What’s Inside: Spiritual Benefits of Journaling for Christians
Peruse any bookstore or box store and you’ll find a great assortment of journals for sale. And it’s no wonder. Journaling has become a super popular hobby. This global phenomenon has taken the world by storm. Women all over the world sit down at their favorite journaling haven, whether in their favorite chair at home or in their coffee shop, grab their favorite pen and pour their heart out on paper.
Many will herald the benefits of journaling, but as a Christian, I do believe that there are many spiritual benefits of journaling that can help you grow in your faith with God.
Many journalers will tout the benefits of journaling from a mystical viewpoint, but this article is from a Christian viewpoint.
I’ve always been a journaler. I love to plan and write down my thoughts on paper. But it hasn’t been till most recently that journaling has taken a turn for me in that it’s becoming less of an ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’ endeavor, and has become more of a spiritual practice in helping me grow in the Lord.
Journaling has quickly become a regular part of my daily quiet time. I’ll be the first to say that journaling should never take the place of a regular quiet time that consists of Bible reading and prayer time with the Lord. There’s nothing that can substitute that. But I have found that journaling can supplement your quiet time with God with many benefits.
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The Life of David in Song and Poetry
Even though the Bible doesn’t tell us to journal, we can observe a form of journaling in the Bible. David was a journaler of song and poetry when he penned the words of the many Psalms that he wrote.
Those God inspired words live on today as a refuge and harbor of words penned to God in times of trial, hardship and praise during his life as a man after God’s own heart.
I want to have a heart like David!
Those words that David penned still live on and inspire us with hope and praise in our modern day world.
We’ve poured our hearts out in praise with our lips.
We’ve prayed with the spoken word flowing freely from our mouths.
We’ve allowed the words of God to flow across the pages of the Bible and into our hearts and mind
We’ve sang our praise to God in church and in our homes.
Now there is another type of praise, prayer, dreams and hopes- being spoken by pen as we pour out our own thoughts before the Lord.
Related: How to Start a Prayer Journal
Tips for Successful Spiritual Journaling
- Before we get started, let me give you some easy tips on how to be successful in your spiritual journaling:
- Keep your expectations realistic
- Push through. Pushing through your mistakes is a great way to overcome perfectionism. Don’t buy a new journal until you finish the one you have.
- Don’t let a blank page intimidate you- The first time you journal might be awkward as you look at a blank page. Take that first step and it will become more of a habit. You only need a bit of journaling practice
- Schedule journaling time into your day and try to write first thing in the morning.
- Confide in your journal like you would your best friend (Remember Anne Frank?)
- Always hold your goals, dreams and desires up to the light of God’s word god’s word
- Accept that your journaling can be messy.
- Get a journaling partner/acountability partner where you can share your journalings with one another.
Do include your prayer requests, bible study notes, spiritual life updates, gratitude journaling, negative emotions and physical health in your personal journal.
Are you willing to learn some of the best ways your life can benefit from this powerful tool called journaling?
Grab your favorite pen, your favorite journal, notebook and your favorite cup of something and pull up a chair.
Just start journaling. make graphic
8 Spiritual Benefits of Journaling
Here are 8 benefits that you can experience from your spiritual journaling:
Journaling Helps you Maintain Godly Goals
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Your faith journal is the perfect place to write down all of your short and long term spiritual goals. It’s important to take those godly goals and line them up with the word of God. Keep a running list and take them before the Lord in prayer, asking God if it is His will to embark upon them. . In time, you will have the marvelous opportunity to look back on your old journals and see how God help you set goals that were pleasing to Him.
Journaling Helps you Track progress and growth
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. – 2 Peter 3:18
Sweet Sister, how are you doing in your prayer life and your Bible reading? Are you struggling in overcoming certain temptations and works of the flesh? Is your life marked by a desire to please God and walk in truth as identified by the spiritual disciplines of the fruit of the Spirit?
These are questions that we can ask ourselves so we can track our progress in growth in God’s grace.
Tracking our progress and growth should never become a law where we condemn ourselves if we fall short. We must take care to keep our progress and growth sprinkled with god’s grace. Journaling can give you hands on evidence of your yielding and leaning on God- it’s not in yourself, but in God’s Spirit working through you. Journaling is also a powerful way to help you see your personal victories.
Seeing how far you have come overtime is very uplifting and oftentimes snowballs into more growth. You can go back and read over your progress and reflect on how you have grown to be dependent upon the Lord.
Journaling is an amazing way to help you track your spiritual development progress and growth.
One way to track your faith goals is to use trackers that you can make or purchase. At left you can see an example of how you can track your daily prayer. There are all sorts of trackers you can buy or make yourself. I made this one with the hearts.
Removes Distractions so you can Focus on God
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways -Psalm 119:15
Your brain is a daily repository of overwhelming tasks and to do lists that compete with your need to daily focus on Jesus. Have you ever heard of a brain dump? A brain dump is simply writing down a list of everything that you need to remember and helps you to be able to focus on what is important- time with God. Your brain dump list doesn’t have to be pretty. It’s simply functional. Just scribble it all out and get those things out of your mind so you can allow your heart and soul to take rest. We all need to find a place away to sit with God.
Journaling Helps you Evaluate Your Spiritual Priorities
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Is your life spinning out of control because everything is at the tippy top of your to do list? Sister, that will wear you out FAST! If you need to be more productive with your day, try journaling your daily routine and see where your time is being spent. After observing your schedule, you can revamp your daily routine and make sure you include the most important things first. You might find yourself realizing that things you do daily aren’t really important to your spiritual growth . That’s okay. It’s all a part of the process.
Can I be frank here? I see many Christian women say that they don’t have time to read their Bible or pray but they have time to scroll mindlessly on Facebook. Social media is NOT the issue. The issue is the priority put on those things that are important to us.
Journaling your spiritual priorities can be done on a regular basis as things shift for you and move to the top or the bottom of your list. Always put God in the top of your priorities.
Journaling Improves Communication with God
It can be difficult to express the words that we are feeling when we can’t even describe them ourselves. With pen and paper in hand, it gives you time to ruminate, write down word clusters, write down your feelings and give unhurried words to your thoughts. The act of writing can help improve communication skills with the Lord
Beth Jacobs, a clinical psychologist says that it’s helpful to describe your emotions as if they were tangible.
If you are feeling angry, instead of writing that you feel angry try using these prompts instead:
If feeling was a color, it would be…
If feeling was weather, it would be…
If feeling was a landscape, it would be…
If this feeling was music, it would sound like…
If this feeling was an object, it would be…
When you express your feelings in pictures it will be easier to explain what you are trying to say.
Faith Journaling Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Going through a hard time? When we constantly focus on our problems it can be detrimental to our spiritual and mental health. Writing down your prayers, notes, and journalings help you to give those things to God and helps you to replace those issues with solutions from God’s word.
When your daily thoughts are out on paper, you can begin to notice patterns that help you find a solution. The habit of journaling can be therapeutic in difficult times.
Journaling is a Creative Outlet for your Mind
Not everyone has the talent for making beautiful works of art on the pages of your journal. It’s important to not compare your spiritual journey to anyone else’s. Your journal is a compiliation of you and your experiences. If you are fulfilled in your creative expression of journaling, that is all that matters.
Your journaling can be prayers, prayers in doodling, prayers in art, Scriptures brought to life in poetry or art… the sky is the limit. Maybe you prefer to use a journaling prompt every day. Those things are all wonderful. Get creative and have fun.
As you can see, there are many great reasons you should start journaling. If nothing else, it gives you a place to put down your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and dreams. The more you do it, the more you still start to reap the benefits of your writing habit.
Faith Journaling Helps you to Slow Down and Be Still
Have you ever longed for a more simpler time where the Holy Spirit was able to speak to your soul. Digital mediums are in every single part of our lives and it’s easy to quash out simpler times where we could just be still before the Lord and make journaling a daily practice that helps us embrace the healing process as we foster our journaling habit.
Are you ready to reap the spiritual benefits of journaling as you practice reflective journaling with the help of God’s grace?
I’m excited to see what God does in your faith life as you lean into the spiritual benefits of journaling!