Prayer Journaling with Author Carol Round


        “God always knows what we are going through. He knows every hair on our heads because He has numbered them. We are significant in His eyes. Why shouldn’t we express our pain, our bitterness, our anger, our fears and our inability to forgive to the One who created us, to the One who gave His only Son so that we might be forgiven?”

         Well, that is exactly what Author Carol Round has taught in her book, Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God.  





        
        We all experience ups and downs, however, journaling your emotions,thoughts, fears, and prayers can be a way out of suffering in silence.  Carol has beautifully illustrated through much research and many testimonials that through the power of journaling one can feel heard and acknowledged by God.  Not only can journaling be an outlet during those storms of life, it can be an everyday tool for communication with God.





         When I came across Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God, I had to grab a copy and after reading it, I absolutely had to introduce Carol and prayer journaling to you! As someone who keeps a prayer journal, I personally connected to this book. To be honest, it never occurred to me that there were other believers who also kept a journal and to read so many testimonials about what it's done for their spiritual growth was truly a blessing. I feel more than inspired to share this message with you and I hope you take the time to visit Carol's blog and please-go grab a copy of Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God.

 Prayer Journaling with Author Carol Round


1.      Carol, how did you become an author?

       I have been a freelance writer for more than 20 years. I started while I was still teaching high school. After retiring in 2005, I began writing a weekly faith-based column. I started receiving emails from readers telling me they were tearing them out of the newspaper, saving them or passing them on. I was out mowing my lawn one day—right after I had received an email from a reader—and I thought, “Oh, you’ve got a book!” I compiled the best of my columns into a book in 2006, followed by another one in 2008 and another in 2009.

       My third volume came out in 2013. I have also written “Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God,” and the companion workbook, “The 40-Day Challenge.” All are available through Amazon.

 

2.      What a blessing! I really believe the Lord had this in mind all along. So what inspired you to write Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God?

      I have been prayer journaling since 2001. In 2006, I was asked to speak at a breakout session on that topic at a women’s retreat. I spoke three times to three different groups. In each session, the women asked me, “Do you have a book?” In 2012, I finally finished the book. I was sidetracked during the 6 years in-between until God got my attention, reminding me I had promised those ladies I would write a book.

 

3.    I'm very happy the Lord grabbed your attention to write this book, but for those who don't know, what exactly is prayer journaling?

        Prayer journaling is a spiritual discipline. A journal is different from a diary in that the latter is like keeping a report of what is happening in your life. Think of a teenage girl, heartbroken because her boyfriend broke up with her. In a journal, you examine your life. It’s all about “so what?” and “what now?”

         Keeping a journal leads to insight and growth. A prayer journal, then, is a way to keep track of your journey as well as a written record of your reactions to matters of the spirit. By keeping a prayer journal, you see your life’s journey through eyes of faith.

 

4.      Why should someone take up prayer journaling, in other words what are some of the benefits to keeping a journal?

            While there are many reasons why someone should start keeping a prayer journal, I can say, with confidence, and from experience, that keeping a prayer journal will help you: 
·         to draw closer to your Creator
·         grow spiritually
·         to recognize God at work in your life
·         to make major decisions (like job changes, a move, etc.) based on daily communication with God
·         to discern what His still, small voice is trying to tell you
·         to trace your spiritual growth

There are more benefits, which can be discovered by reading
Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God.”

5.      I would imagine this could be awkward for someone who may be trying this for the first time.  How do you begin this conversation with God if you’ve never kept a journal before?

            When I first began keeping a prayer journal in 2001, I was going through a difficult time in my life. I was separated from, and eventually divorced my husband of 28years. It was not an easy decision but by pouring out my heart to God in my prayer journal, I began to find clarity and eventually, healing.

            In my early journal entries, which are always dated, I started my daily entry with                   “Dear God.”  It’s like writing a letter, a love letter,—you just pour out to Him, in writing, whatever is on your heart. As my relationship with Him has grown more intimate—through keeping a daily prayer journal—I now start my daily entry with “Dear Abba   Father.”


6.      What are some journaling tools one might want to think of to have if this is their first time keeping a journal?

            In my book, “Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God,” I tell readers that as long as you have your favorite writing utensil and a notebook, you’re good to   go. I started with a spiral notebook but have graduated to bound journals, designed specifically for prayer journaling and purchased at my favorite Christian bookstore.

            In my special sacred place—my sunroom—I start each day with reading scripture, followed by my favorite daily devotional. These tools remain in my sun room, along with my prayer journal and an assortment of pens. Sometimes, I journal after  reading scripture; other times, I journal before reading the Bible or my devotional. It all depends on what is happening in my life and in my spirit at that time.

            I tell people that there is no one right way to keep a prayer journal. Just as your         relationship with the Lord is personal so is your method of communicating with Him in your journal. There are no hard and fast rules. It’s all about seeking His face each morning and spending time with your Heavenly Father. We were designed to have a relationship with Him. It’s up to each of us to do our part by reaching out to Him.

7.       For those who feel as though writing down their prayers, or emotions isn’t for them and are struggling with just maintaining a prayer life- what would you suggest as an alternative to journaling? Any tips on how to maintain a prayer life?

            While prayer journaling might not be for everyone, I encourage individuals to try it—at least for 40 days. In my companion workbook, “The 40-Day Challenge,” readers can find a daily journaling prompt, beginning prayer and faith steps to take to help them get started. Once people sign the covenant in the back of my book—to commit to journal for 40 days—most have no trouble sticking with it.

            To maintain a prayer life, it must become a habit—a good habit or discipline   because that’s what a good habit is—a discipline. To help maintain this discipline,  whether it’s keeping a prayer journal or any other method of praying, you must make the commitment to do it daily. That’s why I have all my tools—Bible,   devotional, journal and pen—in one place, my sun room. I don’t have to hunt for my tools each morning. They are waiting for me after I arise and make a cup of hot tea.

            I encourage individuals to give God the first fruits of their day, even if it means rising 15-30 minutes earlier. When you start the day with your Heavenly Father, the rest of your day will go much more smoothly. While you will still have trouble each day, your response to the day’s challenges will not be as disconcerting.

CAROL ROUND, self-syndicated columnist, Christian author and inspirational speaker, began her journey with the Lord in October 2001 when she admitted her need for His guidance. Since that time, she has sought a deeper relationship with Him through reading scripture, Bible study and the personal discipline of keeping a daily prayer journal. After being encouraged by other Christian women, she has compiled her experiences with prayer journaling into "Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God" and the companion workbook, "The 40-Day Challenge." Both are available through amazon.com.

Carol's first two books, A MATTER OF FAITH, and FAITH MATTERS, are collections of her weekly faith-based column which runs in 12 Oklahoma newspapers and at http://www.assistnews.net/. Both books can be purchased through amazon.com.

Her third collection of columns, "Sola Fide: by FAITH alone," was released in October 2012 and is also available through amazon.com.

Connect with Carol!

Please visit Carol's blog at http://carolaround.com/ 
Carol's book website at http://journalingwithjesus.com/.
All quotes were adapted from Carol Round (2012-01-26). Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God (p. 38). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

 

 

3 comments:

  1. Carol, what a lovely interview. I've never prayer jounaled before but it sounds like something I'd love to do. I'm going to get your book! Thanks for sharing. And thanks, Sabrina for having her here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Caroline and James! It was a pleasure to have Carol do this and I'm so thankful this is something you might consider for your own spiritual growth. :)

    ReplyDelete