Friday, October 02, 2009


Prayer is something I always struggle with, and I suppose I always will. It sometimes flows freely in praise and talking and pouring out my soul to my Father. But, to pray faithfully and specifically to intercede for others takes so much discipline. My flesh fights against it. My mind wanders. My to-do list beckons. My heart is unmoved. Far. Too. Often.

And, while the problem is sin overall, there is the real issue of just being overwhelmed by what to pray for. It's a long list - thinking of the prayer needs at church, home group, women's group, in your friends' lives, in your families and when you think of missionaries, nonbelievers, neighbors... not to mention your own kids, spouse and the biggest sinner you know - yourself!

Anyway, I recently went to visit a dear friend of mine. I was sitting on the couch one day, and saw her prayer calendar sticking out of her Bible. Without trying to be too nosy, I did glance at it, remembering awhile back when I made one. I admired the way hers seemed simpler than my former one. And usually when you shoot for some kind of daily routine (be it cleaning or something more like this) that is very complex, it eventually fizzles out.

So, I asked her for her categories. And, I'm slowly working on a new one today.

It's basically a table (Sunday-Saturday at the top, categories on the side, requests in the proper cells). She folds it up in her Bible and pulls it out each morning.

I have tweaked hers some, and may keep tweaking, but this is what I'm considering at this point, and there is a point forthcoming for me sharing this with you...

-"Baby Butts"
-Churches/Ministries/Major Leaders
-Elders/Families and Deacons
-3ABC (our church)/Ministries

So, for example on Monday for family, I might be praying for my dad and mom, my friend Mindy and our friends the Riedls, the President, Children's Ministries at Third Avenue, etc.

Here's where I'm stuck. I also have lists of prayer requests from our church prayer meetings, home group and our women's book study group. I have prayer requests that I aim to lift up continuously like some friends who are adopting and we are longing for God to bring their boys home. Dustin's co-teacher's son has leukemia. The 8 or so friends I know who are having a baby soon.

Prayer should not be a burden, and I don't want to over-organize it. I know that many things I should just be praying about spontaneously, as people or situations come to mind.

But, my question remains... if you are a believer, how do you discipline your prayer life to consistently lift up so many various needs? Do you have a similar calendar? Do you have any suggestions? Do you have one main prayer time a day? Do you carve out one big time a week to pray in a more focused way? I don't know. I would like to learn what others do. I hate to say it in this way, but what works for you? What have you found helpful?

I'd love to hear from you on this one.


Kristy said...

Hi Jamie!

I am failing miserably here. But what WAS working for me was just a list broke up by days of the week. I had a daily page for those I prayed for daily; then each day of the week had one (I think I skipped Sat-Sun). So one day may be church friends; another day family friends, etc... I went through it before/after my daily reading. I also put applicable verses with some people so that I was praying those specific things for them. If I skipped a day, I just went on to the next. Other people I know just post things on the fridge--just a quick prayer when you see it. Thankfully, God is gracious to hear us always--even when we don't make a very good effort in this area. I love you Jamie and love your blog. I am looking forward to what others say in response to this. And also to see how you pray with your little one. :)

sarahdodson said...

I love your heart in this, Jamie. I really admire your desires and your goals in life. Makes me just want to hug you! :o)

I don't have a certain style/system of prayer. With children occupying much of my time/energy, it makes me thankful that prayer can take place at ANY time and at ANY place. You'll see :o) The Lord is gracious to put certain people on my heart to pray for. If I tell somebody I'll pray for them, I try to do it right then, and pray as the Lord brings that person/situation to my mind.

I, too, pray for the preggies! Thanks for all you shared. Hope any of what I wrote makes sense. Life is different with children. It's very good, but very different. The Lord is faithful to give grace at each stage.

mindy said...

It seems like all Christians share in this struggle. Why is this?? I think answering this question may help our prayers and truly understanding prayer...which is something we will never fully do. Our sinful flesh often hinders us. But we are not the only one in this situation. We have the Holy Spirit who utters for us. What a beautiful grace of God!!!

The girls book study that I am in is probably going to be reading Jonathon Edward's book on prayer. I will jot notes down to specifically discuss with you. ;) I love you, dear friend and sister in Christ!!