I am forever trying to create a more powerful devotional habit in my life. I often change the way I spend my prayer and devotional time in order to ensure that I do not get into a rut. I read what other people do and then see if that will work in my own life.
I have begun a couple of new practices that have helped me flourish in recent weeks. Both of them center around a journaling discipline. The first, I will describe in this post and will write about the other one later.
This journaling discipline is known as Praying Psalmically. I discovered this approach while reading an article by Justin Buzzard. I have been amazed at the effects this has had on my devotional time. For those of us believers who have been accustomed to only praying prayers out loud, this will throw you for a curve. One of the challenges we have as a believer, nonetheless a human being, is to always be talking when we pray.
I have found a certain refreshing by not only praying aloud but also in contemplating and writing out my prayers. This is the approach we will look at today.
Praying Psalmically is practiced by choosing a Psalm and meditating on it for a few minutes and allowing it to speak to our hearts. Pick out a portion of that Psalm to pray in your own way. I have tried it the way Justin Buzzard describes and it has worked well for me. You will need a journal (or notebook), a black pen and a red pen.
1. Write the verse that speaks to your heart in Black ink. I write one verse and then do step 2.
2. In red ink, write your response/prayer. What I do is write the prayer which is basically how I would pray that verse in my own way. Whatever that verse speaks to me, I write it out as a prayer of change, gratitude, intercession etc.
Repeat these steps through as many verses as you would like.
Let me give you an example:
1. “Praise The Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart…” (Black Ink) Psalm 111:1
2. “I praise you Lord because of who you are. Help me to praise you with my whole heart. How often I praise you with my mouth but my heart is far from you. Nonetheless, I praise you and ask you to consume my heart and affections that my praise may be perfected.” (Red Ink)
This allows me to pray the verse on paper and I can look back at what God has spoken to my heart at different times. I am finding that journaling should become a discipline in our lives because it helps us to witness our spiritual growth more intentionally.
Get a journal and begin to record what God is revealing to you in His Word. Use the journal to write what God is doing in your life. Years from now, it will be something you can look back upon and evaluate your growth.