This is not a sales pitch. This is a promise we find in Scripture:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matt 6:33
He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” Mark 9:29
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jer 33:3
When you develop an intentional prayer plan, you are saying it’s important enough to be done. What gets scheduled in your life gets done and adding a prayer plan is part of that. 1 Thes 5:17 says to pray without ceasing. I think that comes with practice. And I think it comes from being intentional and committed to prayer.
Here are some things to consider:
WHO OR WHAT
For who or what do you need to pray? There are some constant prayers in my life. I pray for my daughters and my wife every day. I pray for my extended family most days. I pray for our home, our church and the ministry we are involved in (Harvest). I pray for those who volunteer with me and pray for other ministry leaders around me. I pray for ministry events coming up and I pray for specific needs as they arise. I pray more workers in the harvest field.
I pray throughout the day, but I also specifically pray in the morning. I typically pray after reading scripture in the morning. At times, I write my prayers out a in journal. I have done this at various paces of the years – for about ten years straight I wrote every single prayer out three or four times per day. In recent years, it has been a little more sporadic. However it doesn’t really matter when you pray – in fact, scripture says we should be praying all the time.
There are lots of ways to pray and have a plan. I recently found out that my granny, who has seven children, assigned a day of the week to each one and remembers to pray for them based on the day, from oldest to youngest. I know of a youth pastor who prays for his students – Freshman on Monday, Sophomores on Tuesday, etc. On Friday he prays for the school. I know of another person who writes out their prayers in a journal and looks back to see how God has answered those prayers.
I put prayers I want to pray into my phone reminders and set them up to pop up every morning. It helps me remember and I’m so grateful for the system.
You have lots of choices about where to pray – you can pray in the car, at an altar, in a chair, getting ready, laying down – it really doesn’t matter. There are times when I find it helpful to be in a specific place to pray.
Pray for before meals. It’s a time to thank the Lord – it’s a great reminder three times a day to praise the Lord for his faithfulness.
As a ministry leader, on staff in a local church, I have discovered one of the best things I can do is invite others to pray with me and for me. I created a simple email list of prayer partners and out email prayer updates and request to this team on a regular basis! A special thanks to them for joining me in prayer.
I think prayer is important to any believer in Christ and I think having a plan is important to make it a discipline and then a habit! We don’t want to turn prayer in a charm or a ritual, but we want it to be part of our lives. Prayer is an opportunity to listen to God, put our trust in God, give our cares to God, understand He is God, be still before God and invite God’s power to be at work in our lives and in the lives of those for whom we are praying.
I remember Maxie Dunnam, former president of Asbury Seminary, would often ask this question during chapel services: What if there are some things that God either will not do or cannot do until and unless we pray? This question has popped into my head over the years and has prompted me to pray.
What prayer plan will you make? Write it down. Start praying more intentionally.
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