Spiritual Journaling for Lent
Week 2: Spiritual Journaling
Our second spiritual practice is one that I admit I am new to. I have begun to understand how spiritual journaling as a practice can encourage and even improve my other spiritual practices. By keeping a record of prayer or what you did that day it will encourage my accountability because I know that I am going to need to write something and I don’t want it to be, “Well forgot to do …. Again”.
While I wish that was the reason I want to start journaling the real reason is that I am beginning to realize that my kids won’t be young forever and I don’t want to forget the funny and profound things they say. Each night we say our prayers as a family and each boy is asked if they have a prayer they would like to lift up. We had been praying for the people affected by the fires in California and suddenly my youngest wanted to pray for the people of New Jersey! Why? Different reason every night, but for the last several weeks we have prayed for New Jersey. So Garden State, know you are in our prayers-literally.
Accountability and keeping memories are good reasons to journal but ultimately spiritual journaling is about writing down thoughts, memories, feelings as a way to connect with God. We can reflect and put words to what we are experiencing and where God is present in our life. There is an example of spiritual journaling in the bible- The book of Psalms. David and the other authors chose to journal in song and poem to describe what they were going through and where God is or where they needed God. Your journal doesn’t need to be profound or long just an honest reflection.
So how to do it:
· Pick a time of day that you will journal. If you are able to develop a routine around a specific time it is more likely you will continue to journal than just when you feel like it.
· Decide if you are going to write or type it out.
· Find a space you can focus on the journaling and not be distracted.
· Commit to an amount of time. This will both force you to reflect and not give up if nothing comes to you right away as well as a time to end.
Here are some ideas of what to write:
· Use the Examine to get you started. Reflect and journal on the high and the low of the day.
· Begin by reading scripture. Record scripture and any thoughts the scripture brought to you.
· Begin by listing prayers- both joy and concern. After listing offer a short prayer that God will hear your prayers and begin journaling.
· Begin by listing 1 thing you are thankful of.
· Begin with something that happened or said that you want to remember.
There is no correct way to journal. I just found these in my own research on spiritual journaling. I hope these ideas can inspire you to find a way to add spiritual journaling to you Lenten practices.
Pastor Ryan Lynch