First blog post of 2018!
Today I decided to share how I journal, specifically for prayer. As a person who suffers from a lot of anxiety, for a long time, I found it very difficult, sometimes impossible, to pray. A little over two years ago, I was feeling really anxious and out of it and just not myself, and I remembered this widely recommended grounding exercise for people with anxiety:
I started journaling, sort of following this method, only instead I wrote HOW I AM FEELING RIGHT NOW… followed by writing out how I was feeling Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually.
It helped so much to keep me in the present moment, sort through my thoughts and feelings, and quiet myself. Prayer became possible because all I had to do was sit down and start writing tangible things, then relate those things to the Lord. Over time I’ve modified it to fit where I am in life.
How I Journal
Step 1: Open journal, blank page (string lights totally optional). My journal is a 3-N-1 from Markings and was purchased at Walmart.
Step 2: Date, time, and location on the top of the page.
Step 3: I write FEELING. Underneath that, I write out every feeling I can articulate.
I bundle my physical and emotional feelings here, so whether its tired and hungry or happy and hopeful, they go here. I elaborate on whatever I need to, like what is making me sad or what I’m feeling excited about.
Step 4: I write THINKING ABOUT.
Here, I pretty much empty my mind onto the paper. Work, a conversation I had, a movie I saw 7 years ago, song lyrics and book characters…whatever is in my head, I write it down.
Step 5: I write SPIRITUALLY.
I write out how I am feeling spiritually. Empty? Dry? Far from God? Joyful? Hopeful? Aware of His love and presence? Whatever it is, I write it down.
Step 6: Relate all of this to God. Write down anything and everything, but take time to just be quiet and be with Him.
I’ll often read scripture and reflect on it here as well. As difficult as it can be, I try to let God lead this conversation. I praise Him, I thank Him, but I invite Him to be with me and to speak to me.
BONUS: GRATEFUL FOR…
This is something I just started doing recently; taking time to write down a few things I’m grateful for every day. Gratitude can be an excellent remedy for anxiety because it moves your focus out of your anxious head to all the blessings in your life.
And there you have it: How I journal and pray in spite of anxiety. If you try this, I would strongly encourage you to tailor it to you. Maybe you want to be more specific. Maybe you want to just write down your thoughts. If you are severely anxious, you could actually go through the original 54321 grounding exercise and then just sit in quiet with God. That would be a perfectly beautiful way to get into prayer in spite of anxiety.
I hope you enjoyed this. If you have any other insights on praying when you are an anxious person, please share them!
New post coming Friday. Thanks for reading and God bless,
Other Posts On Anxiety: