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EP 57: Spiritual Journaling (Spiritual Disciplines Series)


Spiritual journaling is a way to slow our lives down and ponder deeply over the events of the day. In my life journaling has helped me to grow spiritually by discerning my thoughts and motives. It has shown me areas where I need to give thanks and praise to the Lord. My journaling time has reminded me of situations or people I need to be in prayer for.

Spiritual journaling is a way to slow our lives down and ponder deeply over the events of the day. Click to Tweet

Journaling is an excellent time for me to see areas of weakness and set spiritual goals and not always just spiritual but in other areas of my life that need some help too. Maybe I need to be better disciplined in my internet habits, my homekeeping, or some of my relationships may need time and attention. This is a good time to evaluate all areas of my life.

God’s Word doesn’t specifically talk about journaling it is a spiritual discipline that many saints over the years have benefitted from and I think of how we have profited from the journals of the saints of the past. I think of the journals like the diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards, George Mueller’s autobiography or Jim Elliot’s journal put together by Elisabeth Elliot. These are treasures we have of how the Lord worked in and through their lives. 

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Show Notes:

“As a Christian, your journal is a place to document the works and ways of God in your life. Your journal also can include an account of daily events, a record of personal relationships, a notebook of insights into Scripture, and a list of prayer requests. Spontaneous devotional thoughts or lengthy theological musings can be preserved there. A journal is one of the best places for charting your progress in the other Spiritual Disciplines and for holding yourself accountable to your goals.” ~Donald Whitney

“The journal can be a mirror in which we see more clearly our attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions. Since we will be held accountable for each of these at the Judgment, evaluating them by any means is wisdom.” ~Edmund S. Morgan

“A spiritual diary will tend to deepen and sanctify the emotional life of a child of God. There is great value to us of becoming more deeply emotional over the great issues of our faith. Our age is not deep enough in feelings. Biblical men are depicted as weeping copious tears, as sighing and groaning, as on occasion rejoicing with ecstasy. They were ravished by the very idea of God. They have a passion for Jesus Christ —His person, offices, names, titles, words, and works. It is our shame to be so cold, unfeeling and unemotional in spite of all that God has done to us and for us in Christ……….The keeping of a diary might help to put us right in this respect also.” ~Maurice Roberts 

“We tend to feel most deeply about what we think most deeply about. By slowing us down and prompting us to think more deeply about the things of God, journaling helps us feel more deeply about them. Writing in a journal provides an opportunity for the intangible grays of mind-work and heart-work to distill clearly into black and white. Then we’re better able to express those thoughts and feelings to the Lord.” ~Donald Whitney

“Journaling is a way of slowing life down for just a few moments, and trying to process at least a sliver of it for the glory of God, our own growth and development, and our enjoyment of the details.” ~David Mathis

Journaling is a way of slowing life down for just a few moments, and trying to process at least a sliver of it for the glory of God, our own growth and development, and our enjoyment of the details Click to Tweet

George Whitefield’s Journal Questions:

Have I,

1. Been fervent in prayer?

2. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might

tend to God’s glory?

3. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?

4. Planned business for the day?

5. Been simple and recollected in everything?

6. Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?

7. Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?

8. Recollected in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?  

9. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?

10. Confessed all sins?

Donald Whitney on the saints of the past – Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield:

“How did men like Edwards and Whitefield become so unusually conformed to the image of Christ? Part of their secret was their use of the Spiritual Discipline of journaling to maintain self-accountability for their spiritual goals and priorities. Before we give all the reasons why we cannot be as godly as they were, let us first try doing what they did.”

Scripture & References:

Psalm 119:15

Psalm 102:18

Psalm 119:27

Psalm 62:8

2 Corinthians 13:5

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus Through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards

The Autobiography of George Mueller by George Mueller

The Journals of Jim Elliot by Jim & Elisabeth Elliot

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

Blog Post on Elisabeth Elliot Journaling

My Favorite Journal

My Favorite Disposable Fountain Pens

Resource of the Week:

Biblical Training  – Current Course I’m listening to is How to Read Your Bible by Greg Guthrie