How to Start a Devotional Journal
A devotional journal is a great way to reflect on God’s Word, focus on what God is teaching you, and track the progress you are making in your spiritual journey.
There are many ways to write a devotional journal: in a book with lined paper, on a notepad, or even on your computer. This journal is between you and God, so make it your own. There is no right or wrong way to reflect! The most important thing is to keep up with it. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Write down Bible verses or phrases that stick out to you
Whether you choose to read Scripture or a daily devotional (such as Today), find words that capture your attention and write them down. This will help keep the words fresh in your mind, and when you look back in your journal, you will be reminded of the words that meant something special to you. Read a passage through once and then go back through to find the phrases you connect with, or write down phrases as you read. Choose whichever approach works best for you. Whatever reminds you of God’s teachings is the best way.
Reflect, write, and apply
Take the time to sit and think about what you’ve read. What did you learn? What is God trying to say through this devotional or Scripture? Capture the lesson by writing it in your journal. Further reflect on the lesson and how it applies to your life. What happened recently that relates to what you just read? Does anything stick out to you? How can you apply this lesson in your life? These are all important questions to explore. Write down any other questions you have. You can talk about them with someone else later or reflect on the questions further by writing.
Write a prayer
After you reflect, take time to pray. You can write the prayer in your journal or pray silently. Either way, we know that God hears our prayers. Prayer is something we strive to have in our daily lives. Making prayer part of your devotional journal will remind you of God’s faithfulness in answered, or unanswered, prayers. Writing out prayers gives you the opportunity to look back and see how God has been working in your life.
Set spiritual goals
Many people enjoy setting personal goals, so why not set spiritual goals? Start with something small, like making a devotional journal part of your daily routine. Try setting long term spiritual goals and keep track of your progress. Here are a few examples:
Read through the Bible in one year
Do an in-depth Bible study
You may use these goals, add to list, or come up with your own. We do not know all that God has planned for us, so be prepared to reevaluate or change your goals depending on what God is doing in your life.
If you have been given the gift of creativity, think outside of the box with your journal! There is no limit to what you can do. If drawing, instead of writing, helps you make sense of what you are reading, then use your artistic gift. Doodle or illustrate verses, words, or phrases that resonate with you. Reflect on what you create and think about what God is teaching you. If this idea appeals to you, consider buying a journaling Bible. They are created with wide margins for drawing, doodling, creating, and reflecting. LifeWay offers many styles and has a free PDF to help you get started if you are new to Bible journaling.
Keep up with it
It is important that you make your devotional journaling part of your routine. If daily journaling seems like too much for you, try starting with weekly or monthly journaling. Feel free to adjust your journaling goals and stay focused on your progress.
Be creative and make your devotional journal your own. Take time to reflect on God’s teaching and be sure to apply it to your life. Look back at your journal regularly and give thanks for how God has been faithful in your life.
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