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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I Want You To Grow Spiritually 12: Start Journaling

Start journaling -- with both hands.

People use journals for spiritual purposes in a variety of ways. Some record their thoughts and experiences about God and spiritual matters. Some record passages of Scripture that are meaningful to them and some commentary about that. Others just make observations and commentary about their life, existence, etc.

Personally I use a journal for praying. I write out my prayers to God and also record what I hear God saying to me. For me, this is an intensely spiritual experience as it helps me focus all my attention on God and keeps me from being distracted by other things. I find it so difficult to sit quietly in solitude and pray. Journaling helps me focus on God no matter where I am.

What has also been helpful is that I have several years worth of journals now. It gives me perspective on my prayers. I can see answered prayers but I can also see where I have struggled with the same issues for years, motivating me to pray more and/or try a new approach in searching for solutions and answers.

Try writing out your prayers, asking questions with your dominant hand and write out answers with your opposite hand. Or trying writing out your prayers with your non-dominant hand. Using your non-dominant hand engages a different side/part of your brain.

Try journaling as a new way to connect with God.

This is part 12 in a 20 part series on spiritual growth. If you feel like you are not growing deeper in your faith or relationship to God, if you are not loving and serving others more, if you have a sense of 'stuckness' in your spiritual journey, and you really want to grow ——— the answer might not be to try harder. All too often I have heard the same solutions offered over and over — 'All you have to do is have daily devotions, pray more, read more of the Bible, be in worship every week and get more involved in the church.' In other words try harder.

Sometimes that doesn't work and I'm going to offer some suggestions that might help you move forward.

Previous Installments:
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 1: Give Up Daily Devotions
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 2: See A Counselor
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 3: Spiritual Direction
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 4: Get A New Church
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 5: Go On Retreat
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 6: Fight A Spiritual Battle & Win
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 7: Take A Seminary or College Class
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 8: Take Communion Weekly
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 10: Observe The Daily Office & Church Year
I Want You To Grow Spiritually 11: Get Tough on Sin

Note: Part 9 isn't published yet. I'll get to it eventually.

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