For those of you who have a desire to start journaling here is a simple how-to start up summary.
1. Go to an office supply store and purchase a hard bound booklet to use for a journal. There are many types to choose from including professional, composition and journal notebooks.
2. On the inside title page write your name and contact info in case you lose it. You might also want to write something like “Private journal of . . . . . for God’s eyes only!” I add “Please do not breach the privacy of my relationship with the Lord by reading these pages.”
3. Find a comfortable, quiet place where you can meet regularly with the Lord and sit down with your journal.
4. Turn to the first blank page and at the top write the current date.
5. Record the scripture references (book, chapter and verses) that you are reading for the day at the top of your entry. (For scripture reading plans see my blog entry Devotional Website Favorites for reading plan ideas.)
6. After you have read the passage(s) write any reflections, insights or directions from the Lord gained from your reading.
7. Write out a brief prayer of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and/or Supplication (requests). This is the ACTS method. The prayer can be related to the reading or just something that is heavy upon your heart.
That’s it – your on your way.
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST YOU MIGHT WANT TO RECORD.
1. Record words of encouragement, things other people have said that seem to have come from the Lord for you.
2. You might want to note your location if you are not at home.
3. Add any diary type entries as to significant events of the day.
4. You can keep track of your physical exercise here as well. That is something I do, in terms of mileage run or other types of workouts.
5. Add whatever you deem worth noting.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS TO AID YOUR PRAYER – these are things I do. Turning to the end of the journal and working from back to front I add the following.
1. On the last page I start an index (one entry per line) to record the date and reference to significant journal entries I have made. That way it is easy for me to look up key entries from the past.
2. On the second page from the back of the journal I create a prayer list of significant people in my life who I want to insure I pray for regularly. This list includes a separate section of those who do not yet know the Lord. I use these lists several times a week during my prayer time.
3. Finally, on the first full 2 page spread moving forward from the back I start a specific prayer request section. On the left page panel I write at the top “Prayer Requests” and on the right page panel at the top I write “Answers to Prayer.” The way I use this section is, using one line per prayer request, to write specific things, people, concerns etc. I am committed to praying about. As an entry on the left panel I write the date and a short description of my prayer. I refer to this list nearly every day during my prayer time and keep praying through all the entries until I get an answer. When the answer comes, and it always does, then on the right panel across from my request I write the date and a brief description and praise for the answer.
With your journaling from the front and listing of prayer requests working from the back, your journal will be full when the two meet. Usually it takes a year or more for me to fill up a journal before starting a new one. Check out this simple How to Video.
For those already journalling, I would be interested in any tips you might have and things you’ve found that work well for you?