What is it about prayer that both intrigues and intimidates us?
Most Christians know they should pray and yet would describe their personal prayer life as anything but exciting or intimate. What is it that prevents us from experiencing this great gift through which we are granted entrance to the very throne room of heaven (Heb. 4:16)? Why is it that most Christians struggle in this area and experience guilt and condemnation when anyone mentions prayer?
I, too, struggled with guilt and inhibitions in my personal prayer life. I wanted to walk and talk with the God I encountered through salvation and read about in His Word. I began to pray Psalm 42:1 on a daily basis. “As the deer pants for the water brooks so my soul pants for thee.” I asked God to make that a reality in my life. After about six months of praying this verse, I suddenly realized God was answering my prayer.
As my desire increased, I felt led to develop a plan to help me accomplish the great calling to commune with God and get in on His Kingdom agenda. I wanted to “stand in the gap” for my family, church, and city, as well as the nations. I knew this would take more than my mediocre attempts and my “Lord, bless us” prayers of the past.
I would like to share my simple notebook method with you.
It is obviously not the only method that works for prayer. There are many different methods people have used through the years. My husband uses blank business cards to write out his prayer requests and prays through them. I have a friend who uses a new prayer journal each year. But this simple notebook has worked for me for almost twenty years. I encourage you to find a plan that works for you and implement it.
Here is how my notebook is organized:
I use a simple three ring notebook, notebook paper, page protecters, and dividers. These are the sections I use with the dividers:
- Praise – mostly scriptures I pray to the Lord ascribing to Him His glory.
- Family – I use page protectors to insert pictures so I can look at their faces as I pray for them. I have a page or pages for each family member that contain requests, as well as the scriptures that I pray for them.
- Church – I have a list of our staff members and specific scriptures I pray for them and their families.
- Friends – We have many friends in ministry I pray for on a regular basis.
- Intercession – When someone asks me to pray for them, I write their name down with the specific request. I date the requests and then write down the answer later. I have lists for physical healing, couples who desire children, singles who desire marriage, my discipleship group and their families…etc.
- Government – I pray for local, state, and national government.
- Missions and the World – I pray for missionaries and mission trips that I am taking or that church members are participating in. I also pray for mission organizations like Compassion International and the child we sponsor. In this section, I like to include a world atlas.
As your notebook grows, you won’t be able to pray for every section each day. I pray over my family each day, and then I vary the days for the other sections. You may want to choose specific days of the week per section.
One of my greatest faith-boosting activities is to look back in my notebook and review all of the answers to prayer I have experienced. In my notebook, I also record the times the Lord reveals Himself in a new way as I experience His presence and the truths that he unveils through His Word. Not every day will be a mountaintop experience, but you will have enough of them that they will keep you coming back for more!
Don’t allow complacency or the tyranny of the urgent to keep you from the greatest investment you could ever make in your children’s lives – prayer!
Prayer changes you, those you pray for, and the circumstances you bring before the throne. Don’t put it off another day – pray!
Now that I’ve shared my prayer notebook method with you, I’d like to invite you to watch the video below as I share a personal prayer testimony for one of my own children who struggled with rebellion during his teenage years. Also, we have made available to you several printables below that you can include in your own prayer notebook!
*We hope you enjoyed today’s post and our FIRST Missional Motherhood video! Please feel free to comment with your thoughts below!