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How to Keep a Spiritual Journal
by Rhonda Jones
4/24/2008 / Self Help
A spiritual journal records your journey towards God. Other than meditation and sacred silence, I can't think of any other practice except reading my Bible that has had a greater impact on my life. I have been journaling for over 15 years. I began journaling when I was going through a stuff time emotionally. Journaling helped me to work through my pain. During the stillness and quietness of journaling I was able to hear God's voice comfort and encourage me. It was my time to nurture my spirit and soul and to pay attention to what I was feeling. Journaling allowed me to be real with myself and to release the hidden treasures of my heart. Journaling also aided me in self-discovery.
Journaling should be a meaningful and rewarding experience. It is not just a chronological diary of the day's events but contains the thoughts, reflections, and perceptions of our daily life and events. It should contain stories, articles, and objects that reflect you and where you want to be spiritually, physically, and mentally. It contains the keepsakes of the heart and soul.
I encourage journaling after meditation. Once we become still and relaxed, we created a great environment to hear from God. Keep your journal near while meditating on God to record any words of inspiration, visions, or answers God might be giving you.
Use a journal to record insights from spiritual books you're reading or the Bible. Write scriptures that touch or prick your heart and meditate on them. Write prayers and keep a prayer log. The ideas are endless.
Setting Up Your Journal
Purchase a large notebook or fancy journal notebook. On the first several pages I like to list my governing values. This keeps them in the front of my mind. I'll discuss values in upcoming lesson.
Several pages in write, Table of Contents at the top of the page. On the left side of the page write the words, Date, then Topic and on the right side Page #. This is how I keep track of my journal topics.
Go in several more pages and write Prayer Request at the top of the page. On the left side under the title write, DATE and on the right side write Request. This is where you record and date your prayer request.
Go in several more pages and write Answered Prayers at the top of the page. This is where you will write and date any answered prayers.
Go in several more pages and write something like, This Journal Belongs to Your Name. This journal is private and it would be a dishonor to me if you read it without my permission. Thank you for honoring my desires, my thoughts, and my privacy. God bless you, Rhonda. Your journal is a sacred letter between you, your thoughts, and God. I just want to let any wandering eyes know this in case their curiosity gets the best of them. If you feel your journal will be read or compromised, you are less likely to write your truest feelings and desires. Keep your journal in a safe place.
Now you are ready to start writing in your journal. Always number the pages of your journal beginning with your first entry. Give every journal entry a title and a date. When you finish an entry, turn to the Table of Contents and list date, title, and beginning page number on one line. Do this for each subsequent entry. This will allow you to easily find entries months or years later.
Writing in your Journal
Don't feel pressured to write in your journal everyday, but write in it enough to gain some momentum. If you have been meditating daily, consider writing your thoughts at the end of your meditation or during your devotional time with God.
Write whatever comes to mind. Do worry about grammar or spelling. Your English teacher won't be grading you. There are too many journaling methods and activities for me to go into now, but if you'd like to expand your journaling experience, I recommend Richard Peace's book, Spiritual Journaling: Recording Your Journey Towards God listed below. It provides you with a wealth of ideas and journaling activities that help you to understand your past and navigate your future. I also recommend the Guilt-Free Journal by Jan Silvious. I have bought this journal as a gift for many friends, both men and women, and have yet to find someone who didn't love it. It's filled with thought provoking prompts, areas to list prayer request, and much more.
Rhonda Jones is the creator of over 25 Christian meditation and affirmation Cds and the author of the Christian makeover program, Help Me God Change My Life and A Date with God. Learn more at http://www.thechristianmeditator.com and http://www.holyandhealthyliving.com.
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