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The Hidden Power of Journaling

It hit me recently…it’s been over 10 years since I began my first journal…

9th May 2001 to be exact…that was my first entry into what I entitled at the time: ‘Quiet Time Journal 1’

A few months before this, God had been gently nudging me to begin waking up early (7 am was early for me then as a 21 year old young man! Before this I was probably getting up around 9am!) to spend time with him…when I finally got round to doing this (I think it took me about 8 months to obey) I started to hear Him speak to me. What I heard I wrote down in my first journal (and have been doing so ever since…)

Now, please understand…this was not just a slight improvement in my ability to hear God and spiritual things…it was like a tidal wave!

I would read the Bible and write down what I felt God was saying to me through it, amazingly it was like things were jumping out at me from the pages of the Bible. Suddenly I could hear God…I mean…really hear God for myself! (well mostly…I was still very new to this and some times heard things that were quite frankly not God at all, sometimes these were my own ideas or desires and occasionally, maybe even demonically inspired…but over time the voice of God became clearer through practice and by getting to know Him better!)

Another aspect of the journalling process was that I began to write down (very) personal things going on in my I felt about circumstances at the time and people (particularly girls) and also what I felt God was teaching me through it all. My journals chronicle my relationships, my bouts of depression, the people who hated my guts, the people in my life that I spent most time with and the persecution I often got from the ‘religious establishment’ (and still do…although to a lesser extent). It’s amazing to see what God brings you through over the years, how He heals the emotions and strengthens character!

The journals are also littered with ideas; creative ideas for projects, artwork, performances, mission, church, youth work and so on. I began to write quotes from books I was reading at the time and have included Bibliographies at the back of each journal…

Many people have ideas and then forget all about them. The beauty of journalling is that your ideas stay with you! They also grow…it’s almost magical, looking back through journals and seeing how an idea came as a seed, maybe an acorn, and over the progression of time, how the idea took on wings and flew! Everything you read adds to this idea, the people you meet contribute in some way, the prayers you pray, and, the more you hear from God the more the idea just develops a life of it’s own. At the time you think everything is going so slowly, but looking back over journals over the years you can actually see the patterns so clearly emerging!

People ask me, ‘How comes you are so focused! How is it that you are so clear about what God has called you to do in life?’

I don’t know the answer fully, but what I do know is this…ever since I started spending the first part of every day listening and obeying God I have grown to know his voice.

Journalling has helped me to capture everything God has said to me, the things I have been inspired to read, the ideas I have had, the prophetic words and dreams others have given to me

Every year I read back through the years worth of journals (averaging between 7-10 books). I reflect on what has happened. And with God, I set goals for the New Year…all of this is recorded…

I can guarantee you this…if you do this yourself…you will also be focused and will have more of a clear idea of God’s purpose for your life! You will also be able to discern more clearly the journey you are on!

Since starting my first journal back in May 2001 I have written 82 journals covering the last 10 years….there’s now no going back!

Have you got any journal stories to share?

Has this inspired you?

Please let me know!

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Peter J. Farmer

Peter J. Farmer is a church planter working with teams and networks to catalyze new forms of church that murmurate into movements...

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Kathy Thill

    Thanks so much…so encouraging!! What you have shared helps me articulate and put into words HOW I learned to hear His voice in new dimensions.

    I have been journaling since the early 80’s; the Lord led me (through a sharing and practicing time led by Richard Paradise) to begin to “Practice His Presence” (Richard’s words). I took what he shared to heart and began spending time daily reading verses and pondering them, journaled the verses, what they meant to me, how they impacted me personally. As I spent that time, read and wrote, also including how my day was going, I began to “hear” God more clearly.

    During that time, He also brought about what we now call “inner healing” to me in our times together. Thru journaling and spending that time, listening, writing, He began showing me truth to replace the lies I have believed about myself and about His love for me, revealing precious things to me.

    POWERFUL what you shared! THANK YOU for helping me articulate how God taught me to hear His voice, through reading your experiences.

    much appreciated!!
    Kathy Thill in California

    1. Peter Farmer

      Thanks Kathy for your encouraging words. I am so glad my post has been of help and has given words to a practice you have been faithfully involved in for years!

      The practice of Journalling really is so helpful in all the ways you describe

      Grace and Peace


  2. Marsha Farmer

    This has really inspired me, some journey Farmer. I love how you thought sometimes thinking things were going slowly, but looking back you could see how patterns emerged…

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