Is there a right way to journal?
I have been journaling for years. Until recently, I had always kept two separate journals–one for bible study and one for prayer.
When the pandemic began, I started journaling in a new way.
Now, instead of maintaining two different journals, I have combined them. Journaling in this new way has been so enjoyable that I plan to continue doing it this way from now on. This journaling process has been extremely helpful and I want to share this five-step journaling method with you.
1. Date Your Journal Entry
Dating our journal entries helps us to remember what point of time in our lives we were going through certain seasons. I have looked back over my past entries and read prayer requests only to discover that I prayed for the very thing that’s happening right now. It’s wonderful seeing God work.
2. Pour Out Your Thoughts
Before I dig into the scripture, I write down anything on my mind. These things may include recent events, praises, answers to prayers, things I’m thankful for, and my struggles. There’s no right or wrong way to write in this section. Write what’s in your heart and on your mind.
Tip: If I’m struggling to write something down, I make a list of things I’m thankful for–it helps to start the journaling process. And don’t worry about writing too much or too little. Some days I will fill a couple of pages, and other days I only write out a couple of lines.
3. Write Your Selected Bible Passage
First, you’ll have to decide what to study. You can choose to go through a book of the Bible, do a character study, or topical study.
If you aren’t sure what to read, the Psalms are an excellent place to start. When I began journaling in this new way, I decided to go through the book of Psalms. Sometimes I would read one Psalm, and some days I read two. Move at your own pace and do what works for you.
Don’t forget to write down your selected bible passage for each journal entry to know what you were studying if you go back and look over it later.
4. Bible Study & Reflection
I like to pray and ask God to prepare my heart to receive what he wants to teach me through his word, and I encourage you to do the same. Read your selected passage and write down what God teaches you through his word. Also, write out any verses that stand out to you.
5. Closing Prayer
Thank and praise God for his word and everything that you learned. If God revealed anything you need to confess, I encourage you to go ahead and do that here as well.
To answer my question, there is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. I recommend trying different ones until you find one that works for you. If you would like to try this form of journaling, I have created a printable template for you to follow. You can use the template sheet itself or jot down the steps down in a separate journaling notebook if that works better for you.