Activate Your Prophetic Gift Through Prayer Journaling

What is Prayer Journaling?

Prayer journaling is writing down your prayers and questions, and then listening to the Holy Spirit and recording God’s answers. It is a great way to activate your prophetic gift.

I have to confess that I approached the practice of ‘Prayer Journaling’ this week with a bit of trepidation, even though I have used this method of journaling before. It feels presumptuous, writing down God’s ‘answers’ to my prayers and questions.

Does God really want to speak to me conversationally? And how can I know for sure what He is saying?

In John 10:27, Jesus said, ‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me’.

As I set out, I am encouraged that God desires an intimate relationship with me even more than I want it with Him—He created me to fellowship with him and to hear His voice!

How to Practice Prayer Journaling

It’s important that you set aside some private space for this kind of journaling. Try to eliminate interruptions and distractions as much as you can.

I personally find that some quiet background worship music helps me focus if I don’t have the luxury of silence in my home, or wherever I happen to be.

It is vital when approaching this journaling practice that you deal with any issues between you and God—forgiveness, repentance and so on—before you start out.

Reading the Bible and praying in the Spirit can help you prepare for your prayer journaling time.

In your journal, you write down your prayer or question to God. Some examples are:

  • What would you like to say to me today?
  • How can I grow?
  • What would you like me to do?
  • What are You saying about…

Then, focusing on Jesus, you listen for the Holy Spirit’s answer, and write down what you believe He is saying.

How the Holy Spirit Speaks

Remember that the Holy Spirit brings revelation to us in many ways. He may speak through a picture coming to your mind, a feeling, a Bible verse, an idea, word or impression.

I find that the Holy Spirit’s ‘voice’ usually comes as a series of light, gentle impressions. I need to tune in to these to hear what He is saying.

Although it is good to weigh up the revelation and thoughts as they come, too much analysis will halt your journaling.

Give yourself the freedom to write without editing. Yes, what you record will inevitably be a mixture of your own and God’s thoughts. Remember that any prophecy is imperfect and subject to judgment.

When you have finished, review your journaled ‘message from God.’ Now you can sift through your writing for the nuggets of heavenly wisdom God is giving you. I like to use a highlighter to mark important parts where I believe God is particularly speaking to me.

Use the same criteria for your prayer journaling that you use when weighing up any prophetic word.

If you believe you have received guidance through this kind of journaling, it is vital that you check this by sharing with mature Christians and leaders around your life who will give you honest feedback and help you process it.

Some strengths of this kind of journaling are:

  • Fosters intimacy with God
  • Helps you become familiar with the ways the Holy Spirit speaks
  • Great practice for tuning in to receiving God’s revelation
  • Helps you receive guidance and prophetic insight for yourself and others
  • You have a record you can refer back to of what God has said to you in your prayer time

Some weaknesses of this journaling method are:

  • It does not use the Bible in the journaling process
  • Less suitable for newer Christians who do not have a thorough grounding in the scriptures (I recommend the SOAP journaling style for new Christians)
  • This style will not suit everyone, e.g. it will be harder for those who are perfectionists or tend not to process thoughts conversationally.

Because of these weaknesses, I advocate the use of other journaling methods in conjunction with this one.

Prayer Journaling and Habbakuk

A leading proponent of prayer journaling is Mark Virkler, who teaches journaling from Habakkuk 2:1,2.

Virkler maintains that God speaks through a flow of spontaneous thoughts, and that as we tune into those we can hear what He is saying.

Just as God instructed Habbakuk to write down his vision, we can also record what God is saying to us through journaling.

The Challenge

Over the next week, I will be trialling prayer journaling as a method, and recording my journey in the comments section of this post (scroll down to see these). Why not join me?

To review my comments and share your own journey throughout the week, check back here.

Related Articles

For an article on Prophetic Activation In Small Groups, check out the Free Resources Page.

‘How to Activate Your Prophetic Gift’

‘Take Time to Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift’

© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift Through Journaling

Do you want to develop or sharpen your prophetic gift? Journaling is an easy but powerful tool for prophetic activation. It can help you grow your gift of prophecy.

Journaling is basically recording any insights you receive from God during your prayer and Bible study times.

Some ways journaling can help you grow in your prophetic gift are:

  • It encourages you to listen to God and become familiar with His voice (John 10:4). You can also practice receiving revelation from God and processing it.
  • Journaling helps you remember what God has spoken to you by providing a record to refer back to
  • It provides a means of focus, discipline and accountability
  • You can practice putting what God is saying into a clear and communicable form—a necessary skill for prophecy
  • You can look back later and see what, in the case of prophetic revelation, has come to pass—this helps sharpen your gift.
  • Journaling provides a record from which you can pray God’s purposes into being
  • You can get more revelation when you journal. Once you record what you have received, it frees your mind so that you can be open to hear more of what God is saying.
  • You can use what you have received in your journaling time to share with others
  • It brings glory to God when the things you have journaled take place
  • It provides a safe place to practice receiving and processing prophetic revelation without the pressure of public exposure
  • You can use what you have heard from God to help you walk with Him and obey Him (Hab 2:2)

Journaling in scripture

For an example of journaling, we don’t have to look past the Bible itself. Much of scripture is prophetic revelation recorded in written form.

What Do You Need for Journaling?

The type of journaling you choose should suit your personal style. There are also a variety of media you can use to help you journal. These include:

  • Writing in an A5 or A4 journal
  • Typing and recording your journal using a computer.
  • If writing or typing is difficult for you, you can record your journaling in small, bite-sized files using a recorder, MP3 recorder, or mobile phone, then name and store them for later reference.

Journaling is essentially private, but if you would like to share from your journal, another media you can use is the Internet. Some of my blog posts started out as journal entries.

It is best to keep your journal notes together in one place, such as a notebook, journal or single folder on your computer. This way, you can refer back to them later.

Types of Journaling

You don’t have to stick to any one type of journaling. Choose a journaling style that best suits you.

Some simple options you can use for written journaling are:

Two popular methods that can assist you with the journaling process are:

1. SOAP method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)

2. Prayer journaling

Remember that journaling methods are tools, not rules.

Journaling Should be Weighed Up

Prophetic journaling is always to be viewed (like prophecies and other prophetic media) as needing to being weighed up. (1 Thess 5:19-20, 1 Cor 14:29, 1 Cor 13:9,12) Our personal journaling can be a mixture of what God is saying, and the processing of our own souls in our journey with Him.

Filters for prophetic journaling include: submitting to leadership and accountability (for weighing up), checking against Biblical principles, checking against the fruit of the Spirit and Godly outcomes, and so on.

It should never be seen as ‘dictation from God’ because that is where we can move into error.

See more in this article: ‘Take Time to Sharpen Your Prophetic Gift’

The Two Week Journaling Challenge

I will be reviewing the prayer journaling and ‘SOAP’ methods in the next couple of posts.

I am not currently using these two journaling styles (I use mind-mapping). But I will use these methods for one week each as I blog about them, and describe my experiences in the comments section of each post.

It would be fun if you would join me on this ‘two-week journaling challenge.’

Consider some of the benefits I have mentioned in this post. Journaling can help you sharpen your prophetic gift, and it could change your life as you hear from God.

Would you like to develop your prophetic gift?
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3. E-books to Help you Develop Your Gifts:

‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts’ is a high-value e-book specifically written to help you grow in your prophetic gifts – at whatever stage or season you are on the journey.

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© Helen Calder    Enliven Publishing