Journaling is a way of reflecting and going deeper into whatever you are writing about.
What would it be like to use this practice as prayer? As a discernment tool? We encourage you to think of journaling as a prayer practice, a way of speaking to God and listening for the voice of God. While verbal prayer is a way for us to communicate the contents of our heart and soul with God, recording our life of prayer in a journal makes it possible for us to delve more deeply into the inner core of our being. Journaling helps take note of how God is journeying with us, how God leaves imprints on our hearts and souls. The key to the spiritual practice of journaling is to express to God what is true about you right now.
Here are some ways of journaling as prayer:
Often, we tend to forget some important insights we had in prayer or a connection we made between an experience and a gospel passage. Writing it into your journal will make it accessible to you again. You are keeping track of your own spiritual journey!
At the end of each day, reflect on the past 24 hours. Where was God? How was God’s love and care there for you? What was God teaching you today? As you write, let your heart be filled with gratefulness—you are known and loved, precious beyond words to the One who created you!
Silence and solitude:
Take some time away to be alone with God and record these retreat experiences in your journal. You’ll have more time for reflection and writing. It is especially helpful to be alone in nature, as God speaks clearly and powerfully to us through Creation.
Use your journal to reflect on and respond to what God is saying to you through the passage on which you are meditating. We have been profoundly affected by encountering the Living God through the Living Word of the Scriptures! Journaling gives us a way of remembering these experiences, and being drawn closer to God’s heart in the remembering.
If you read through what is contained in the Book of Psalms, you soon realize that these are poems and songs written to express the many things that are found in the human heart. Writing your own Psalm can be a tool that unlocks what is bound up there in your heart—you can follow the pattern of one of the Psalms in the Bible, or create your own pattern.
Conversations with God:
Express your heart to God in all honesty. Tell of your joys and struggles, your hopes and fears. Humbly ask for the things you need. Humbly accept God’s way of communicating with you. Record what comes to you, especially words of love, comfort, and encouragement.