(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Hear God Through Journaling
By Jacqueline Napoli
One of the clear marks of belonging to God throughout Scripture is hearing and obeying God’s voice. From Adam and Eve in Genesis, to John in the book of Revelation, and everywhere in between, those who belong to the Lord hear Him and follow His leading. There’s nothing more thrilling than learning to recognize His voice more and more deeply. Intimacy with the Creator of the Universe? Does it get cooler than that?
He wants to speak to us, but we have to learn to hear him. Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. But it takes a decision on our part. We don’t want to be distracted or stubborn or clueless, like some people choose to be. For this is a rebellious people; false sons, “Sons who refuse to listen,” and “who walk after their own thoughts” (Isiah 65:12, 30:9). So commit to the Lord that you want to start hearing him better and ask for that grace. Pastor and author Rick Warren said that God has a phone number; Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show your great and mighty things you have not known.”
Next, grab a notebook and just write to God. Find a safe place for it and let loose. In Scripture, God tells us to literally tear our hearts (Joel 2:13) and to cry out to Him with everything we’ve got (“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). Don’t worry about the quality of your writing. Focus on intense honesty. Share your dreams, your heartbreaks, your aching needs. Pour out your heart to Him. That’s what best friends do, and He’s the best friend we could ever imagine. Don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for anything and everything you can think of. He is enthroned in our praises (Psalms 22:3), and we enter his courts and gates by it (Psalms 100:4).
Next, the fun part. Write out your requests. Go big– He owns the universe, He raises the dead, and He is a very lavish Father. Nothing is too difficult for Him. If your desires are wrong, He will work in them. He may say wait, He may say yes and knock your socks off. So pray big. Don’t forget to pray for others, and to truly turn from any sins the Holy Spirit brings to mind.
Finally, be extremely specific. Do not pray, “God bless me and my family and my friends, Amen.” Pray so specifically about your questions, needs, and concerns that you will absolutely know whether or not you receive your answer or not. And if you follow these steps, you most certainly will. He is a God who made us to know Him! And leave room after your requests to put the answers in there with the date. You have just created a conversation catalogue with the Most High God, and you will treasure it in the years to come.