I’ve not really ever been one for using a prayer list, but over the last few weeks it’s beginning to take root in my daily walks with God.
I’ve been following the prayer method explained in the book ‘How to Pray’ by Pete Greig. P-Pause, R-Rejoice, A-Ask and Y-Yeild. It’s been a great read and has lived up to it’s subtitle (a simple guide for ordinary people).
For the Ask section, one of Pete’s tips is to keep a prayer list. This helps keep us focused and persistent in our asking, rather than a random Wishlist each day. I’ve also found that it keeps me mindful of praying for other people. When left to my own devices, most of my asking is all about me and my needs rather than those of others.
The 24-7 prayer movement have put together a helpful document on how to maintain a prayer list. I’ve taken what they’ve done and made it work good for me.
- Write a list of themes. This step only needs to be done once, and then you probably only need to modify this list every few weeks. For me, my list of themes includes (myself, my work, my calling, family members, friends who don’t know Jesus, Church issues, leaders – locally to globally, missionaries, particular news items etc) along with some others.
- Once a week I plan out my prayer list. Across the top of one page in my journal, I’ll write the days of the week out. Under each day I’ll fill in 6-10 items from my theme list. I tend chose one item per theme, and then cycle back round. It’s good to try to listen for God’s voice in this moment, the gentle nudges, as this is setting the ‘agenda’ for the week-ahead prayers.
- If there are particular people, I can contact to find out more details about what would be a good way to pray into a situation, I’ll often send them a text at this time as well. Just a simple message, ‘hey, I’m going to be praying for you/that situation this week, is there anything I should know’.
- Then each day, as part of my P.R.A.Y session, I’ll go through the items on my list and ask God to intervene/help/provide a breakthrough, in whatever area I’m asking for.
Praying is crazy.