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February 7, 2015 | by: Michael Shafran | 0 comments

Posted in: Christian Living Tags: journaling, spiritual discipline

4762384399_f126047d2b_zRecently I have taken up journaling during my personal worship time with the Lord. It has been a blessing to say the least. I am no expert in this area, but here are a few short observations about this practice.

First, I don't have to write a lot. Simply writing a brief lesson I learned from the reading is the passage is all that is needed. But you can write a lot if you want!

Second, journaling forces me to really think about the text and to formulate it on paper. This takes processing the lesson to another level. It is helpful in making the lesson concrete in my mind in such a way that I can now explain it to someone else. 

Third, I end each entry with a personal prayer, asking the Lord to help me practice the lesson or truth I have just seen in His Word. I use quote marks around the prayer so I can easily see it later.

Fourth, since I wrote my lesson down, I have found myself thinking about it later in the day. The truth of the Word comes back to my thoughts easier than when I don't write. I mean, admit it, sometimes it is hard to remember even what we read in the morning, let alone going deeper in it through the day.

Fifth, I found the easiest way for me was to use a simple Moleskine notebook / journal and a fountain pen. You may find it easier to type it out using a computer or on your phone. I have used several methods including using Evernote on my iPhone and iPad. Evernote is a great tool and could be very helpful in this endeavor. However, I found having a separate notebook and old fashion pen and paper worked best for me. 

Sixth, I found that this is the easiest way to review my Scripture memory verses I am working on. Since I am going to go to the journal to write, I also write the new verse(s) our church is working on memorizing at the beginning of each month and regularly review it.

Overall, journaling helps to go deeper in Scripture by intentionally making me think about what I have read, meditate on it by seeking to formulate exactly how I want to express it, and helps to solidify it by actually writing out the lesson.

For an excellent article on journaling see Journal for a Pathway to Joy a Desiring God article by David Mathis.