t wait to hear from you!
Want to start a journaling habit? Check out >> “Journaling Time with Jesus” 31 Days of Scripture Writing and Journal Prompts to help challenge you to create a daily habit of spiritual journaling.