A Guide to Documenting Your Walk With God
Keeping a Spiritual Journal is not complicated, and is definitely a very rewarding endeavor. One may keep a spiritual journal to record inspirations that they have received from God or simply to record their daily thoughts about their spiritual journey. Lost in the complexities of life, it is easy to miss God’s still small voice or His progressive intentional work within our lives. A spiritual journal is a great way to quiet one’s heart and focus on God’s voice. A spiritual journey is progressive, and at times, it may seem as though little progress has been made. When one feels pessimistic about their spiritual progress, perusing through the daily entries of one’s journal may reveal that in fact, over time, they have made tremendous progress. On the other hand, when one is being complacent in their walk with God, a journal may reveal this to them as well. For those wanting to be more intentional with their spirituality, the article below will inform on how to keep a spiritual journal.
Keeping a spiritual journal is not an expensive commitment. In fact, all one needs is a pen or pencil, a book, the word of God, and some quiet time to meditate and journal. Although any writing book will do, it is highly advisable to invest in a durable one. The reason is that a spiritual journal is something of value, and it should last a long time. In fact, many authors have had their personal journal’s published as books! Moreover, in as much as we should not judge a book by its cover, one’s journal ought to look pleasing. It should reflect the value and importance you attach to your spiritual journey. Most importantly, it should reflect one’s individuality. If one is to buy a journal, chose one with patterns that are pleasing, or perhaps a favorite color.
The choice of writing utensil is also highly personal. A simple individual may find a black pen or pencil to be sufficient. On the other hand, a flamboyant personality may want to use many colors, highlighters, etc.
Lastly, being a spiritual journal, one should have a bible at hand when journaling. Journaling is introspective and meditative. In this process, God may speak to you through a verse in the Bible.
Structuring the Journaling Process
There are very many ways of structuring one’s spiritual journal and none of them are wrong, as long as they keep to the purpose of the spiritual journal. Even so, two methods that have worked for many, are highlighted below. The first is more structured and the second is more free-form. Depending on one’s personality, either may be a great fit.
The first method can be described using the acronym SOAR. It stands for scripture reading, observation, application and response in prayer. The first step in this method is scripture reading. One may choose to read a passage that was preached on the previous Sunday, that will be preached on the next, or may simply choose to concentrate on a particular theme in the Bible. The second step is observation. Observation simply refers to meditating upon the word asking oneself what God is trying to tell them in the scripture. The third step is that of application, where one puts the word of God into their life’s context. The last step is that of response in prayer. In this step, one asks God to help them remember lessons from the scripture or to guide them in applying the scripture to their lives. These steps are documented in the spiritual journal.
The second method is more free-form, but still maintains a bit of structure, to help maintain the theme of the spiritual journal. The first two pages of each journaling process should be a thanksgiving page, a prayer intention page, and a prayer goal page. The thanksgiving page recognizes blessings small and large that one has received on that day. The prayer intention page sets out the prayer goals for that session. Could be that one intends to intercede for believers facing persecution or the vulnerable. Could be that one wishes to pay attention to the sacraments.
The pages that follow are free-form. One is free to document any thought they experience about their spirituality.
A Word of Encouragement
Journaling is a skill. As you consistently journal, God’s love for you will begin to unfold in those pages. Where you started with one journal, you will now have many thought filled journals documenting your walk with God. As you journal your spiritual journey, who your purpose in Christ will be unveiled before your eyes.