A Consistent Time of Prayer
Prayer is one of the easiest personal disciplines to do, but many would consider it one of the hardest to maintain. It is simple in that it can take place anywhere, at any time, yet people treat it as if it were an ancient stone containing a foreign language that they have to decipher. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. It’s incredible to consider. The sovereign God of the universe, the One who spoke the world into existence out of nothing, is always willing to take your call. You’ll never get his voicemail or hear a busy signal. In fact, Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me, and I will show you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.”
I am convinced that one of the reasons we fail to pray is because we fail to recognize or remember when God has answered our prayers. Therefore, I would like to introduce you to the concept of a prayer journal. You can keep this notebook with your Bible, where you can keep track of God’s answers to your petitions. If organized simply, the journal can serve as a prompt when you don’t know what to pray about, as well as a springboard to prayers of gratitude for what God has done in your life and in the lives of those around you.
The first step in your prayer journal journey is to divide the first four pages into eight sections. These sections will correspond with the seven days of the week, with the final section coinciding with the year. (These section heads are not original to me. I have used them for as long as I can remember, and I do not know where they originated.). Label the first section this way: “Monday—Missionaries.” Underneath the heading, write out the words to Matthew 9:36-38. Below that heading, make a list of missionaries you either know or who are sent via your church or denomination. These can be international missionaries or domestic missionaries/church planters.
Once you have finished section 1, label section 2 as “Tuesday—Tasks.” Underneath this section heading, write Colossians 3:17. On this page make a list of significant tasks you need to accomplish for the upcoming week, month or year.
The third section should be labeled “Wednesday—Workers.” Write the words of Philippians 3:10. In this section, write the names of your pastor, your church’s ministerial staff, support staff, and your Sunday school or small group leaders.
The fourth category is “Thursday—Government Officials.” (I realized that my nice alliterative headings break down here, but I am hard-pressed to think of a category that works besides the one I used.) Underneath the title, write the words to 1 Timothy 2:1-2. In this section, write the names of the elected officials in your city, state, and federal levels. Pray that God would raise godly men and women to serve, that He would give them fortitude and courage to serve while living according to the principles that align with the Bible.
In the fifth division, write Friday—Friends and Family. Under this section, pray for those who are closest to you. Pray for their faith, health, and other pressing needs in their lives of which you are aware.
Label the sixth box with the heading “Saturday—The Lost.” The scripture that I encourage you to write underneath this title is Luke 19:10. A disclaimer here: this should not be the only day that you pray for those who are lost and need to know Jesus as Savior; nevertheless, it is essential to focus your prayer for them on this particular day.
The seventh section of the journal should be labeled “Sunday—Services.” A verse to coincide with this section is Hebrews 10:24-25. Commit to praying for the worship services at your church and those happening at other churches around you.
In the eighth section, make a list of specific long-term prayer needs for the upcoming year. In the pages that follow these divisions, take the opportunity to jot down what you are praying for when you pray. Write the date beside them. For example, if a neighbor is interviewing for a new job, you can pray that God would provide for that. Then once you hear from them, you can go back and write the date God answered it and how He answered it. These pages will serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to hear our prayers. When you look over these answers, it will spur you to continue to seek the Lord’s face. Lastly, I would encourage you to share how God is answering you. I’m certainly always ready to hear your report!