A guide to Journaling

October 2, 2007

Journaling

26 February 2007

By Samuel

 

Journaling is writing down or typing a variety of things, from prayers to revelations and everything in-between.  If you type be sure to have back up copies of your work.  It is something that has really blessed me in my walk with God. 

It started out with me just writing my prayers on a piece of paper, it then developed to writing in special prayer notebooks and then it went to writing anything and everything into notebooks.  I would right down any question, I would later check it out.  I would write down things that happened to me, any vision, dream or revelation I had.  I would write any message God gave me or wanted me to give to someone and even just random thoughts or subjects I wanted to know more about.  I know how it gets for me and I am sure you may be the same way; I get busy or I forget things quick. 

So, I picked up journaling, it really helps in many ways.  It helps you to learn the word as God gives you revelations and you will always have it to look at later and study.  Many times when you go back and reread them God shows you something else that you didn’t see before or He will take a few different things He gave you and combine it to one! 

Journaling your prayers are so awesome, because it causes your prayers to become more intimate with God!  When you journal your prayers, you concentrate more on what you say, you don’t repeat stuff, it is able to keep you awake when you are tired, it helps you to go back and see how God has answered the prayers and thus it builds your faith!    Plus, you can write by the prayers the date they came to pass. 

Journaling your prayers can lead you to strategic prayers, you don’t just say things aimlessly, and you write/pray specific things.  This helps you when you pray, to develop into an actual prayer, from the average…hallelujah, thank you Jesus…Glory…Your will be done…Oh God…ummmmmmm… yes Lord…I hear you Lord…My Lord…Touch and many other words that we use that are simply meaningless word that sound good!   Those aren’t prayers, they are just words!  We must be specific and so that is why when you write them it causes your mind to focus in on what you are doing. 

You can write how you feel, like you would in a journal, but instead of staying dear journal and talking to something that cant speak back, you would be talking to God; and He both talks back and listens to your prayers. 

Your Prayer may be short few sentences or long and take up many pages.  It depends on you and what you have time to do.

If while you are writing and things keep coming to your mind and are distractive, write them down somewhere else, you want them out of your view.  Once you have written them down they will not come back to your mind again, your subconscious lets it go and you will be able to pray more efficiently.  Those things you have written down should not just be dismissed as your own thoughts, sometimes God will speak to you these things so that you will not forget them or that you can do something about them, at a later time, you will be able to look at these things later and deal with them with a clear mind. 

As you develop this style of praying you may “see”, “feel” or “believe” that God is speaking to you, YOU ARE CORRECT!!!  Don’t ever doubt that God is talking to you!  He is talking to everyone that will listen. 

What is prayer?  It is communication with God.  Communication works like this; you pick up your telephone and call a friend.  They may answer the phone with, “Hi!”, “What’s up?” or any other words to acknowledge the answering of the phone.  That’s when you give a reply and usually open up the conversation and lead it into the reason you called them.  Both people; you and your friend are speaking or listening.  That is communication, listening and speaking when it is appropriate.  It would not be communication if you start speaking and never give you friend a chance to speak before you hang up the phone. 

That is what many of us do to God, we call Him up and tell Him what we want and hang up the phone.  We don’t wait or even give Him a chance to reply.  We never had real communication with Him, otherwise we may have heard Him say, I don’t want you to do that, I have something better for you to do.  That is why there are so many discouraged in the Body of Christ, they aren’t hearing from God.  They are talking but not giving God an opportunity to talk back.  So, in your journaled prayers expect God to speak back to you and instead of just listening to Him, write what you hear Him speaking to you. 

A question that may come to mind is…How do I know if I am hearing Him?  Well, that can be decided as you listen to what you hear.  You will hear three different people speaking and you must discern who is speaking.  Most times these voices sound just like the thoughts in our head and that is the reason so many believe they are not hearing from God!  They don’t listen to what is being said. 

The three different people that you will hear are; God, the devil and you.  You can tell which is which most times as you listen and discern what is being said.  God will never speak outside of the Word of God, by that I mean, He will not say one thing that contradicts His Word!  He will not say it is ok to do something that goes against His commandments.  God will either answer your prayer, give you something else to pray about or give you direction.  Please don’t limit God when it comes to hearing what He will say.  Sometimes He may tell us things about us that He wants us to change, or even He may tell us to stop doing something or even to go on a fast about it.  There are no limits to what He can say, within the Word of God!  Obviously, as He is talking to you it will differ from what He told someone else in the Bible as far as exact words and situations, but the principles will be the same.  God does speak and if you are seeking Him, He will be found and definitely heard.

The other voice which will be most predominate, is your own.  You have many thoughts that run through your mind and if you are living holy when you hear yourself it is sometimes hard to differentiate who it is you or God.  But as you listen it will most often reveal who it is.  You hear your questions, your desired answers, your desires of your heart, you’re replaying of events that have happened, and you’re recalling of things you have heard and you many times were not paying to close of attention to what you heard and when it became quiet it brought back what you heard.  The things you hear will deal with many different things because this is you communicating with yourself.  Our brain reminds us of things we were supposed to do, or it reminds us of up and coming events.  The brain helps us out and it does this the best when it is quiet and there are no distractions around.  So, during these times you will hear your thoughts and concerns, these are what we also write down to alleviate our mind from constantly bringing it to our attention to keep us from forgetting completely.  You must know what you think and say to yourself when using discernment.  Does this sound like me?  Do I speak like this on the norm?  Did I already know or hear this?  What was I doing when I heard this?  What is this trying to tell me?  Does it go with the Word of God?  Always ask questions if your not sure, because this will help you to discern who you are hearing. 

And lastly, the devil, he is NOT the one talking to us most times.  He is not like God, Omnipresent; he can only be in one place at a time, though he can move very fast.  Most times you are hearing one of his demons.  They will talk and try to mimic God and even you.  These demons are very deceptive and their sole purpose is to pervert what you hear.  They are there to bring confusion; many times they will bring a similar thought as this, “YOU didn’t really hear God speak, that was just your imagination! Some younger saints and even some older hear, “God is not even real or who are you that God would speak to you?”  When ever someone hears things like this, they can be absolutely sure that it is the devil!  If you ever have those thoughts, I did, tell the devil and his demons this, “If God is not real and He doesn’t speak to me, WHY ARE YOU?”  That demon leaves in a hurry, cause to say one more thing proves he was there and proves God is real.  They don’t like it when that happens.  For me when I hear the devil and his demons, they sound louder than any other voice I hear.  They are obnoxious sounding, they sometimes are really mean sounding, they always saying you can’t, they are always talking you down, they are out to kill your faith!  So, when ever you hear one of the demons speaking, tell them get behind you in Jesus Christ’s name and DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!!!

There are many great books out that can help you when it comes to hearing God speak.  The more you hear God the better you will become at knowing God’s voice and the better you will become at knowing whose voice you are hearing. 

            Once the concept of journaling your prayers and God’s responses has been grasped, you will be free from depending on others in helping you hear from God!  The journaling actually becomes a gift from God that helps us in our daily walk.  Some find it hard to just sit and pray, others don’t like to be silent, but speak out when they pray.  Yet others may not have a problem praying like this, but find their mind wondering whenever something catches their attention.  This is why journaling is so convenient; you can carry your notebook where ever you go.  For some there may be some free time while riding a bus, this is an opportune time, pull out the notebook and begin to write.  Saying your prayers does not just have to be in the night.  To some their notebook becomes their prayer closet, the place they meet God!  It is up to the individual, but the possibilities are the same, journaling your prayers will engage the brain.  You will see so much more than you ever did before, as a result of your faith increase!  Your faith will increase and your prayers will too, you may even find the desire to seek God has too!

             This is just a brief explanation of journaling, many have written entire books about hearing God and writing things down.  The scripture where I find the concept of journaling is in Habakkuk 2:1-4.  Write the vision and make it plain, can it get any simpler than that?  It is God showing Habakkuk that if he will only write, that God will speak.  In verse 1, Habakkuk was saying I will stand my watch; I will pay attention when I pray to see just what the Lord will say.  He even said if the Lord reproved him what would he say?  Habakkuk knew what he hears from God may not always be what he wants to hear, but still he had ears to hear.  He did not just write down the good and leave off the evil or bad things that happened.  Before I end this paragraph I want to say this; you never know who your writing are for.  Some of your writings may be personal and just for you, while others may be for someone else too!  God will use you to reach the world, through whatever gift you render available.  If your gift is writing expect it to be used.  You never really know who you are writing for, IS IT REALLY FOR YOU???

I hope this testimony has been a blessing to you!  Journaling is one of the many things that has blessed me in my walk and has also kept me from saying, “Did I pray or not? Was my prayer really heard?”  With it written I could really see, whether or not Jesus heard me!  I pray to God that this practice will make you and your faith even stronger!!!    Don’t forget it’s all in the name of JESUS CHRIST!!!  God Bless!!!  Samuel

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