Effective discipleship includes keeping a journal, a personal written record of things that matter most. Prayer requests, intercessory concerns, thoughts while praying, words the Lord speaks throughout the day, and occasions of praise or great joy as well as those of sadness, loss, or defeat. Once written, these are tested, believed, and integrated or rejected as unworthy of the life of a disciple.
Writing is a form of confession and what we take the time to write has more meaning than things discussed casually or entertained in the privacy of our personal thought lives. Most importantly, anything written can be judged when read, and with subsequent readings, we gain further insight, in favor of or in opposition to what we’ve written.
Thoughts form patterns of thought, and when those are written, we see surprising, even extreme patterns emerge to paint a mental picture of who we are—confident and expectant or less secure and fearful. Keeping a journal pulls back the covers to reveal more clearly lifestyle and personal habits, thoughts and attitudes. More than before those were penned.