Journaling As a Prayer


Journaling has been something I have done most of my life.  I found one of my old journals from 30 years ago and unfortunately it was more of a chronological arrangement of my day and not a reflection upon my soul.  If that would have been my style then it would have been very interesting to see if there has been much change in my soul in those 30 years but there is not much to gather from that old tattered book. The concept of reflecting on what God has done dates back to Moses where God commanded him to write out the journeys in Numbers 33:2.  They build altars to remember what God had done for them, a physical reminder of the blessings of God. 

Gary Neal Hansen, in "Kneeling With Giants" describes John Beadle an English Puritan who journaled extensively.  He believed that keeping a journal was the best way for us to grow spiritually.  He wrote a book in 1656 called "The Journal or Diary of a Thankful Christian". It is another spiritual discipline that leads to gratefulness.  Having an awareness of God, his presence, work and word are Ignatian concepts that reorder our very souls.  When I am in an attitude of gratefulness and seeing God in all things, it is hard to grumble and complain.  My whole worldview begins to move from focusing on the creation to thanking and worshipping the creator. 

Here are the topics that Beadle recommends:

1) Let every man keep a strict account of his effectual calling

2) Take special notice of all divine assistance...either in the performance of the duties that are required of us, or in bearing those evils that are inflicted upon us

3) Remember, and for that end put into your Journal all deliverances from dangers, vouchsafed to you or yours

4) All the instruments, all the men and means that God hat in providence at any time used for our good, must not be forgotten

5) And finally, mark what returns, what answers God gives to your prayers, and set them down... as most remarkable pledges of his love.

Focusing on these five topics as I do an examen on my day will clearly change my attitude and gratitude.


John Hilliard

Leadership Connextions International