Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline + a Giveaway

The new year is finally here, which means resolutions might be on your mind. In lieu of a typical goal like losing 10 pounds, how about adding the practice of journaling to your 2014? Here are a few reasons to put pen to paper.

  1. Leave it all on the page. When I have lots of thoughts dancing around my head, whether it’s a to-do list or how upset I am by the conversation I had earlier with so-and-so, putting what’s in my mind on paper unclutters my brain and frees me to think of other things or, even better, sleep. Giving those thoughts to God can help you sort things out in a way that surpasses your own understanding.

  1. Let your thankfulness flow. If daily thought pouring feels like too much of a commitment, try keeping a gratitude journal. My dear friend Anne Marie sent me one last year, and I loved filling in the blanks each day. The daily deed is simple—write a list of five things you are thankful for. Mine ranged from the hot water in my shower to good conversations to God’s provision and everything in between. When you’re mindful of things you’re grateful for each day, your outlook on life changes dramatically.

  1. Lift up your prayers. Journaling is a great way to pray. The act allows you to quiet yourself and hear from God in a more structured setting. It also helps you stay awake if you’re prone to falling asleep while praying (like me). Maybe you’ll have an epiphany as your pen glides over the page. Or perhaps you’ll look back over the past month and see God speaking to you a bit more clearly. Either way, journaling can provide divine perspective.

  1. Look back. Writing down goals increases your chances of achieving them, so set yours on paper and hold yourself accountable. I like to write down a fun list of things to do (big and small) on my birthday—one goal for each year of my life. Last year’s list included paddle boarding, buying balloons, and being a better listener. Use the documented pages to reflect on how far you’ve come, and keep track of what you’d like to do next.

  1. Let it all hang out. You can truly be yourself on the pages of a journal. Say what’s really on your mind. Go ahead and word vomit all over the page. YELL IN ALL CAPS IF YOU NEED TO. Cover the page with tears if they flow. Dot all your I’s with little hearts if you’re so inclined. No matter what the pages end up saying, God can handle it.

Do you journal? Do you want to? Leave a comment letting us know, and you’ll be entered to win this lovely, handmade leather journal from Etsy!

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 9.25.48 AM
Photo Credit: Etsy

By entering today’s giveaway, you acknowledge LifeWay Christian Resource’s official promotion rulesToday’s giveaway starts at the posting time of this blog and ends next Tuesday (1/7/14) at 11:59 p.m. CST. You must be 18 to enter, and you may only enter once. The winner will be selected at random. For questions about the rules and regulations of this giveaway, please contact Bud Harlan at One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-140.

Larissa Arnault is the Marketing Specialist for LifeWay Women. She spends her days writing copy and managing projects for all things related to the LifeWay Women brand. After hours, you can find her trying new recipes in her prized Le Creuset Dutch oven while listening to French music.


  1. Carol says

    I have a hard time journaling. I am currently doing “Whispers of Hope” by Beth. Hoping by writing my P.R.A.I.S.E – it will assist me.

  2. says

    I have always considered myself the worlds worst journaler ( is that a word?). But, coming to all the women’s conferences over the last years had prodded me to do it even thought writing is not my gift. I always thought it has to be every day and poetic 😉 When I gave up on that and just scribbled my thoughts on whatever days I had, I realized that I was now journaling. I have many little notebooks now and have challenged the ladies in my sphere to do likewise.
    Yes, I would love the journal :)

  3. Pat S. says

    I journal my prayers and have been doing that for years. I am trying to learn to journal more of my thoughts and feelings (without fear of someone seeing them). This journal is beautiful.

  4. says

    I love to journal! In the past 6 months its become a near necessity to my day. I sent journals to friends for holiday gifts. One asked, what am I supposed to do with it? I just sent her this post. Coincidence? I think not! Thanks much Lifeway!

  5. Karen says

    I have started before and then just drift away. I have made
    This my resolution for 2014 to journal. Pray for me as I do this.

  6. Sharon says

    I started journaling many years ago . It has been such a blessing in my prayer life. I love going back over the years just to see how God has answered my prayers according to His gracious will.

  7. says

    I just found a stack of my old journals from junior high/high school. I am SO GLAD to have kept a journal in my formative years. It is such a powerful record of growth and of how the Lord was leading in my life.

  8. Elyssa Carmony says

    A journal would be awesome for me and my recovery from self-harm addiction! It’s supposed to be a great help
    If you journal your triggers, and try to write down positive things throughout the day, and always write down scripture and prayers!

  9. Samantha says

    I love journals! I have so many of them. I recently bought myself a journal for the book, “Love Dare for Parents.” It is exclusively for writing to my kids. Apart from this, I haven’t written in a while. It used to be where I would go to escape. With kids, I just don’t find the time. I would love to pick it back up again and to make it more of a prayer journal. Love the post. Thanks for starting the fire again.

  10. Brandy says

    Writing down my prayers and seeing how god answers them is increasing my faith. Remembering as David did all He has done for me blesses my soul!

  11. Margie Snyder says

    Although not as faithful as I’d like to be about journaling, I am always blessed by the practice of it and most especially by entering in my journal all answered prayer. It helps to remind me, “Great is Thy faithfulness.”

  12. Andrea Runyon says

    I journal once in a blue moon. Usually when I need to get something out of my head. But I was laying in bed last night thinking I need to do it more in 2014. I have lots of people I’m lifting up in prayer and I want to see God’s work as the year progresses. I’m also doing Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore and it has given me so much direction that I want to journal regularly!

  13. Jamie Alexander says

    I have been journaling for about 4 years. I started because I would get distracted when saying my prayers. I am so glad I do because I get so much more out of it then just prayers. I love being able to look back at struggles that I thought I would never make it through and all of Gods gifts to me. Sometimes I have to be disciplined to journal everyday but I always make sure when I am going through a hard time.

  14. Denetta Armstead says

    I’ve journaled for years. I find that once I write down my thoughts of pain, fear, loneliness, dreams, desires, I can move on. I feel like I’m laying it all at the throne and trust God to take care of it all. Very freeing!

  15. Lydia says

    I’ve journaled before but didnt keep it up! I see the importance of it and had made it one of my new resolutios this 2014 to pick it up again and not miss any blessings that stems from journaling! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement! Happy & Blessed New Year!

  16. Denise says

    I am commited to journaling through the bible in my daily reading this year. It’s already been such a blessing! I am looking forward to reviewing my thoughts and prayers at the end of the year. I know I will be amazed at how God is working!

  17. Carissa Pletcher says

    I love journaling…especially my prayers! It keeps me focused and gives me a chance to celebrate God’s goodness, as I reflect on His presence with me in all circumstances and faithfulness to me.

  18. Sandy Bowers says

    Just started “One Word for One Year for a Transformed Forever” journal. You choose one word for the year. Then you write down ANYTHING that you come across that relates to your word: scripture verses, poems, inspirational stories, whatever. Even a paragraph out if this article! I’ve never been good at journaling, so I’m hoping this simple approach will help me focus on what God is putting in my heart this year. My word is “listen”. Would love this cute journal!

  19. Megan Cline says

    I have been a faithful journaler since the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and the Lord reconciled me to himself almost four years ago at the age of 21. I like to look back and reflect on all that the Lord has done in my life and in the lives of those around me. On my journaling journey, I have written about a broken engagement, my unsaved family, lost friendships, new friendships, conferences, two mission trips to Honduras, spiritual valleys, spiritual mountaintops and erverything in between.

    As I just mentioned, I wrote of a broken engagement. I dated the same person throughout high school and college. Both of us were ‘churched’ but not saved. On Good Friday of 2011, I was confronted with my sin. I came to the realization that I was not saved and that if I were to die, I would go to hell. I was grievous over my sin. I began to be convicted of habits, addictions, friendships, and my relationship. I knew I was in a relationship with a nonbeliever. I began to pray for his salvation. In July of that same year, my boyfriend of eight years asked me to marry him. I didn’t know what to do. I began to cry out to the Lord. I prayed for his guidance. I tearfully shared the gospel with my boyfriend. After hearing nothing but rejection after presenting the same message to him numerous times and in numerous ways, the Lord prepared me to end the relationship. I walked away from that relationship knowing that this was what the Lord willed for my life.

    From that time, I began to focus myself completely on my relationship with the Lord. I was incredibly weary of entering into a romantic relationship with anyone. I prayed that if God wanted me to be with someone, He would have to make it incredibly evident to me. I frequently journaled about my love life. Some days were filled with loneliness and fear. Others with thankfulness and gratitude. God shut the door on numerous dinner offers and text messages from potential suitors. Shortly after Thanksgiving of 2012, I re-offered my love life to the Lord. Of course, I knew it was His all along but I offered it up with a completely willing heart. I wrote down my prayer and dated it so I could flip back to it and remember. I felt a wave of peace and calm wash over me. Almost exactly a month later, I met an amazing and godly man. We shared many mutual friends but had never really sat down and had a conversation with one another. He offered to take me to dinner for us to get to know each other a little bit better and after that we began dating at the beginning of February. Through a great deal of prayer, God revealed to me that this was the man I was to be with. We have talked about marriage and hope to be married by the end of this year.

    This beautiful relationship God placed in my life is an undeniable testament to His faithfulness and grace. Thankfully, I journaled all of this. I can look back on those tear-stained entries and see the steadfast love of my Father. The sovereign hand of the Lord is seen on every single page. THIS is why you should journal. Abraham built wells, Isaac dug wells, Jacob set up tents and we have journaling. We journal for the same reason the patriarchs set up their altars and dug their wells, to remember God’s faithfulness in our lives. I hope this served as an encouragement to you to do something you haven’t done before or to continue what you have been doing.

    May you grow closer to the Lord during the year 2014.

    • Surina says

      Thank you for sharing! I’m somewhat new to all things Jesus and to read your journey was beautiful. I was deciding what to do next in my journey with Him and thought that journaling would help because I believe He is speaking to me a lot and I don’t remember half of it. But I want to remember! So, journaling I shall :-)

  20. Tracey says

    I am journaling along with reading the Bible through in a year and it’s already an amazing practice! Helps me concentrate and internalize Gods truths more effectively!

  21. Connie says

    I started journaling when I was in high school ( a long time ago). This has helped me thru some really hard time in my life. When I leave those things on paper that’s where they stay and I move on with my life. I have come to see that this is has made me a stronger Christian woman. My dream it to grow even closer to my Heavenly Father. This would be a perfect journal for my prayer journal.

  22. says

    I have been journaling for a while and I just llve spilling my heart all over the page and seeing how God works His fingerprints all over my heart. Myword this year is “seek” andI feel jounaling is part of the journey God is taking me.

  23. Wendy Downey says

    Although journaling for many years, I have been consistently journaling for the past couple of months – almost daily. What a source of release, prayer, and means of reflection. I write down everything I am learning through my bible studies as well as scripture passages and life lessons / spiritual growth. Always need more journals! LOL

  24. Linda N. says

    Would love to win the journal. I just started Whispers of Hope, as well, in the hope that it will help me develop the discipline of journaling about my time spent with my Lord.

  25. Dotti says

    Any Bible study I am doing I journal it. My prayers go in this journal as well. Writing out my prayers keeps me focused. My mind tends to wander like the dog on that Disney movie “SQUIRREL”! I can also go back and see how much I have grown or how God has answered my prayers.

  26. Becky Adams says

    I would love to journal – just have trouble getting started. Maybe this will be the year of the journal…

  27. Vicki says

    I have tried to journal & never stay with it. I’ve been told that I think too much & that I make things harder than they are. Maybe that is why I have trouble focusing & finding peace. I also put too much faith in people & end up feeling alone & disappointed. Perhaps I need to give journaling another chance & make all of the “overthinking” productive thinking where I can learn to put more faith in God in order to find more peace.

  28. Iris Linkletter says

    I have been writing out the black and the white for way to long, but each time I write it out my spirit man is lighter and freer to seek my Heavenly Father ‘s guidance and wisdom. I am lost when I haven’t journaled for to many days in a row. Some of my journals are filled with my blackest thoughts and some have only lightness and happiness that white light of goodness in them and I feel better and more grounded whether it is a write out the black kind of day or write out the white kind of day. Be blessed.

  29. Adrienne Barrilleaux says

    I just to journal in high school as a way to keep my abuse a secret but still being able to get my feelings out without saying anything things. Five years later and now following Christ, I want to be able to use journaling in a positive.

  30. Jennifer McSparin says

    I’ve been thinking about taking up journaling, partly to start writing my prayers. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who is prone to fall asleep during them!

  31. Carlyn Draeger says

    I started journaling years ago when I was going through a painful period of my life and have continued it. I find that I don’t always write, but when I do I always feel less burdened and more clear in my thinking. I do love to journal my prayers and I have found so much inspiration in looking back over the years and seeing God’s hand in my life. Writing my thoughts down always helps me think through things and see them in a different light. I just use a plain old spiral notebook and in the back part I write my prayers and in the front I write my thoughts. When they meet in the middle it is time to get a new journal! My hope is that someday my family will read some of my writings and be inspired and perhaps changed!

  32. says

    I am an avid journaler. I journal prayers and their answers, questions I have about Scripture and the answers I receivev to those questions. I record thoughts and encounters with God. I write my fears and the outcome of circumstances. I record what God is doing so I don’t forget.

  33. Mary T says

    Larissa, all my life I have been a “note taker”…so it seems only natural to journal my quiet times. I also make lists for almost everything. What I did need to change was my obsession with writing way too much! This is still a work in progress but definitely much improved! Learning to jot down Scripture verses and/or prayers that jump off the page at me . I also record all responses to prayer. Keeps me God-focused!

  34. Janet Worthy says

    I am also using Beth Moore’s Whispers of Hope to begin 2014 with journaling of my prayers and I hope after 10 weeks that habit will grow into even more journaling!

  35. Dianne Walters says

    I have journaled for 30 plus years and love it. I also love reading back over my journals from long ago. I sometimes see answered prayers and sometimes areas where I seem to be stuck. It’s great to see how God has been present and faithful over these years.

  36. Julie Bottger says

    Journaling has been one of the MAJOR tools God has used to grow me and draw me closer to Him. I love writing out scriptures, prayers and praises and then looking back years later to see all that God did during times of grief, waiting or peace. Love that you are giving one away, and it looks like whoever wins will be very thankful! Blessings to you all in 2014!

  37. Tiffany Brown says

    I’ve been journaling for over 20 years. Not everyday, but when I feel I have something important to say or want to remember. I love the tips & hope to be a little more consistent this year.

  38. says

    As odd as it may seem, when I was still working full time I kept a prayer journal almost every day. Since I have retired I have had the hardest time keeping a journal, of any kind. Finally in 2012 I started keeping a gratitude journal and I have managed to keep that for the last two years. This year, my goal is to try again to keep a more thorough journal, prayers and thoughts. My goal is for once a week, though I would like to keep it handy to write thought and prayers as they occur and “update” at least once a week. Thanks for your post and the encouragement I found.

  39. says

    I have always loved to journal, but I haven’t ever been the best at staying on top of it when I get started. I have started journaling again and would LOVE to have an awesome journal like this one. Beautiful!

  40. Cathy U says

    Journaling is something I want to do. I know God is working in my life & in the lives of those I love, but I confess to the “little things” slipping from my memory, lost in the hustle-bustle of daily living. I think if I could develop the habit of journaling, then I could look back & see GOD’s fingerprints everywhere.

  41. Angie Miller says

    I need a new journal because my 10 month old found mine yesterday and chewed it! It’s still writeable, just very slobbery. :)

  42. Bobbie says

    Thank you for this challenge / reminder, it’s exactly what I needed. I have always thought that journaling was a great idea, but I’ve never taken the time to actually do it. However, now I will; and, I will look into the “Whispers of Hope” journal by Beth that others have mentioned – it sounds very interesting.

  43. Elena says

    My daughter naught me a journal for Christmas in 2012. She said it was a blessing journal so I could write blessings every day of 2013. It was a great experience! Would enjoy doing it again for this year. It’s nice to go back and see a blessing every day from the previous year. It puts things in perspective.

  44. says

    Yes I journal almost every day. I have one journal of letters to God, one journal of love and appreciation letters to my husband, and then I also just write my thoughts or struggles down as well. I love writing out my prayers as letters to God. It helps me to see His faithfulness and He definitely speaks to me through my writing. God bless you!

  45. Karen says

    I am struggling with insomnia and after reading this, have decided to start journaling more at night so I can get thoughts/things off my mind. Thanks for idea!

  46. Lisa Rettig says

    I am a sporadic journaler, but I keep trying to keep at it. I find the discipline pays off, if I take the time to do it.

  47. christina moore says

    Yes, I definitely journal and have for half my life at least. The form varies with a mixture of prayers, processing, Bible study thoughts, and gratitude lists. I think it helps, but in the seasons I most need it (hard things or a lot of change) it’s hardest to make time. The giveaway looks beautiful!

  48. Kim Lawson says

    I am a spordic journal writer. I love to write, I always made list for everything and lived my life by my planner, had work and kids activities all in my planner. Now that I am retired and kids are grown I have found that with not having a schedule to keep I do not journal. I would love to journal again in 2014. This beautiful journal would help get my back on track.

  49. Lori says

    Many writers recommend journaling. Many Christians and famous authors throughout history journaled, and aren’t we glad they did! One author recently said that writing out his thoughts and goals helped him find solutions to sticky problems even more easily than talking them out. Another said that he uses a template (a list of questions to answer) every day to combat “blank page syndrome”. I would like to do the same.

  50. Joanie Howerton says

    I honestly don’t journal like I should, it’s up and down but I really want to get started regularly with my next bible study. Something this pretty would be nice to get started in

  51. Susan says

    We have started a Faith Journaling small group and its so much fun to see everyone’s writings, drawings, sketches and doodles.

  52. Bobbi Atkinson says

    I started journaling in 2000. My mother was dying from lung cancer and I as her main care giver I had a lot going on. Journaling was where I left my feelings. It amazes me now as I review my journals to see how God worked in my life at that time. And how he continues to work in my life now.

    • Lynda Carter says

      I love to journal. I love to journal my prayer requests. I love to journal my thoughts and feelings. I have discovered that I journal most when I am going through a time of crisis in my life. I wish I were more consistent the rest of the time. I have trouble in my daily rushed routine to find time to journal, but I feel much more “destressed” when I do.

  53. Shelby says

    I think journaling is a great way to record and reflect on the everyday- to be able to celebrate the good and NOTICE it, even in all the trials of life. Beautiful journal!

  54. Beverly Simmond says

    I have been Journaling for a good number of years
    I find it a great way to check on answered prayers. Life events and most of all to keep my Walk going in the right direction. Thank you for this opportunity.I

  55. Robin Newton says

    I try to journal on my Lap Top…however my husband finds certain things…and I want it to be private….My closet is a mess and he would not find a book….
    `Doing a ministry for poorer women…I take gifts to each one..each week…they work @ a Sonic restaurant…I am inviting them to our Church and witnessing to them…I also witness to the Belk employees…their manager actually thanked me for doing so…So, mine is an outreach program. IH HIS NAME.

  56. Sue Thomas says

    My journal is an extension of myself… a sister I am talking with who always understands! So many times I look back and read something I wrote and I actually am so impressed with what I was thinking and feeling! lol I actually kept a journal during my teen age years and wrote down the day when I met my husband…on August 15th of this year we will have known each other 39 years! This journal has a very special place in my heart! And thats what keeping a journal is all about! lol

  57. Beth says

    I like to journal as I’m studying my Bible. Writing down what God reveals and how he guides and speaks to me helps me remember


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *