The Benefits of a Spiritual Journal

Okay so maybe when you see the word 'journal' you go into panic mode. Or, you visualize an emotional diary where you write the name of your crush. (complete with doodles which hold a strong resemblance to hearts.)


PUSH THOSE IMAGES OUT OF YOUR MIND. RIGHT NOW. That's not what I'm talking about here.

Okay, done?

Good. Because today we're talking about a different type of journaling. Spiritual journaling. What is spiritual journaling, you ask?

Spiritual journaling is nothing complicated. Basically all it is praying; in journal form. Recording your thoughts to God. (Although there are definitely other 'types' of spiritual journaling, like non-prayer journaling that has to do with faith. But this post will focus on the 'praying' aspect of spiritual journaling.)

Why should you keep a spiritual journal? Well that's what this post is about.






it draws you closer to God

This is sort of a 'duh', but I'm pointing it out anyways. Also it's rather self-explanatory. So... on to the next point.

it allows you to get things off your chest

Because God always listens. Even when you feel alone, abandoned, bitter, or betrayed, God will always be there. Where human confidants may fail, God is perfect. Not that I'm advocating keeping to yourself and NEVER EVER taking a problem up with someone else (or confiding in people), I'm just pointing out that God is the place to go when you need someone to talk to.

it helps you focus on God

I don't know about you, but when I try to pray when I'm doing something, it's really really hard for me to focus. I get distracted. My mind wanders. But when you're physically engaged in the act of writing down your thoughts to God, it's much harder, if not impossible to get distracted.

it helps you to work through struggles

Okay so first of all if you're struggling with something, I'm NOT saying you should keep it to yourself. That's probably not a good idea. (Talk to your parents.) But then, sharing your struggles with God can really help you to work through anything you might be struggling with. And when you share them in written form, it's that much more easy to sort out your thoughts.

it slows you down

What I mean by this is that sometimes when we pray, we can be a little rushed. (This kind of ties in with the point about distractions.) But when we're writing things down, it forces us to be intentional. To think about what we're saying. We're not concerned about the food on our plates or the fun we get to have when the Bible study is over. We're focused.

it lets you see how you've grown

When you're keeping a journal, you can go back. You can reread old entries. Glancing over some of those entries from last year could really be an encouragement to you. They could show you how you've matured as a Christian.

it helps you remember how God's worked in your life

This sorta relates to the last point, but I included it separately because I thought it was important. We can look back in our journal, and remember how good God is. Remember all the blessings he's given us. Remember how He got us through that rough spot in our walk.



So, with that being said, how do you start a spiritual journal?

The good news it, it's not hard. All you need is an empty notebook and a pen.

The bad news is, it does take up some time. But it's worth it. Take the time to record your thoughts to God. Talk to Him. Tell Him what you're struggling with. You don't even have to do it every day! Just shoot for two or three times a week to start.


Do you keep a spiritual journal? What do you think of my points?

~ Jonathan


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28 comments:

  1. This was really good. So I usually keep thing to myself and write. So this journaling idea is really good for me cause I do better writing things out..... That the introvert in me. Like even in my Bible I draw little things, write tons of notes, and other stuff.

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    1. Thanks, Hannah! :) Ah I see. I like to write in my Bible also.

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  2. I do a sort of "Faith Journal". I write down what Bible books/verses I read that day, if have thoughts, prayers, or anything related, I write that down in it :)

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  3. Eep.
    Seriously.
    Eep.(!)
    Thank you for writing this!
    I love faith posts like this one because they *seriously* encourage and inspire me.
    One, because it's what I'm passionate about (if you couldn't tell), and two, because it makes me so happy to know that there are others that do this too.
    I was starting to get discouraged with my spiritual (prayer) journaling; since I do it every day, it often becomes rote or mundane. But the more I pray/write, the more I want to pray/write. It makes other things in my life pale in comparison. And I love love love that feeling.
    Thank you, again, for writing this. I agree with it all! Especially the part about getting things off of your chest, and learning to rely on God for everything - that's helped me a ton (whereas simply telling other people wouldn't necessarily help me).

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    1. Aw no problem! :)
      See I don't do mine *quite* every day, normally closer to every other day. I would totally agree with that though!
      Ah I totally get what you mean. :D

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  4. Great post! I don't keep one, but I might start thinking about it... Btw, LOVE the new blog design! Very nice! ~Grace

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    1. It's a great thing to be thinking about! :) :) Thanks! I decided on something more professional.

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    2. Well you got the look! I like how clean and organized it is! ~Grace

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  5. I actually DO keep a journal that I dedicated to my more serious thoughts. As I was reading through the "qualifications" of your spiritual journal, I definitely saw parallels, so I'm going to go ahead and say that I have one.
    I tend to ALWAYS write to an audience. Even when I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who's ever going to read it (yes, some of my writing IS THAT BAD). Being a very talkative person, I usually have NO trouble rushing prayers, but there are times when I feel I should really take more time with God. Maybe dedicating some of those 100 words I'm supposed to be writing each day to my Lord would be hitting two birds with one stone if I can use that expression.

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    1. XD Good for you! :) That can definitely count.
      OKAY SAME. (at least when it comes to journaling XD)Hmm really? I'm more talkative also, but I still have a tendency to rush prayers. (I also have a pretty short attention span though so that's probably why... XD)

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  6. Great post, Jonathan! I've been toying with the idea of keeping a prayer journal kind of thing for a long time. I pray in my head and my brain is always going a mile a minute so it's really, really easy to become distracted for me, my mind is prone to wandering. :P
    Thanks for the encouragement to do something I know I should be doing, lol!

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    1. I feel you, Emily. XD I have the same problem.
      No problem! :)

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  7. Awesome post! I started a journal like that a while ago, and now it's become habit for me to use it daily. I'm not very good with talking, and praying was always difficult for me because of that (I know, I know, the whole no pressure thing, BUT I STILL FELT PRESSURE TO BE AN ELOQUENT BUTTERFLY). It's also really cool to be able to look back on past journals (I'm on my 11th right now XD) and see the progress, what was important to me at the time, and what I was praying for.

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    1. Nice! Getting in the habit is really good. (XD I totally get what you mean. :D) Wow! That sounds awesome. :)

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  8. Hey, Jonathan!

    First of all, just wanted to drop by and say thank you for the follow earlier! I truly appreciate it, and I've returned the favor. :)

    You make some very excellent points about the benefits of such a journal! I'm not super religious myself, though I do believe in God, but I keep a "daily" (more like monthly lol..) journal of things that I want to share about what's happening in my life. Not a diary kind of thing - just something I can look back on when I'm older and say, "Hey! I remember that!"

    Journals, of any sort, are amazing little things. They really are. Simple, easy (relatively!), and they can last for, as well as bring back, a lifetime.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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    1. No problem! I read some of your blog and I really enjoyed your poetry. :)

      Thanks! Ah okay I see. Yeah consistency can be a struggle sometimes!

      Exactly. :)

      No problem! Thanks for stopping by! :D

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  9. Great post! I actually started a spiritual journal (I call it a prayer journal) on the recommendation of my sisters because I am a very extroverted person, so I love to talk, and I think things through best by talking to someone. So I started a journal in hopes to 'let off steam' so to speak (and not chew my sisters' ears off, haha) but it didn't last very long. Maybe I should pick it up again. . . :) Thanks for writing Jonathan! God bless! :)

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    1. Ah yeah I'm extroverted also. :) Hmmm maybe if you tried focusing more on talking to God, instead of 'letting of steam' as you say. (Although letting of steam definitely has its legitimate place. XD) You could give it a try for a week or two, see how it goes. :)

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  10. SOMEONE WHO GETS IT!!! XD Yes, I have a terrible time with my mind wandering when I'm praying. I'd kept a journal before -- recording what books of the Bible I'm reading and that sort of thing -- but recently I've started writing down my prayers as well. It helps sooooo much. :)

    Great post; I really enjoyed it! :D

    (Also, I'm totally squealing over this blog design. XD)

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    1. Right? It's just so easy to get distracted. Writing it down is soo much easier. :)

      Thanks, Faith!

      (Why thank you. :D )

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  11. using a prayer journal has been such a help to me gah. it's so much easier to focus on praying for longer periods of time! I have a separate journal for devotions, and, obviously that's helpful too. xD it definitely takes some extra time investment, but it's so worth it. can't wait to go back and look at some of my old journals in the future, too!
    ps thanks for the comment/follow!!!!!

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    1. Exactly! It does take some time, but it's totally worth it.
      sure no problem! thanks for commenting. :)

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  12. "stalk me here also"
    HAHAHAHAHA
    definitely did not notice that while stalking you
    ..

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  13. Hi, Jonathan! I really like the idea of having a spiritual journal. I never thought of that before. I think I'm going to try it. It just might help, especially since I tend to get distracted to.

    I've been stalking you since March. I didn't know what to expected from a guy blogger, but fortunately, you had just posted your Get to Know Me Tag. I thought, "Well, this is convenient." I was so glad to find out that you're a Christian (I am to, if you haven't already figured that out). Sadly, I don't know many Christians around my age. *whispers* You may be happy (or not) to know that you are now my second favorite blogger. Sorry, but my best friend has a blog and hers is my favorite. But don't worry, you're really close.

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    1. Hey there, Karyssa! Nice to meet you. :) Aw well thanks! I'm glad you enjoy my blog, even if it's not your favorite. :P (However if my best friend had a blog theirs would be my favorite also. XD)

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    2. I want you to know that it's not just because she's my best friend. She is a really talented writer. She let me read one of her books (I don't know which draft it was) and I really liked it. If I had to choose a favorite book, it would be that one. You're writing is actually a lot like hers though, she just uses a lot of similes and metaphors.

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