If you follow me on Instagram, you know every once in awhile I will share a page from my morning quiet time. A few things to note about my morning journaling is it’s never forced but done as the Spirit leads or as my own personal need dictates. Balancing listening for that still small voice and acknowledging God’s presence while actually feeling heard is something many strive for without attainment. As with all relationships sensitivity and trust play a crucial role. So let’s walk through this past Monday’s spontaneous journaling prompt and why it is one I return to often for focus and clarity during my prayer time!
If you feel short on time, or just want to wake up your quiet time, I highly recommend what I call Rewriting Scripture .
I am not suggesting you rewrite scripture into something other than what is intended by the original authors – who were divinely inspired and spirit-led themselves. But, I am absolutely encouraging you to prayerfully look at the translation you are reading and employ a bit of childlike wonder as you approach the Lord’s throne of grace, knowing, He already has come down off that throne to make a place for you to sit beside Him, and enjoy His company, fearlessly, freely and frequently.
I am currently reading along with the readings from the Liturgical Calendar (Year B) but whatever reading plan you employ is less important than the fact that you do employ it!
Did you know reading a verse or chapter a day is better than planning to make time to read along or catch up with a reading plan but never actually following through. Something is better than nothing. All or nothing thinking will usually get you nowhere!
This is why I love Psalms and Proverbs, Well, I actually love all the books of the Bible…but that is no surprise to you. I love studying, meditating, reflecting, reciting, and yes, REWRITING Scripture.
There are many creative ways to get into God’s word. I prefer not to follow trends but allow my time to conform to my personal spiritual needs as God leads. My goal for quiet time whether I have ten minutes or two hours is the same: To know Him, to allow Him to reveal what I need to know, and to learn to enjoy sitting in His presence for no other reason than that I can! It is no small thing to sit in the presence of the One True Living God…and yet, because of Jesus, we can! We can bring our cares and concerns to Him…we can speak, or not speak. We can write or not write.
The most important thing when we are with another, is to ask, did I allow myself to touch them, hear them, acknowledge them…did I lean in and listen to what they didn’t say? Yet, the God of the Universe does this for us, models this…and we can enjoy intimacy when we become like Him with Him.
We let God touch us and hear us. We acknowledge Him. We lean in and listen and He leans right in closer still, in love. He can’t help it- it’s WHO He is (1 John 4:8).
So, if you want to grow more intimate with the God who is your Faithful Father and Forever Friend-grab your pen and open to a blank page.
Come to Him in your 5, 15, or 50 minutes. Open your Bible to a Psalm or passage that you want to ponder and carry with you. Ask God to lead you to the words you need. I do not randomly follow scripture writing plans. What I do is, write the verses or passages God is using to draw me into deeper understanding, correction or clarity for His purposes in my circumstances and struggles.
Also, remember God knows your heart…all of it. He is not a critic or curmudgeon. He loves you. He is not the critical or cranky voice you may have grown up with, He is not waiting to “bring you down”, or pull the rug out from under you in some horrible way…
Approach this God knowing you have HIs favor because of Jesus, His Son. Jesus is The One who has made the way for all of humanity…but also each one of us, personally.
We approach Him as a faithful, trusted friend who favors us, and we worship Him as a King who willingly gave up His life that we might live always in His Heavenly Kingdom.
Who loves you like that on this earth?
Journal Practice: Rewriting Scripture:
- Choose and read the passage silently.
- Read the passage out loud, allow it to roll off your lips and listen to the words
- Pray the parts that resonate most for you back to the Lord.
- Ask the Lord to show you what He wills for you to see, understand, trust or know.
- Write what the passage conveys to you, as YOU understand as your own personal prayer paraphrased.
- Thank God for His Word and Spirit who guides us into all truth.
A few additional thoughts: When you have time, it is helpful to have a good foundation and understanding of the whole counsel of God in and through Scripture. Context is key but God is not limited by it in the sense of speaking to people. I am speaking of the Old and New Testaments we commonly accept as canonical. However, scripture is living, active, powerful and relevant ALWAYS. Make it your business to know Scripture more than the words of men. (2 Timothy 2:15). Also, this is not a formula, or step-by-step process for attaining some secret spiritual keys to the kingdom…just a suggestion on one way to seek the Lord that helps me. Please adjust as He leads you, and He will lead you into what is the best way for you to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. It’s why He came.
Here is my most recent practice of this exercise, which I did when I was short on time but in need of connecting quickly. It ushered me into His presence and was my main meditation for the day.
Psalm 150 (Personally Paraphrased)
CLICK Link to READ the Psalm at BibleGateway)
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord in His holy places;
praise Him under His forever skies.
Praise Him for the things He does that make you pause in wonder;
praise Him for His perfect beauty.
Praise Him with every sound you make,
praise Him with the instrument of your body,
praise Him in all you do,
praise Him with every thought you have,
praise Him with your inner-most being,
Let every breath you breathe acknowledge His perfection.
Praise the Lord!
My personal paraphrase is not written to impress anyone, and I do take all the creative liberty I need as I sit listening and leaning in, and letting the Holy Spirit speak to me through God’s word…and all the while the ringing of truth and aligning with other scripture allows me to know God knows my need… and me – Dawn, the one who doesn’t play the harp or lyre, but longs to worship Him with her whole being…the same God who knows you…and your needs and desires.
So try it, or tell me about the way your journaling practice brings you into greater intimacy with the Lord! I’d love to know.
My book, Journaling for Discovery and Delight: Creative Prompts for Your Journey is full of exercises for developing a journaling practice beyond the documenting of the day. Rewriting Scripture is one of the 21 exercises and practices I have come to again and again, and shared successfully with journal keepers around the world! This little booklet is the perfect size to carry in the purse or in a Traveler’s Notebook. I made it to use in conjunction with workshops, online classes, one-to-one coaching and local events – to help others grow in their own journaling practice. It is based on the 21 Day journaling posts I have shared on my blog. I rarely take the time to plug my book, partly due to the due to the fact that I am working on another book project now, so I hope you don’t mind that bit of self- promotion!
Please let me know if you have questions about Rewriting Scripture, or about my book, or journaling practices or if you have a Blog Post or video request you would like me to address.
If you decide to share any of your journaling morning meditations inspired by or in response to this post, just tag #thejournalenthusiast on social media.
Happy journaling and PRAISE THE LORD!