Prayer Journalling: A Way to Pray
by Maggie Geene
Prayer Journalling is a form of prayer. In it, you express your thoughts in writing instead of orally or silently. It is not like a diary - you don't use a prayer journal to record daily details - but more like a travel record of your spiritual journey.
Prayer journalling can take many forms. It can be written as letters to the Trinity, Mary,or a saint. It can be poetry. It could be a point form list of thoughts, or a meditation on a subject.
It is a good idea for beginners to focus on something specific while journaling. You might use the Mass readings of the day, or any other Bible verses you happen to be studying. When you are more familiar and comfortable with prayer journalling, this may not be necessary.
Reflect on the verses you have chosen, reading them over and over until you feel that you get a message from them. Again, this message could take many forms. Then simply write that message down in your journal (any notebook can be used for this purpose.) There are pre-planned journals with readings for reflection and questions for you to answer included. You may find them helpful. You can usually find these in the religious books section of your bookstore or from Religious Publisher's Catalogs.
There is no single way to use a journal to deepen your prayer life. No right or wrong. No-one will read it but yourself. Try experimenting with many different ways of journaling your experiences and thoughts until you find one that is comfortable. (A different way may work better in a few months, keep experimenting.) Take your journal to adoration, and spend a few minutes contemplating the True Presence, before writing about it. Spend a few minutes each night writing about how well you were a mirror of Jesus' love throughout the day, and how you could do better. Write your own prayers to The Trinity, Mary, or the Saints.
As you gradually fill your prayer journal, or your second or third journal, be sure to keep them. In a few years or months, you can flip back and see how you have grown in your spiritual life.
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