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Organizing your prayer life does not have to be a chore. I have shared previously about my Faith Journal which helps me to be organized in my prayer life and other aspects of spiritual growth. I use it every day, and it has aided my prayer life growth in ways I could never have imagined.
However, I know that journals don’t work for everyone. So, today I am going to share some alternate methods for organizing your prayer life and hope that one of them will resonate with you. My goal is that your prayer life will grow and be encouraged by this post.
Ways to Organize Your Prayer Life
Use Index Cards
Earlier in my life, I used index cards as my prayer reminders. I would write one person’s name on each card, or sometimes a family name. For example, my mom and dad went on one card, the missionary families I prayed from went on another card, my siblings and their families each got a card, and my church and pastor went on a separate card.
This process didn’t work well for me. One reason for that is that I had no system other than writing down the names and details on cards and praying over them. I have since learned some tricks that would make this method more effective.
First, write out all your cards. Then take the cards and make three piles based on the frequency you wish to pray for each person/card. For example, I would have a daily pile which would include my husband, my children, my grandchildren, and myself. I would have a weekly pile which would include the categories I pray for weekly: missionaries, church, pastor, lost friends and family, saved friends and family, government and country, and miscellaneous prayers. The last pile would be answered prayers – this is where praise and thanksgiving come in.
The last step would be to keep your cards neat and easily accessible. One idea is paper-clipping each pile together, then use a binder clip to keep all three stacks together. A second idea is to use mini-photo albums, like the type you can find at dollar stores. Have three separate albums or some way to divide the album into three sections, such as washi tape on the edges.
Using index cards has the advantage of being able to add notes below a person’s name. If you regularly pray for your mom, but she has surgery next week, you can add a note about the surgery to remember that in prayer, then cross it off (or add to an ‘answered prayer’ card). You can also shift the cards around – taking a weekly card and making it a daily card or changing a daily card to a weekly card. Of course, moving cards to the answered pile is also easier. Try this method if you don’t have a plan, it might work for you.
Use a Prayer Calendar
You can find plenty of prayer calendars online just by googling the term. Or you can make your own. To make your own, first brainstorm a list of everything you want to remember in prayer. Next, take a blank calendar for the month and plug everything into one or more days. Keep this calendar with your Bible and planner and it will help you remember to pray regularly. This is also handy if you have date-specific prayers to pray, such as praying for finals week for your son away at college.
Use a Schedule
I have shared that I assign certain topics to certain days, such as Monday for praying for missionaries I know and ministries I covenant to support in prayer, Tuesdays for the lost I love, and so on. This type of schedule can go in a journal, on an index card, or on a calendar. You might even what to be alliterative!
- M: Mission and Ministry Monday: praying for all things missionary and ministry-related
- T: Twisted Tuesday: praying for all those whose minds are twisted against the Gospel – the lost
- W: Worship Wednesday: praying for all things church-related
- T: Thankful Thursday: thanking the Father for all answered prayer
- F: Family Friday: praying for all extended family members
- S: Superhero Saturday: praying for first-responders and military members
- S: Spirit Sunday: Praying as the Spirit leads
Use a Prayer App
I confess I haven’t used a prayer apps. However, I have read good reviews about PrayerMate and Pocket Prayer (available only for iPhone). Try one and let me know how you like it. It might be the right guide for you if you’re a techy person.
Use a Prayer Guide
I have created prayer guides that I detailed in the 20 Ways to Pray series. These prayer guides are what I use to guide my prayers. But there are plenty of other prayer guides available online if these guides don’t work for you. If, for example, you are interested in praying for your children’s character, then search that term to find some guides. If you’re interested in praying more intelligently for the lost around the world and missions, search prayer for mission or prayer for the world, and you’ll find plenty of options. Using a guide can keep your prayer life from being so self-focused. Find one or more that suit you and try them.
Pray God’s Word
Use the model prayers in the Bible to guide your personal praying. Not limited to the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), this also includes Paul’s prayers in the epistles ( Ephesians 1;17-19; 3:16-19; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12), Daniel’s prayer of confession for his nation’s sin (Daniel 9:1-23), praying through the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), or the characteristics of maturity (2 Peter 1:4-8). You could also use Praying God’s Word, by Beth Moore, or follow the 3 R’s of Praying Scripture: Rejoice, Repent, Request.
In the 3 R’s method, you choose a verse to pray, and then rejoice over the truth in the verse, repent of your failings related to the verse, and request a blessing for yourself based on the verse. For example, if you chose John 1:14, you could rejoice that Jesus came in the flesh to redeem us, repent of taking this awesome reality for granted and not praising enough for the incarnation of Jesus, and request that the Lord would open your eyes to the full grace and truth of this fact and that you would praise more often for this miracle.
Recommended Books to Read
Finally, if you want to learn more about prayer, spend some time in the presence of those who are intimately acquainted with the practice. If you can find a prayer mentor, great! But if not, choose one or more mentors through their written words.
- Fervent, by Priscilla Shirer
- 30 Days to Becoming a Woman of Prayer, by Stormie Ormartian (all her books on prayer are wonderful)
- The Daniel Prayer, by Anne Graham Lotz
- Too Busy Not to Pray, by Bill Hybels
- The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson
- Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days, by Kay Arthur
If you want to get your prayer life under control, choose one of these suggestions and start today! I’d love to hear from you how it’s going, what is working for you, and anything you might suggest that I could add to this list.