Over the years I have come to appreciate the value and power of journaling as a tool to capture thoughts and reflections from my mind after reading a professional journal article or book chapter. Journaling is a valued mindful practice that can reduce stress and anxiety; it can help one manage self and develop a deeper sense of feelings and emotions.
For me, journaling is more powerful when contemplating a Bible reading or story -where contemplation might include delving into the respective back story and cultural context. My early experiences of journaling were based on the SOAP method (Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer), which gave some structure and writing guidance. Journaling helps one become more aware of God’s hand and voice through the people, events and moments in life. It is a time when God’s voice may be heard, and God’s presence sensed.
If journaling might be something personally new, be encouraged in its practice. Start with a prayer asking for and acknowledging God’s presence. Read God’s word. Notice key words, then just write in your journal. Re-read and write some more. When you are finished, close in prayer. Over time, you might notice common themes or words appearing (which is where the powerful part can happen). And trust that God will guide you in the process, the depth of insight shared and increased personal relationship with him.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. Psalm 119:15