Becoming Faithful in Prayer

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Devotion, by Grunwald

My last post was a brief refresher study on prayer – what it is and how to do it. I want to share with you what God has been showing me about my own prayer life and where He’d like to grow me. I also share a printable with you at the end.

My Experience

I figured out a while ago that if I said I’d pray for someone, I’d better do it immediately, or I’d forget. I also used to never promise to pray for someone daily because I knew I’d fail. But I’m often getting that prompting to make those commitments now, whether I tell the person or not.

The problem is, while my spirit is willing, my brain is completely fried by long, joyful, chaotic days with small children. I can barely remember to pray for my own family, let alone praying daily for others. While those spontaneous prayers over the course of the day are wonderful, I want more for me and for the people I pray for.

My Inspiration

Bible – The Bible talks a lot about praying faithfully. We are all to pray faithfully and according to God’s will.

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:18

Good Examples – I think about my grandma Ruth and the prayer journals we found after she died. Seeing those prayers from long ago and how they were coming to fruit years later was powerful. I have many examples of people who are faithful in prayer and have been getting that nudge from the Spirit to have a regular dedicated prayer time.

Recently, I read a blog post by Susan Evans (a series, actually, and worth reading) that turned the nudge into a sharp elbow to the ribs. She was talking about how stale her prayers had become. But as she described her struggles and her prayer life, I was moved by her faithfulness in prayer and her love of people. I want to be like that, because that’s Jesus. I don’t know her, but I imagine she’d probably be uncomfortable if she read this. Sorry, Susan. ๐Ÿ™‚

John Piper – The most practical information I’ve found so far on prayer in daily life is the sermon Be Devoted to Prayer by John Piper. It is well worth the read, if you can find the time. I used it as a launching pad for a prayer binder, which I’ll tell you about shortly.

My Goals

  • Dedicated, daily prayer time
  • Keep track of answers to prayer so that myself and others can be encouraged
  • Pray daily about specific prayer requests or urgent situations
  • Dig deep in prayer for my husband and kids in all areas of their lives
  • Pray for friends and loved ones and the issues they face
  • Pray for myself, our parenting, and our marriage
  • Pray for the global church as well as the specific needs of the congregation we belong to
  • Pray for the needs and salvation of the world
Yep, that’s a lot. Bring it. 


My Binder

I’m going to take a half hour during my morning routine or during the kids’ naps to focus on prayer. I made a prayer binder to help me with the actual prayer time. I was thinking a journal at first, but had a hard time figuring out how to make that work long term. I came across some other examples of prayer binders, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Here it is. Just a basic binder. There are tabs for each section, which I describe below.



 

 

  • Cover: Printed from Cut and Create. The picture seems to be broken on this post, but there is a link for Prayer Journal Cover right under it. I wrote Ephesians 6:18 on it as well. 
  • Praise and Thanks (Daily): I’ll start with praise and thanks to God. There is a blank sheet for things like scripture and the attributes of God. I can start by just praying through a few of those things and bringing my heart into a right position for prayer. I’ll also use this time to ask the Holy Spirit to prompt me in prayer and spend some time listening. 
  • Specific/Urgent (Daily): Every day, I’ll pray through specific requests. It may be urgent issues in my family, requests emailed to me in prayer chains or from friends or family, or things I simply want to pray for every day until I see an answer or feel released from praying for it any further. I drew a table onto lined paper to track the requests, including the date, the request, the date answered, and notes. 
  • My Husband (Mondays): On Mondays I’ll focus time on Aaron. This includes a blank sheet so I can just fill it with any scriptures or notes I want to be thinking about. A second sheet is a request table like the one for urgent prayers. I also included a copy of the “Praying Daily for Your Husband Calendar” from Inspired to Action (under Downloadable Resources) that I already use daily. 
  • My Kids (Tuesdays): I included a blank sheet for notes and scriptures applying to all the kids and then a request table for each child. I also included a copy of “A Mother’s Payer Calendar” from Inspired to Action (under Downloadable Resources) that I already use daily. 
  • Myself and My Marriage (Wednesdays): I included a blank scripture and note sheet here as well as a request table. 
  • Church (Thursdays): I included a blank page for scriptures I can pray through for the global church, other local congregations, and the congregation we belong to. I also included a request table and will add in the prayer newsletters that our church distributes regularly. 
  • World (Fridays): For this tab, I just drew columns for the date, the prayer, and notes. I’m going to add entries for leaders, prayers for our nation and cultural issues there. I also have a copy of Operation World from a dear friend, so I’m going to try to pray through those countries one by one in this section.
  • Saturday: On Saturday I’ll spend extended time listening praying as the Spirit leads. 
  • Sunday: On Sunday I’ll spend some time praying for the morning’s gathering: the sermon, open hearts, changed lives, connections, relationships etc. 
What do you think? Could you use something like this? It seems pretty involved, but I think it will keep me faithful and able to move fairly quickly and efficiently through prayer for the things that I think matter. Of course, my spontaneous popcorn prayers throughout the day will continue, because as John Piper says…

Being devoted to prayer will mean that what you say in your times of prayer will often be free and unstructured, and often be formed and structured. If you are only free in your prayers you will probably become shallow and trite. If you are only formed in your prayers, you will probably become mechanical and hollow. Both ways of praying are important. Not either-or, but both-and.

Linking up with Encouraging Each Other, Women Living Well Wednesdays, A Handful of Heart, Better Mom Mondays, Teach Me Tuesday, and Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.

 

 

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This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Wow thank you I really liked this idea and it is going to help me a lot. I always feel lost when it comes to praying and sometimes I get told I don’t long or enough. So I can’t wait to see where the Holy Spirit will move me through your inspirations. Thank you Tauna. May God Bless you Orenda

    1. You’re welcome! So glad to see it will be useful to someone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope it helps you stay faithful in prayer!

      Tauna

  2. Yes!!! I totally need something like this. I really need to set aside a more regular time for prayer and Bible study…I have lots of excuses but if I’ve got time to blog…. ๐Ÿ™‚ You know! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for this—have a great day!

    Sarah

    1. I definitely know what you mean. If I have time for Facebook and blogging, you know I have time for more prayer and Bible reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Tauna

  3. Yes, this is truly a helpful post. I’ve tried prayer journals, slips of paper in my binder, notes in my to do book…. Now I’m motivated to try again to be more organized in my prayer life.

    Thank you so much

  4. What a beautiful idea for…

    “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

    And the bonus is the binder for I am a true-blue binder organizer gal ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s been a lovely Visit from Deep Roots at Home Link Up… ~ JES ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ohhh that’s a good scripture. Gonna have to slap that on the binder cover too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tauna, I love how intentional you are. As a concrete, structured person, this method really appeals to me. Thank you for the great suggestions!

    1. Yes! I love the structure to get me through the mornings as well. As I’ve been filling out the prayer requests and blank sheets for general prayer areas and scriptures, it’s already created a more rich prayer life for me throughout the day as the Spirit brings those issues to the front of my mind.

  6. Great encouragement! I believe it will be a blessing to you as you grow your prayer life. My prayer binder is set up a little different than yours but works well for me. I have found it keeps me committed to prayer daily. May you be blessed as you seek to come into the Lord’s presence daily. :o)

    1. It’s good to hear it has worked for you! That is encouraging to me as well and keeps me motivated to USE my prayer binder instead of just making it and then forgetting about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. What a great idea – a way to be dedicated. (and model that dedication to prayer to kids)

    I’m trying a digital method (an app for the iPad) – and that seems to be working well for me in this season of life.

    Valuable ideas – and you make it feel very “do-able”! Thank you!

    1. Gasp! An iPad app? ๐Ÿ™‚ I should have known one existed! I’ll tell my husband about that. He’ll love it!

  8. What a wonderful tool to deepen the prayer experience! I don’t currently have a prayer journal, but I love this idea and think I’ll look into setting one up! Thank you!!

  9. I just bumped into this from a HS blogger, and I love the idea. I am reminded often that I need to look back to see how God has provided for us and that He will do so as we move forward into unknown and uncharted territory (for us anyway). I really appreciate you sharing the ‘how to’ in making one!

  10. Set up my own journal this morning. I have been unhappy with my previous attempts and your version seems to address all the issues I had. Thanks for sharing!

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