How I Use a Prayer Notebook
In my last post, I talked about getting organized so that we can be more productive Christians. One area where organization has helped me tremendously is organizing my prayer time. If you're like me you may find that you don't have as much time to pray as you would like. With all the things going on in our world and our culture right now, I think we could pray all day and still not cover everything that concerns us. It gets frustrating to me when my days are so hectic and filled with activity that I'm not able to talk to God about those matters. And I find that if I cut my prayer time short, I just don't have the necessary power from the Holy Spirit to stay focused on Him for the wisdom and strength I need to be an effective servant and Christian witness. I find myself getting fearful, anxious, frustrated, and impatient when I neglect my time with the Lord in the mornings before I begin my day. In order to make the most of my prayer time, I organized a three ring binder into categories with 31 prayers - a prayer for every day of the month - in each of those different categories. This allows me to pray many different specific prayers over the course of each month, rather than just saying the same broad, quick prayer every day. I wanted to share with you my prayer journal so you could adapt it to your needs and perhaps get some ideas for setting up your own organized prayer time.
Category 1 - Praise
Jesus began the Lord's prayer with a praise to God the Father. "Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name." The first section in my binder is for praise. In it I include 31 days of Scripture verses of praise to guide me in praising God each morning. I love to simply pray the Scriptures back to God because when I'm using His own Words, I know that I am praying according to His will. By praying Scripture, you are agreeing with God's Word and asking Him to bring it to pass in your own life. Sometimes I just read the Scripture verse to God, and sometimes I use it as a starting point for more praise in my own words from my own heart. Just let the Holy Spirit lead you, as He is the One who helps you to pray anyway. You can type up your own list of Scripture verses, or you can download my list of 31 Days of Scripture Prayers of Praise here.
Category 2 - Myself
I know it probably seems selfish to put yourself next, but you need to confess your sins and allow God to "get the log our of your own eye" so to speak, before you can pray effectively for others. First I ask God to show me my sins and forgive me of those and also any unknown sins that I have committed against Him. Then, once again, I pray Scripture over myself for the day. I also have a list compiled which you may download and use of 31 Days of Praying for Myself in this section of your notebook. Many of these prayers are Scripture verses that I wanted to pray into my life. Some of them came from the prayer sections of A. W. Tozer's classic books. If you want to go deeper with the Lord, these books will definitely help you along the way. His prayers at the end of the chapters are gold for the Christian wanting to grow closer to God.
Category 3 - Thanksgiving
I remember when I used to just say, "Thank you, God, for everything you do for me." What a broad and non-specific prayer! How much better to actually list things for which we can be thankful and thank God for one of them every day of the month. I also add answers to prayers that may have taken place each day as I thank God for His goodness and care of my family and myself. If you want to take a look at my 31 Days of Thanksgiving, you can find it here. You can use mine or make one specific to your life.
Category 4 - My Husband
Obviously, if you don't have a husband, you would skip this section. If you do have a husband then please pray for him every day. As the leader of your household, he has a tremendous responsibility before God to guide you and your children. The excellent wife of Proverbs 31 does her husband good, and not evil all the days of her life. Satan attacks your home and your marriage by attacking your husband and your relationship with him. It is important to pray for him, not only for his own good, but for the good of your entire household. The best list I've found of 31 prayers for your husband is at Revive Our Hearts. You can download their list here - it's the one I have used for years.
Category 5 - My Children
My next category is my children, and now I also include my grandchildren in these prayers. I compiled these prayers from several places over the years, but mainly from Stormie Omartian's book, "The Power of a Praying Parent." If you haven't read this book and you have children or grandchildren, I highly recommend it! She has several books on prayer that are very good. Here are the ones I've read so far and can recommend:
Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On (Stormie Omartian's powerful autobiography)
You can get her book and adapt her prayers for your own children and grandchildren, or you are welcome to have a copy of my 31 Days of Praying for My Children.
Category 6 - Others
Here is where I keep my church prayer list, my prayers for the persecuted church from Voice of the Martyrs, my missionary prayer concerns from Gospel for Asia, and any other people who are sick or in need of prayers for whom I have committed to pray. I pray for the lost, for our country, for the poor, orphans, and widows, etc. This page is hand written and changed often based on need.
If you would like to create your own prayer notebook, you need to purchase a pretty three ring binder like the ones I found here on Amazon.
You will also need some dividers for each section you choose to add to your binder. I doodled on my dividers to decorate them, or you can get them already decorated. I've had my notebook for several years, so I'm in the process of updating it and making it prettier - I really love pretty, crafty, things - but I don't have that much time to make them. I would love for you to share some pictures of the notebooks or prayer journals that you have created so I can get some inspiration! I hope you can find something today that you can use from this post to help you organize your own prayer time and grow closer to the Lord as you spend time with Him each day!
(Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate, so if you purchase from my links on this page I get credit.)