I have a terrible memory. I forget birthdays. I miss doctor’s appointments. I misplace my keys.
I know that I have a mind like a sieve, so I employ several things to encourage me to remember — calendars, alarms, apps all dispel the fog in my cloudy brain.
Organizing my life helps me to function more successfully every day.
I don’t know why this truth took so long to transfer to my prayer life. For years, people would tell me to pray for things, and I would forget their request within minutes.
Then, I started saying, “Let’s just pray for that right now” (because praying two weeks before my neighbor’s surgery is better than not praying at all.)
Have you been there?
I don’t want to be a mediocre pray-er. I want to be a world changer.
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that prayer is my battlefield.
Every good soldier marches onto the field with a battle plan.
Over the years, I’ve waged war on my knees in different ways — because not every campaign is won with the same strategy.
Effective Prayer Strategies
- Limit the number of things that you pray for every day. I like to create a “top ten” list. If I don’t have time to pray for “everything and the kitchen sink,” I focus on my top ten.
- Choose a different “prayer focus” for each day of the week:
- Monday: The Sick and the Hurting
- Tuesday: Extended Family
- Wednesday: Community Needs, Government Officials, Military Families
- Thursday: Personal Goals and Ministry Dreams
- Friday: Friends
- Saturday: Marriages and Families in Crisis
- Sunday: The Church, Ministries, and Missionaries
- Use your calendar or smart phone alarms to remind you of date specific requests.
- Have everything in one place that is handy.
- Use a notebook with dividers and pages for each section.
- Use prayer cards that can tuck into your purse or book bag. I inserted my cards in a mini 4×6 photo album.
- Use an prayer app on your phone. I’ve been using the Pocket Prayer Pro app for several years now.
- Create a prayer wall in your kitchen or office using a dry erase board or bulletin board.
- Set an appointment with God.
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier to spend extra time in prayer.
- Pray in your car on the drive to work.
- Pray on your lunch hour.
- Go for a prayer walk when you get home.
- Pray the hours using the alarm feature on your phone.
- Set aside time for extended prayer on your Sabbath.
- If you need inspiration, use a prayer guide:
- 30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God
- Sara’s monthly printables called 30 Days of Adoration
- 31 Days of Praying for Your Husband and 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children at Revive our Hearts
- Kat’s tweets for her children and husband (Printable copies of her 31-day calendars are available here.)
- Renee’s outline on how to pray for your husband from head to toe
- Katie’s 7 Powerful Prayers for My Husband that correspond with each day of the week.
- 40 Blessings to Pray over Your Marriage from Debbie at Crosswalk.com
- How to Pray for Someone Who is Stuck in Sin from Lies Young Women Believe
- 40 Days of Prayer for our Persecuted Family from Voice of the Martyrs
- A Prayer Guide for Rescue and Restoration for Human Trafficking Victims
- How to Pray for Unreached Nations by Operation World (Check out their Country Lists and pray for a different country each week.)
- A Prayer Calendar from The Joshua Project for Unreached Groups in the 10-40 Window
- How to Pray for Your Pastor from Leadership Resources
- Pray for Your Community from A to Z (Love this from Amelia!)
- Scripture Prayers for the Lost
- Pray using Scripture as your guide.
- Pray through a Psalm or a chapter in Proverbs.
- Pray the armor from Ephesians 6.
- Insert your name or the name of your loved one into one of the 4 prayers of Paul in the New Testament.
- Use Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word, a great resource of Scriptural prayers on 14 different strongholds
- Try praying as you read the Daily Light on the Daily Path, a collection of Scriptural readings for morning and evening organized thematically for each day of the year. You may purchase the book, read it free online, or download the free app. I love to “pray through” some of these Scriptures and insert myself into the passage as I prepare my heart to face the day.
- I loved how Kevin DeYoung explains how to pray using Scripture — rejoice, repent, request.
- Use a devotional that is focused on prayer for encouragement.
- Read a good book on prayer to continue growing and learning. My favorites include
- A Hunger for God by John Piper (also available online for free in PDF format)
- Praying the Lord’s Prayer for Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer Towns
- Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster
- The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian (All her books on prayer are great!)
- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
- The Great House of God by Max Lucado
- Meet a friend for prayer or ask a friend to pray for you. I used to meet 2 friends for just 30 minutes before small group, and we’d pray in a car in a McDonald’s parking lot once a week.
- Pray out loud or write/type out your prayers in a journal.
- Fast. It’s a command, not a suggestion. (Here is a great place to start if you don’t know much about fasting.)
Start strong, my sisters. Arm yourself with the tools you need to engage in battle on your knees. Never give up.
Let’s Talk: How do you organize your prayer life? I’d love to hear your tips!
This year, my desire is to lift up holy hands and “Pray Big.” Want to join me? I’ve created a private “Pray Big” Facebook group for like-minded sisters to share their stories and surrender each one to our mountain-moving God in prayer. Let’s cry out to God together.