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Do you ever feel that life just keeps on getting more and more complicated? When I look back at my grandparents’ time, I realize that in lots of ways their life was much harder than mine, but it certainly was much simpler. I guess that some people still manage to lead a simple life, but for most of us, life just seems to get busier and busier. I used to be a great list maker; I still find them about the house, tucked into books or pockets, lost underneath cushions, not a great system if you want to get things done. So, like a lot of people, I got myself a planner so that I could keep all my to do stuff in one place…About the same time I also started keeping a prayer journal, because I felt that my time for talking to God was getting squeezed by all the day to day stuff. One day while I was writing in my prayer journal I realized that there is no divide between my working/social life and my Christian life. It’s not like I’m a part-time Christian, which is the way I was treating my life. God informs my every breathing moment, so why was I compartmentalizing my life. Now I use a Christian planner, everything is in one place and all my plans and preparations are made in the clear light of Scripture.
What is a Christian Planner?
Quite simply it’s a regular weekly planner embedded with the Christian faith. A Christian planner reminds you that Jesus is not a part of your life, He is your life and everything you do, everything you think, should reflect that. A Christian planner will give you a structure within which you can develop your faith: a daily prayer request, a daily Biblical affirmation, and daily gratitude and space for reflection. Within this structure you can also plan out those things that you need or want to do. Planning your life within the context of Scripture will help you decide the spiritual value of your undertakings. It will help you simplify your life by keeping a tight focus on what God wants of you.
How to use a Christian Planner
There are no hard and fast rules here: if the way you use your planner keeps God at the center of your life and helps you organize the day to day, then it’s working. There are, however, some practicalities that you might want to consider. Perhaps you might want to use your planner in conjunction with the course of Bible study that you’ve undertaken, or perhaps you’ll feel drawn to a more unstructured approach and you want to let God lead through the Scripture by opening your Bible at a random place each day. Your method is not important; it’s the quality of your conversation with God that counts. One thing is for sure though: Scripture always takes precedent, your day to day concerns should be dealt with after your conversation with God, not the other way round. God will guide you to discern what is important in your life.
When to use a Christian Planner
If you’re a Christian and you feel that you don’t have time to use a Christian planner everyday, then I would say to you that you need to sort out your priorities. I know that not everyone gets on with writing, and if you find writing a struggle that certainly does not make you a bad Christian. For centuries there have been millions of devout Christians who were unable to read or write. Finding writing a challenge does not mean that you can’t study Scripture each day and talk to God each day and if you want to begin by writing in your planner just once a week then God is not going to judge you, He knows what’s in your heart.
You need to set aside a time of day when you can clear your mind and let God into your heart. Get up a little earlier, there’s no better way to start the day than with prayer and reflection. You’ve got small kids, ok, early morning is not going to work for you, so why not try turning off that T.V. a little earlier so that you can reflect on your life in the light of the Scripture. Make that sacred space in your day. Find a place where no one will disturb you and take along your Bible and your Christian planner.
Can I make my own Christian Planner?
Of course you can. God is not going to be impressed because you spent a lot of money on some fancy planner. You could make any notebook into a Christian planner: mark out the weeks, copy out verses, put in the headings that you think are important and away you go. If you’ve never kept a Christian planner, however, and you’re unsure how to get started, you’ll probably want to choose a commercially available Christian planner that has been designed to help you form the habit of Christian journaling.
Where can I buy a Christian Planner?
Most Christian bookshops will carry a range of Prayer and Gratitude Journals and Christian planners or you may want to look online. Our Daily Prayer and Gratitude Journal has been designed to help you strengthen your faith and create a positive mindset, it features daily affirmations, helpful section headings and full instructions to help you make the best use of your time.