Need a New Pattern for Your Daily Devotions?

Journaling with God

Ann VoskampI don’t know if this is original to Ann Voskamp but that is where I first ran across this suggested outline for journaling your devotional time.

Thanks Ann. (That’s Ann on the right.)

It has proven helpful and simple and I want to recommend it here as an aid to hearing the word of God in a fresh but honest way. (parenthetical comments in blue are my own.)

I was first exposed to journaling in a conversation with Gordon Klenck, first ever staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ [now Cru]. Gordon and his wife Marcy are still going strong, mentoring others, sharing the gospel and training people to lead small groups. They are a delight.

  1. Read the passage of Scripture. (Always more than a verse, never less than a paragraph)
  2. Listen for the verse God whispers directly to your heart. (The Scripture should always be understood in its context)
  3. Pick up a pen and write the date down in your journal. (Daily habits are life-altering habits.)
  4. Copy out the specific Scripture. (You will be amazed at how much this simple act focuses your thoughts on the meaning of the text. Try giving a new line to each phrase and show dependence by indenting prepositional phrases.)
  5. Now, listening, write a prayer founded in that Scripture. And let it line itself up slowly, word upon word, like a poem, repeating itself if need be, creating patterns, reflecting the gritty details of your life with naked honesty. Look full into the face of God and speak your heart in regards to that verse. Respond to His word to you through prayer …And again—no comparisons regarding the quality of words or concerns of doing it “right”. Your only work in journaling, which is to pray, is simple, honest communion. That is all. Let the words lead you closer. (The important thing is to not try to impress anyone. Be honest with God.)
  6. At the bottom of the page, note one significant event happening in your life currently, general or specific, that ties into this prayer-poem. For example: “As I pray that our children will hear directly from You.” (Praying the words of Scripture back to God will give you confidence in prayer.)

Go and sit in humility under the authority and loving counsel of the word of God and enjoy reading your Bible. May God bless all of your discoveries in His magnificent word.

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