• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Prayer Journaling

When life makes sense, it becomes a journey, a spiritual adventure.  Writing down the adventure as it happens gives us a feel for our place in the story God is weaving in our lives.  Journaling helps us to become aware of the journey.”  Journaling is not one of my strengths or common practices, but I recognize the benefit of processing life from time to time through journaling as Paul Miller describes in the quote above.

What was new to me in this chapter, though, was Paul Miller’s insight that prayer journaling provides a means to ‘become aware of self on the journey.’  It is an avenue to self-awareness. 

Here’s how he puts it: “The modern quest for self-fulfillment is a secularized version of Christianity’s discovery of the self.  Without the Shepherd guiding us to see our true selves in relationship to him, we can lose our way and become obsessed with self. Instead of seeing our bent toward evil, we can become increasingly touchy, supersensitive to self but insensitive to others.  We no longer see ourselves clearly.  The spiritual pilgrimage is the opposite.  The discovery of self in relationship to God leads to a lifestyle of repentance.”  So, a prayer journal could serve as an opportunity not just to process life, but to become more aware of how I am interacting with and ‘being received’ by others.

Two questions can guide this process:

  • “How am I doing?  What is coming at me?  Am I happy, sad, thankful, discouraged, angry, frustrated?”
  • “What is God saying to me?  What does the Word say to me?”

 Writing down our reflections to these questions can help better discern what God is teaching us. 

What’s been your experience with ‘prayer journaling’?

2 Responses

  1. These two questions used for guidance at the end are helpful. They remind me of two I use at the end of each day: 1) who or what am I most grateful for today and 2) who or what am I least grateful for today? Paying attention to the honest answers has helped me reflect on my day and to lift thanksgiving to the Lord along with my petitions expressing my need for help!

    I think prayer journaling is an effective exercise, and I have really enjoyed doing it on a half or full day retreat. Highly recommended!

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