Reminder: Hear. That was yesterday’s big word. As you come to the word today, lean in and listen for the Spirit’s voice. Make careful listening a permanent part of your prayer life.
As you #PrayRead the word, the Holy Spirit will sometimes open a Scripture to your understanding. Those insights are incredibly valuable, worth writing down. It’s called journaling. Evidence suggests that Paul journaled:
Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments. (2 Tim. 4:13)
In Paul’s day, parchments were the equivalent of today’s paper notepads. It seems that Paul, while reading Scripture, scribbled his Spirit-inspired insights onto pieces of parchment. Those meditations were so precious to him that, when asking Timothy to bring his belongings, he emphasized his longing to be reunited with his journal—his collection of parchments.
The devout of all ages have journaled. The psalmist was determined to never forget the Lord’s precepts (Ps 119:93). Journaling probably helped him. Write out Psalm 119:93 here:
PRAY. Talk to the Lord about this verse. Tell Him you share the psalmist’s resolve.
I maintain a journal of biblical insights because of a principle taught by Jesus.
“Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given.” (Luke 8:18)
The emphatic word is how. How should we hear? In a way that enables us to hold onto what we’ve received. Jesus said “more will be given” to those who retain what’s been given. If we make the word He’s spoken to us a permanent part of our history with Him, He’ll give more.
Personally, I have a lousy memory. If I don’t write down the insights God gives me, I forget them. So I write them down and review them later. Above all, I want to retain the things God gives me. Why? Because I want more.
I see in football an analogy of Jesus’ meaning. Suppose a wide receiver catches a football but then drops it. The quarterback winces. If the receiver drops a second pass, the quarterback is dismayed. If the receiver drops a third ball, the quarterback won’t throw him any more balls. Here’s the principle: To be thrown the ball, a receiver must have a reliable track record of catching and keeping footballs.
The same is true in the kingdom. If we want God to keep speaking to us from His word, we must retain what He gives. That’s where a journal comes in. It’s a way of retaining those things God speaks from His word so that we might receive more.
What’s a practical way to do this? When you read a verse that suddenly means something special to you, write down both the verse and the insight received. When convenient, enter those notes into your computer or paper journal. Include the date and full text of the verse.
Then, develop a system of reviewing your entries— because retention requires review. Retention is a rigorous exercise, but we do it for one simple reason: We want more. And we know He gives more when we’ve made the effort to retain what we’ve already received.
PRAY. Ask for help to develop a way of retaining everything He gives you in His word. Tell Him how eagerly you want more.
Decide today how you’re going to journal the insights God gives you. It will take time to perfect your system, but at least start. To begin, write your answers to these questions:
1. What style notepad will I bring to my prayer time?
2. Will my permanent journal be on paper or in a computer text file?
3. What are practical ways I can review my journal so that I never forget the things God has spoken to me?
Although it takes labor, journaling is a strategic building block that, when put in place, will help you develop a strong and consistent prayer life. You’re setting yourself up for more.
Have a wonderful day in Christ!
RESET: 20 Ways to a Consistent Prayer Life Copyright © 2018 by Bob Sorge Published by Oasis House
Reproduced with permission.
For information on all Bob’s books, go to www.oasishouse.com