Friday, August 12, 2011

The Prayer Warrior Life: Getting Organized

So you've started your prayer warrior life. Magnificent! Praise God for your obedience in taking the first step! 

A few weeks into it, you're suddenly coming up with so much to pray about, it's overwhelming. Well, I say hallelujah on that too!

The answer is a schedule. The Holy Spirit guides us in prayer, yes, but that doesn't mean we come to the table unprepared. To be effective, you need to get organized. But don't's easy.

First, choose a couple recording tools. You might want a piece of paper affixed to your fridge to record new needs as they come in. Believe me, the Holy Spirit will dictate new ones throughout the week. 

You also need a tool to have with you at prayer time. I made a chart to make it easier to show you what this might look like, though I doubt you'll want something this size. 

Divide your chart into days of the week, while keeping a master list of things you'll pray about daily. Remember the lessons from the Lord's Prayer as you compile your daily list. We are a brotherhood and we must pray as one. Take your mind off your own home, for now, and think nationally, globally. My daily list includes these items:

- salvation for the lost  (family, friends, neighbors/community, nation's leaders, etc.)

- that the Lord's Kingdom will come

- that the Lord's will be done, rather than ours

- for the daily bread of the collective body......for an ending of food/shelter/clothing/clean water inequality. That people will live simply so that others may simply live (Shaun Grove's quote, BTW)

- that the nation's debt would go to zero

- that all will have healthcare without more debt (Too big for politicians, but not for God.)

- that the abortion rate will go to zero

- that the global economy will improve

- that the famine will end

- for my own correspondent child and all those from various organizations (Compassion, World Vision, etc) 

- for the spiritual walks of all Christians....that there be more of Christ, less of the individual....that we act as a brotherhood 

Next, in your daily columns list prayer needs you'll take on for that day, in addition to your everyday items.

For example, on Sunday I pray for my nuclear family using these categories: spiritual needs, health needs, provision needs, inter-personal needs, the future. I repeat this list on my nuclear family is covered on Sunday and Wednesday.

On Monday I pray for my extended family, using a list of names, not categories. As I pass each name I know what to say. Prayers for my extended family are repeated on they are covered on both Monday and Thursday. Any salvation needs are covered daily, however.

On Tuesday, and again on Friday, I pray for my friends, using just a list of the names. Though again, salvation needs are covered daily. As I pass the name, I know what to pray. If a particular friend has a lot of needs, I'll list them separately so I won't forget anything.

In each case, I pray for spiritual walks and for their families, and whatever other needs I know about. For example, I just read on a blog yesterday that one friend has a depressed teen. Quite worrisome. That I will remember immediately upon seeing her name, from now on.

Saturday is an open category for needs that don't fit on any other list, and for very urgent needs that need repeating from other lists, such as a recent heart attack, new diagnosis, new divorce, lost job, or relationship issues. 

If you need a tool that travels with you, how about a spiral bound notebook or bound journal with an everyday list page, and a page for each day of the week? 

The Holy Spirit will have your mind in and out of prayer during the day, too. My own mind, by the grace of God, is back to that now. The Holy Spirit will guide these spontaneous sessions entirely.

There you have it. Time to get organized! A prayer warrior comes to the table prepared

Please tells us about the recording system that works for you. 

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Great post! This is similar to what I do. I have a journal with the daily needs and then other needs divided up for each day of the week. My problem is that I have some ADD symptoms and get very distracted/tangential in my thoughts.

After trying different strategies (repeatedly asking God to help keep me focused, having a note pad next to me to write those interrupting thoughts down to revisit later, etc.) with no success, I few years ago God gave me an answer that has really worked for me: I wrote out my prayers in my journal -- the ongoing ones I pray for regularly and I left a few pages blank for new or short-term requests. Now when I pray for these requests I am able to stay focused and pray for everything without leaving anything out. Sometimes I will add or change something while I am praying depending on the leading of the Holy Spirit, but this has helped me tremendously.

I'm not as faithful as I would like in actually sticking to my schedule (I'm really hit or miss honestly) but your posts are giving me encouragement to keep at it.