Prayer Journal ChecksBy Dan Vis
June 24, 2019
Throughout this month we've been emphasizing prayer, and in particular how to set up a prayer journal with the potential to transform your prayer life. To wrap things up, I wanted to share an excerpt from an upcoming training course covering three checks to make sure your Prayer Journal is working to the fullest!
If you have taken this month's featured class, Prayer Secrets, you know we encourage believers to organize their requests into a prayer journal. It's a great first step in strengthening your prayer life.
In particular, we recommend using a loose leaf notebook and writing each request on a separate sheet of paper--so you can move them around as needed. Each sheet should include a request, a specific verse or two, and a log of the dates you pray over it, along with details on how you see God working. We also recommend separating your request into one section for daily, priority requests, and another for regular request you pray through less often.
If you've taken our Basic Training course, and begun using a prayer journal like this, you know it can be effective at reminding you to pray for things you would otherwise forget.
But a prayer journal can strengthen your prayer life in other important ways--if you use it correctly. In the paragraphs below, are three quick checks to making sure your prayer journal is being used to its maximum potential. Use them to do a quick self-assessment of your prayer journal use:
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FREE Gift!Want to see an example of what a prayer request might look like? Check out this FREE download and use it as a guide to help you make the most of your prayer journal!
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Mix Up Your RequestsThe first thing to check is the balance of your requests. Is there a good mix of requests in your prayer journal? Is there a good variety of different types of requests?
If you are only praying for your personal needs, and a few friends or relatives going through challenges, you may be thinking too small. Put in a request to grow in some character quality. Or for greater victory over some temptation you wrestle with. Pray for some important goal, a project at work, or guidance on an upcoming decision.
Pray for evangelism in some specific country in the world, or some specific ministry you respect. Pray for your pastor, or a new or struggling member in your church. Add names of specific people you would like to see come to Christ. Pray about your weakest area of discipleship. And by all means, put in a prayer for revival.
The goal is to connect prayer to every facet of your Christian life. The more you do this, the more meaningful prayer becomes.
“The more you connect prayer to every facet of your life, the more meaningful it becomes.”
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Sparked by ScriptureNext, take a moment to look at the verses connected with each request. Was the request triggered by some verse you stumbled upon in your personal Bible study? Or did you come up with a request, and then look around for a verse that seemed to fit it?
While there's nothing wrong with the second approach, learning to look for God's purposes in Scripture, and then committing those purposes back to God is an important aspect of prayer. I've found listening for His instructions about what to pray for and keeping my focus primarily on those requests makes prayer an exciting journey. When God leads in your prayer life, you never quite know where it is going to take you!
Learn to let God's Word inspire your prayers. Do your best to include more requests sparked by Scripture.
Document the JourneyLast, look at the notes on each request. Are you only jotting down the dates each time you pray? (You are recording those, right?) Or are you also jotting down insights as you pray over each request.
Prayer is as much or more about hearing as it is about talking. At each request, pause and listen for the voice of God. Is God working in some way? Jot it down. Is there some step God would have you take? Jot it down.
Over time, your prayer requests can become rich with ideas, insights and instruction. And the more you act on this information, the more you will be able to successfully contribute to the answering of your own prayers!
“Prayer becomes powerfully interactive when it transforms into two-way communication.”
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Prayer becomes powerfully interactive when it transforms into two-way communication. Aim for this in using your prayer journal.
ConclusionWhile a prayer journal is a powerful tool, its real benefit comes from teaching you how to connect prayer to every part of your life, how to intertwine it closely with your study of Scripture, and how to look for God's leading in your requests. Faithfully developing these skills can revolutionize your prayer life.
Take the Next StepWant to learn more about setting up your prayer journal? Sign up for our life-changing Prayer Secrets class and pull back the curtain on a more powerful and effective prayer life. We'll show you step by step how to setup and use a full-featured prayer journal, and explain why it works.
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CommentsHow does your prayer journal measure up? Are you following each of the keys emphasized above? Which principle is most challenging for you? What is one thing you can do this week to strengthen your prayer journal.
|Posted by John Gilmore on 07/06/19|
|What criteria do you use, Dan, to say how often to pray for a particular request? And, other than having seen requests answered, how do you decide when to remove them?|
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