Journaling–The preference of the Linguistically-Leaning

Posted on May 8, 2015 By


Temp4Tim!Journaling is the tour de force for the linguistically-leaning brain.

letter brain
You’ll have a lot of them in your class or small group (particularly among the ladies), so offering faith journaling will prove fruitful.

Fred Duckworth offers these simple tips, along with a small set of excellent prompts in his online journaling pamphlet for teens. You may not want to use all of these in your intro to journaling, but might eventually touch on them all. Numbers 1, 3, 4, and 7 are a good starting place because they head off the incessant questions about directions, right and wrong, and “How long does this have to be.” Breaking out of the habit of “I have to for a grade” and creating a habit of “I want to know You better” will take some undoing of thinking patterns. Stick with it. Be joyful about your own prayer. Encourage every step they take.

  1. Begin with prayer: Ask the Holy Spirit, who is your Counselor, to open your heart and guide you to the truth.
  2. Date every entry: It’s important to record the date of each journal entry to help you see the progress you’ve made.
  3. Write what’s on your heart: Start talking to God and share your joys, victories, desires, frustrations, anger, fears, hurts, heartaches, and praises with Him. You can record special events, spiritual insights, revelations, strengths, weaknesses, goals, prayers, dreams, memories and scriptures you love.
  4. Do not worry about mistakes: Don’t be concerned about spelling, penmanship or content. Thinking too long about what you’re going to write may hinder you.
  5. Listen and record: Record what God impresses on your heart. (His voice will always line up with His written Word.)
  6. Use a highlight pen (for Bible reading and journaling): Highlighting scripture and specific words God speaks to your heart will enable you to easily locate them in your journal and re-read them later. (Sometimes God speaks repeatedly, trying to get our attention to warn us or prepare us for the future.)
  7. But, most of all, remember that there is no right or wrong way to journal. Rather, your journaling style should reflect your unique relationship with God.
Check out the Prayer Coach Power Move post for some ideas on journal types. Once they’ve got something to journal in they’ll need some prompts. Following Jesus on the PATH has Think About It and Pray About It sections at the end of each chapter. Those can used s journal prompts. In addition, here are a some starters and prompts that will keep them going. Modify at will!
  •  Adventures in Guided Journaling A plethora of pre-made, free, journaling pages. Use them as a springboard into faith by way of a guided group conversation and prayer, or re-work in your own format, changing only bits and pieces to serve our deeper purpose.
  • 15 Minutes That Can Change Your Life At the bottom of this page is a simple, 5-step, compact habit you can teach your kids. Their brain responds well to the movement through the five ‘Rs’ with the added benefit of teaching a solid prayer approach. Check out the sample prayer sessions using the habit, too. They begin at the top of the page.
  • I’ve found all sorts of good things in this Journal Writing Page. True, it is not Catholic or particularly spiritual, but it’s ideas are easily adaptable to our mission. Check out the last 3-4 pages in particular and rework the prompts and suggestions using PATH metaphors–The Frame and the ULC, The Yoke, virtues, NTH’s or temptations, etc–and you’ll have some excellent prompts at your disposal.
  • Journaling4Faith Check out the drop down box under ‘Writing Prompts’ and you’ll score some excellent ideas for prayer journal entries about gossip, anger, taming your tongue, messages, etc.
  • Post-it Prayers Admittedly, I’m a Post-it advocate. The entire outline of On the PATH was organized out of individual thoughts written on individual Post-Its that were then constantly moved around on a white board until order came out of the chaos. How can you use them as prayer? Give your kids a stack as the session starts. Have them jot down the ideas, prayers, thoughts (we know that is the Holy Spirit) that come to them. You can purposely build STOP times in to the session, saying, “What’s on your mind? Write it on a Post it.” Have them attach the notes to their desk, or place them directly into the next page of their journal. At the end of class, give 10-15 minutes of Post-it prayer time so they can move those thoughts around and talk to Jesus about the messages he is sending right now. On another day, have teens do a brain dump. One thought/concern/stress/worry per Post-it. Create themes on your board/walls (family, friends, future, world, school, etc.) and have teens post their prayers. This is great for illustrating that we all carry crosses, no one is alone, and we all need some TLC. Finish with a brief journal entry, or a spontaneous group or leader-led prayer of Thanksgiving for co-travelers on the PATH.
  •  A focused Google search will also yield good results. For example: “Thanksgiving Journal Prompts,” “Friendship journal prompts,” “Scripture journal prompts,” “Anger journal prompts,” “Listening journal prompts.”
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