What Does the Bible Say About Journaling?

Journaling has become an increasingly popular spiritual practice, especially among Christians. Keeping a journal or diary to record thoughts, prayers, and reflections on Scripture can be a valuable part of one’s spiritual life. However, many wonder if the Bible directly encourages journaling as a spiritual discipline. While the Bible does not explicitly mention journaling, several key passages provide principles that support journaling as a biblical practice that can help Christians grow closer to God.


Journaling allows Christians to deepen their relationship with God by providing a tool for recording insights from time spent in Scripture, listening prayer, and reflecting on how God is working in their lives. The habit of journaling spiritually can help believers process emotions, strengthen their prayer life, and grow in their knowledge of Scripture. Several biblical principles lend themselves to the practice of spiritual journaling:

Key Takeaways:

  • Journaling helps process emotions and deepen prayer life
  • Recording insights from Scripture helps retain God’s Word
  • Tracking God’s work fosters gratitude and awareness of His presence
  • Writing clarifies thoughts and helps gain wisdom and self-understanding

While the Bible does not command believers to keep journals, journaling aligns with biblical values of meditation on Scripture, prayer, self-reflection, and writing down insights from God. When done with a focus on spiritual growth, journaling can be a valuable faith practice for Christians today.

What Does the Bible Say About Journaling?

Biblical Examples of Journaling

Though journals and diaries as we know them today were not used in biblical times, Scripture contains several examples of God’s people recording insights and preserving accounts of God’s work in written form. These examples provide precedents for the practice of spiritual journaling.

The Psalms as Spiritual Journal Entries

Many Psalms contain raw journal-like entries where David and other psalmists pour out their emotions to God, reflect on their circumstances, and remember God’s faithfulness. Psalms such as 3, 5, 13, and 142 resemble diary accounts of struggling with fear, doubt, anxiety, and other difficult emotions while processing them through prayer and reflection on Scripture. Writing psalms was likely a spiritual journaling practice for their authors.

Written Records of God’s Works

Moses and other Old Testament leaders kept written records of the laws, history, and God’s miraculous works in the life of Israel. Passages like Exodus 17:14 and Joshua 24:26 show how writing down insights helped God’s people remember His faithfulness and blessings so they could teach future generations. This practice of recording God’s works resembles journaling for spiritual growth.

Paul’s Letters as Spiritual Journal Entries

Several of Paul’s New Testament letters follow the format of a spiritual journal entry addressed to a community of believers. Passages like Philippians 3:1-14 read like a personal reflection on his life experiences with God worth sharing for mutual encouragement and growth among believers. Paul’s letters captured these spiritual insights in written form.

Principles that Support Spiritual Journaling

While the Bible does not directly command keeping a spiritual journal, several biblical principles align with journaling as a spiritual practice:

Meditating on Scripture

Passages like Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, and Philippians 4:8 encourage meditating on Scripture to grow closer to God. Journaling after reading the Bible provides a process to capture insights and clarify thoughts on how biblical truths apply personally.

Recording God’s Works

Remembering God’s blessings, faithfulness, and work in one’s life is emphasized in places like Exodus 13:3, Psalm 77:11-12, and Revelation 2:5. Journaling provides a tool to document how God moves so his works are not forgotten.

Prayer and Processing Emotions

Prayers expressing raw emotions and cries for help when discouraged are common in the Psalms. Journaling can help process emotions and strengthen prayer life. Passages like Psalm 102:1, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, and Philippians 4:6-7 support this.

Writing and Putting Thoughts in Order

Proverbs 16:3 and other passages emphasize the value of committing thoughts and insights to writing. Journaling helps clarify mental and spiritual insights to gain wisdom and self-understanding as encouraged in Proverbs 4:5-7 and 2 Peter 1:5-8.

Self-Examination and Reflection

Scripture encourages self-examination and reflection to grow in godliness and love through the Spirit. Passages like Psalm 119:59, Lamentations 3:40, and 2 Corinthians 13:5 promote self-reflection supported by journaling.

How to Use Journaling to Grow Spiritually

If you want to begin cultivating journaling as a spiritual practice, here are some practical tips on how to journal in a biblical way that fosters spiritual growth:

Focus on Bible Study Insights

A core component should be recording insights and reflections after studying the Bible. Write down thoughts on how particular verses or passages apply to your current life and circumstances. Let Scripture guide the journaling process.

Foster Two-Way Conversation with God

Approach journaling with a conversational tone as a form of prayer talking heart to heart with God. Record thoughts you would share in prayer and reflect on how God might be speaking back based on Bible truths.

Process Emotions Honestly

Use journaling to honestly work through difficult emotions just like the psalmists did in their songs and prayers. Voice fears, pain, doubts, anger and other feelings to God. Reflect on what Scripture says about how God views those emotions.

Track Ways God Is Working

Make notes on how you see God working, answered prayers, and evidences of His blessings. Remembering specific examples builds gratitude and awareness of God’s presence. Review past journal entries to retain an ongoing account.

Clarify Thoughts and Chart Growth

Writing clarifies mental and spiritual insights. Watch how reflections recorded over weeks or years demonstrate spiritual growth in knowledge of biblical truth and godly character by God’s grace.

Integrate Creative Expression

Consider including creative elements like poetry, sketches, prayers, and worship song lyrics to make it a creative spiritual outlet beyond just writing. Creativity can foster new connections and depth.

By journaling with focus and consistency using methods like these, believers can better retain and apply spiritual insights from Scripture, strengthen their prayer life, process emotions, and grow deeper in love and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Word. The habit of regular spiritual journaling aligns with biblical values of meditating on God’s truth, remembering His works, pouring out our hearts to Him in prayer, putting insights into writing, and thoughtfully examining our lives.

Common Objections About Journaling

Some Christians may raise concerns about potential pitfalls or objections to journaling as a spiritual habit:

The Bible Doesn’t Directly Mention Journaling

It is true that passages about spiritual disciplines do not directly mention journaling. However, the principles and examples covered earlier do align with journaling as a tool for biblical meditation, prayer, and reflection. Journaling is a modern application of these timeless biblical practices.

It Could Become Me-Focused Rather than Christ-Focused

Like any spiritual discipline, motive is key. If done as a way of processing intimacy with Christ through His Word, journaling cultivates God-focus. If done only for self-analysis without anchoring in Scripture, it can become unbalanced. Keeping focus on Christ is vital.

Journaling Could Lead to Over-Introspection

For some personalities, intense focus on inner thoughts and feelings can be unhealthy. Balance is needed between internal and external focus on loving others. If journaling stirs excessive rumination, taking a break or journaling less frequently may help.

It Could Provide an Excuse Not to Actively Apply Truths

The discipline must lead to active obedience and sharing Christ’s love, not just passive thoughts. Use journal insights to shape actions, character, ministry, and service. Combine with other spiritual disciplines to apply truths.

Time Spent Journaling Could Replace Other Important Spiritual Habits

Journaling should enhance, not replace Bible reading and prayer. Set reasonable time limits for journaling to keep it in balance with Scripture study, worship, service, evangelism, family life, and rest. Journaling is one piece of spiritual growth, not the whole.


While the Bible does not explicitly command keeping a spiritual journal, the principles and precedents covered in this article provide a biblical foundation for journaling as a valuable faith practice. When done with skill and the right motives, journaling can help believers grow closer to God through His Word, strengthen their prayer life, process emotions honestly, retain and apply spiritual insights, and reflect on the LORD’s works in their lives. Regular spiritual journaling can be a powerful habit integrated into a comprehensive approach to pursuing intimacy with God and meditating on the Scriptures. By God’s grace, the spiritual discipline of journaling can help every Christian gain wisdom, persevere through struggles, see the Lord’s blessings, and ultimately become more like Christ.

About The Author

Scroll to Top