I love conversations with God. However, it took me a long time to figure out what a conversation with God looked like and how it worked for me.
I got serious about reading the Bible when my first child was born in 1986. I got up before she did, read my Bible and then recorded how I felt about life and what God said for me to do. I called that journaling.
Journaling changed for me one day back in 2000 when it dawned on me that I have a tendency to think God is far off — good, but not too terribly concerned about the tiny details of my life. I remember thinking this must hurt God’s feelings for me to think of Him this way. I didn’t want to hurt God, but I didn’t know what to do. I decided to think about my best friend and how we got to know each other. In the beginning, our conversations involved simple questions such as what do you like? What do you enjoy doing with your children? These superficial questions built trust in each of us for the other until our friendship deepened. Eventually, she became an intimate friend that I could trust with all my secrets. Imagining how my friendship with her began showed me what I could do in my prayer life to draw closer to God.
The first entry after that morning sounded like this: God, what do you like? Then I read His Word and recorded His answers. Down the road I asked Him what His favorite things were and recorded those. Through the years I’ve asked him all kinds of questions:
- What do you want, God? What is your grace?
- What do you like about yourself? What is your mercy?
- Why do you value your children?
- Why do you value yourself?
He has never failed to answer me using His very own words in the Bible. I call this process devotional journaling. Devotional journaling is more than a record of our personal encounters with God. Our reflections about God, whether we write or draw pictures on our journal pages build an intimacy between God and us. He will reveal who He is and He will reveal who we are and how much that pleases Him. Devotional journaling is a meditation strategy that lends us the opportunity to learn that God is so much more than a distant person who only cares about His agenda.
Here’s a page for you to practice devotional journaling.