Have you ever struggled through prayer? Found yourself lost on your to-do list? Perhaps, felt a little guilty because you know you need to pray, but your focus runs away like a mouse in a maze?
You’re not alone! For years, I struggled in this area until I created my prayer journal (actually, it’s more like a prayer binder).
As I mentioned in last week’s post on ‘Prayer: Steering Wheel or Spare Tire‘, I became a mom at a very young age – sixteen to be exact. Gasp, I know!!
Needless to say, my college days were very different than most. With a young daughter, there were times I had to miss class for one reason or another. Some professors completely understood, fully willing to offer makeup work.
But then … there was him. No makeup work. No excuses!
You had to be present to receive follow-up instructions to a current project, or directions for the next assignment.
I have to admit, at the time, I thought it was a bit harsh, but now I see a valuable lesson interwoven. This professor knew he had a syllabus and a limited time with his students. Lessons to be taught, assignments to be given, and test to gauge our comprehension.
Sure, he could have given the make-up assignment with an overall brief backstory, but I would have missed the details. And, how many of you know details matter? Details bring life to stories and get you from point A to point B. His attendance requirement, while it seemed restrictive, was actually setting me up for success.
In Psalm 90:12, the Word says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
You see, we have the only true Professor. And when we realize our days are numbered, that life on this earth is temporary, and time is our most precious resource, then, and only then, do we fully understand that every day is an assignment.
Every day is a call for prayer.
A call to sit with our Professor, listen to His instructions, and receive those details that bring our stories to life. When you and I are not present, we don’t hear the instructions for current or future assignments. We miss out on the syllabus of our lives. The one our Creator thought about and planned long ago, written just for us.
Friends, when we are underwhelmed in our prayer life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with life. No direction. Lost. Exhausted.
That why I am so excited to share my journal with you along with some free printables for you to use.
It’s broken into sections: Praise, Selfie, My Loves, Prayer List, He Speaks, Bible Studies, and Verses.
Praise: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and courts with praise. Psalm 100:4
- List of His names (free printable): Because so much of His character is revealed through His names, I start off by acknowledging the power of His name. For example, “Father, you are the Author and Perfector of my life. Thank you that I can trust you to write my life’s story better than I ever could. I surrender my ‘pen’ to you.”
- Song Lyrics: If a song stands out, I’ll write down the lyrics. I also listen to a worship song before praying to wash away the surroundings and align my heart.
Selfie: Search me, Lord, and reveal any unconfessed sin. Psalm 139:23-24
- Here, I ask the Father to forgive me for anything I’ve done, to cleanse my feet so I can walk in His righteousness, and purify my heart and the words that flow from it.
- Other areas I pray over are my work, compassion for His lost children, His direction for my life, for Him to establish the work of my hands and any areas in need of holy attention. Find specific scripture relating to your life and pray them.
My Loves: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6
- Virtues like boldness, joy, patience, etc. I pray for myself as well as my family.
- I have subsections for each family member (and some extended members) where I list specific areas of prayer. Each day of the week is assigned a different area specific to the individual, including related scripture to pray over them. These will be specific to the area of prayer your family member(s) need, but I’ve included a free printable to help you get started.
Prayer List: With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints … Ephesians 6:18
- Here I keep a prayer list for others. When the prayer has been answered, I note the date. Looking back at God’s faithfulness gives us hope for the future situations.
He Speaks: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
- Once I pray over the above areas, I sit in silence with anticipation. Being still doesn’t always come easy but, with practice, you will find yourself looking forward to this quiet time. When He speaks, AND HE WILL, this is where I journal my time with the Father (printable included). What did He say? Did He bring someone to mind? Has He placed something on your heart? Write it all down and date it. Looking back over the last few years, I am amazed at some of the things I’ve written, which only came from Him.
Bible Verse: Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6:21-22
- I keep a list of verses I would like to memorize. As a family, we try to memorize a new verse every week, which is normally pulled from this list. It’s always growing!
Bible Study: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
- As I read through scripture, I keep notes of important verses, people, and anything else the Lord applies His “holy highlighter” to. I’ve included a free printable for this as well. Yay for freebies!
- This section also includes a study on a certain topic or person.
Well, that’s it! The one tool that completely changed my life. Because I’m so passionate about it and believe in the power of prayer, I’d love to give a free journal away – set up and ready to go! Just leave a comment below. The winner will be announced next Friday, May 19th. Sign up for the newsletter and you’ll receive the Bible Study Notes, Areas of Prayer, Names of God, and Journal-page instantly.
I pray God invades your heart this week as you commit to drawing near to Him in prayer!
Until next week, blessings!!