Want to know one of my secrets for hearing the voice of God? Well, I journal 365 days a year. When I started doing this a few years ago, my ability to hear God sky-rocked. I have found that if I make a habit of journaling something small, first thing in the morning, then I am more likely to remember my dreams. And I remember things that God spoke to me or that happened.
The question most people ask is: Doug, what do you write about?
Dreams often disappear quickly so recording them is essential in hearing God. Be sure to record your dreams in a way that suits your personality. If you are not technical, then use a paper journal. Find the best time for yourself to journal. For me it’s early in the morning, but maybe you’re an afternoon or night person. The important thing is: capture those dreams and make notes.
Ideas for journaling
As you keep a journal, you can also record other areas of your life. I have a section not only for dreams, but also for daily creative writing, ideas, jokes and comedy, health log, and more. The first thing I do is write out my dreams since those are the ones you might easily forget if you get distracted . Most of the time I am just writing about what’s happening in my life, what I am working on, and my health.
How much time?
I go through times where I am journaling an hour or more a day then other times I just jot down the basics. It is not about quantity, it’s getting yourself in the habit of doing it that counts. That way, when God does speak to you, you are already in the habit of writing it down and you won’t lose it.
My favorite journal style
I bullet point things that are going on in my life. It is usually not all that creative or dramatic. Then I go back to yesterday’s bullet points, and I begin to fill in more detail as to how God spoke to me — lessons I learned, anything that will add to my life. I spend most of my time journaling yesterday’s details because you will learn more from a future standpoint. I call this “back-journaling.”
Reviewing your journals
Make a habit of going back through your journals on a regular basis. God tends to speak to us over time. Often I find things that I missed or see answered prayers. So I go back and update past entries with a different color so I can see progress. I used to wait until the end of the year to do this but now I do it monthly.
Titles and tags
A good tool to use in your journaling is to title paragraphs just like I am doing in this blog. That way important things will stand out to you. Most computer journals allow you to “tag” entries with a category. I set up several categories that I can go back and search on later: prophetic word, creative idea, study this later, important dream, spiritual experience, answered prayer, etc. Get creative with this, because it will make it easy to find things later.
What journal to use?
For years I have used The Journal for Windows by David RM Software. It is by far a good journal for the cost. I recorded some training videos to show you how I set it up and how I journal. http://dougaddison.com/thejournal.
I switched to Mac a few years ago so The Journal will not work for me since I don’t want to install Windows on my Mac. So I now use MacJournal by Mariner Software. It’s a good and thorough journal that does about everything except connect to the iCloud. They tell me that Cloud sharing (so you can pull up you journal on all your Apple devices) is coming in the next release. Hallelujah. They do have an iPhone and iPad version though.
Another good option for journaling cross-platform on Windows or Mac is Evernote. I probably would have gone with them had I known. But don’t get bogged down in process or programs, just do it. Whether you use a pen and paper journal, a Word document or a computer journal, it’s so important to record how God is speaking to you.
– Doug Addison
Doug Addison is a prominent conference speaker captivating audiences with clean stand-up comedy and high energy prophetic messages which he has shared on television, radio and the internet for over a decade. Doug brings laughter, fun and a unique prophetic style while empowering people to transform their lives, discover their destiny and understand dreams, tattoos and piercings. His powerful messages stay with his audiences long after hearing him.