This week, I’m honored to feature the author of the Psalm 119 Prayer Journal, Dr. Barbara L. Peacock. Her passion for prayer and spiritual direction led to her publish a journal where others could experience the power of these disciplines in their lives. I’m inspired as she shares her own journey to spiritual reflection and journaling.
As you read our conversation, I believe you’ll be inspired too.
1. What began your discipline of having a quiet time?
Growing up on a secluded farm in Whiteville, NC, there was ample time for silence, solitude and self-reflection. However, the pace of life picked up as I went to college and eventually, got married. Once we started a family and I started a career, life became filled with activities and responsibilities.
But I felt the tug of the contemplative lifestyle.
Having time and space for the soul to meditate brought much joy to my spirit. Even more so, as I studied for my doctorate at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, I realized that my natural instinct is to live a more reflective life.
2. What inspired you to write the devotional?
My inspiration for the journal came several years ago as I read Psalm 119. But instead of trying to create devotional thoughts around the verses, each verse of Psalm 119 spoke to me in a direct way. I believed putting it in journal format would speak to others as well.
I’ve journaled for over 50 years. Putting thoughts on paper is transformative therapy. Journaling is a point of reference to help us see how God is working in our lives.
3. What do you want readers to experience?
My prayer is that the Spirit will speak revelation knowledge and empower readers to apply biblical truth. I pray that each verse will evoke reflection and prompt them to journal what God reveals. Consequently, they will experience a more productive, empowered and insightful life.
While journaling on Psalm 119, I encourage readers to pray before putting pen to paper and allow time to read the passage over and over, until it speaks to them. This repeated sacred reading is referred to as Lectio Divina.
I experience time alone with God in a variety of ways. Here are a few. Readers may also incorporate these ideas into their alone time with God.
1. Even in noisy places we can have the mental capacity to “get away with God” by focusing on heavenly thoughts. (Colossians 3:1-3)
2. When we lay in bed, we can focus on who God is and be enveloped in His loving presence. (Psalm 63:5-7)
3. Go on a walk with God and focus on Him as Creator. (Psalm 146:5-6)
4. Spend time in silence and solitude. (Habakkuk 2:20)
5. Going on an extended retreat at a resort, conference center or camp ground. (Psalm 62:8)
And of course, reading the Bible and journaling.
4. How would you describe alone time with God?
It is a contemplative mindset. It gives me a blank slate before the Lord — whether I’m praying out loud or silently. Ultimately, time alone with God requires a tenacious intentionality to be with Him in a most intimate way, no matter what.
Thank you Dr. Peacock! Her sharing causes me to reflect on the power of God’s presence and how I experience Him from day-to-day. What have you enjoyed through journaling? What is meaningful to you in your quiet time with God? Share your thoughts in the comment section. Our methods may differ but the invitation is the same: To encounter the true and living God based on the authority of His word. Through His Son, Jesus, we can see Him and hear Him offering hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
Rev. Dr. Barbara L. Peacock is a Christian author, teacher, spiritual leader and speaker. She is the founder of Barbara L. Peacock Ministries (barbaralpeacock.com). Her ministry is committed to developing disciples through prayer, spiritual direction and soul care. Dr. Peacock is the leading author for C.A.L.L.E.D. To Teach (Commissioned As Leaders, Learners, Educators and Disciples). The book is designed to develop leaders and teachers within the faith community. Dr. Peacock’s favorite book is Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading by Eugene Peterson. She has been married to her husband Gilbert for 35 years. They are the blessed parents of Vernee and her husband Michael; and the grandparents of Eden and Eliah. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.