A spiritual journal is a means of recording the events of one’s journey towards the God. This is an alternative to sacred silence and meditation. The practice of spiritual journaling is only second to reading the Bible when it comes to practices that have changed my life. For the past 15 years I have been keeping a spiritual journal. I started with spiritual journaling while I was undergoing a tumultuous emotional period.
Spiritual Journaling was very effective in helping me work through my pain. This still and quiet practice made me hear God’s comforting voice. I was further encouraged to nurture my immortal soul and pay attention to my feelings in a more detailed manner. This method helped me to be real with myself. It also helped unlock the hidden treasures & desires of my heart, thus ushering me onto the journey through self-discovery.
For Christians, spiritual journaling can be a rewarding and meaningful experience. It is not necessarily a diary or a chronological record of the events of one’s day. This journal contains perceptions, reflections, thoughts that occur in daily life. It also contains articles, objects, and stories. All these are helpful to the person in achieving mental, physical, and spiritual transformations. A spiritual journal contains the heart and soul’s keepsakes.
In my opinion, spiritual journaling must be done after meditation. It is important for us to become relaxed and still because this gives us the right setting to hear from the Lord. While meditating, you should keep your journal near at hand. You can then record visions, inspiration, or any answers that God has given you during meditation.
In my own practice, I use a journal to record the insights gained from reading the Holy Bible and some spiritual books. I write scripture passages that touch my heart and I meditate on them as well. So many ideas (and blessings) await Christians who are ready to engage in meditation. You may also keep a prayer log.
Setting up a spiritual journal is rather easy. First of all, you need to buy a large notebook. If you prefer, you can buy a fancy journal from the bookstore. What you need to do first is list your governing values at the first few pages. That’s what I did. This helps me remember them and keep them at the forefront of my mind. In the next lesson I will be discussing values.
It is also useful if you create a Table of Contents and to organize the journal such that the left side of the page consists of date and topic while the right side of the page has the page number. This is a good way to keep track. On several pages I devoted a section for Prayer Requests. Here, I write the title & date on the left side of the date and on the right side I write the request. Several pages into the journal, I write Answered Prayers on the very top of the page. This section is dedicated to writing and dating answered prayers.
Each journal entry must be given a title & date. The first entry must be tagged as the first page. As soon as you are finished with an entry, update the Table of Contents and write down the date, title & page number.
This journal will serve as a sacred letter between you and your thoughts and the Lord, our God. Make sure you have a safe place to keep your journal so that you will be able to reveal your truest feelings. If you do not feel secure you won’t be able to write down the real desires of your hearts or your deepest thoughts. You have to keep this up with every entry afterwards. With such a system in place, you will not have difficulty looking for entries later.
Writing Entries on Your Spiritual Journal
There’s no pressure on you to write an entry every single day. But it will be good to try to write so that you can regain momentum. When you are meditating every day, you should also develop the habit of ending your devotional time with spiritual journaling. Just write about whatever comes in mind and don’t worry about grammatical rules.
If you want to know more about spiritual journaling, check the book “Spiritual Journaling: Recording Your Journey Towards God” by Richard Pearce.