Enjoying the Journey
Good things can get stale. Even our prayer life. One of the great challenges of using a prayer list is not allowing it to become mechanical. How many days I have just gone through the motions! God doesn’t need me to read Him what is on the paper; He wants me to tell Him what is on my heart.
Recently the Lord led me to develop a prayer list that would simply remind me each day of needs for which I should pray. They are really just prayer prompters but they have helped me to keep my prayer time fresh. I share them with you in the hope that they may help you in some way.
It is easy to allow your prayers to become about you. I can think of a hundred things to pray for myself. But Christ-like prayer must include intercession. That is never done on accident. It must be on purpose.
Below are seven daily prayer prompters that have encouraged me to give more time to praying for others:
1. Laborers for a specific part of the world.
On Sunday I pray for my “Jerusalem” – our city. On Monday I pray for America. On Tuesday I pray for some place in South America. On Wednesday, Europe. On Thursday, Asia. On Friday, Africa. On Saturday, one of the islands of the sea.
Literally I can pray my way around the world. My prayers can go where I cannot, because God is there and God is working. I know that I am praying in the will of God because I am praying the prayer request of Jesus Christ (Luke 10:2). Every day I am praying for a different missionary, a different people group, a different nation.
It is specific, but it has variety. This has helped me.
2. A definite matter concerning my Pastor.
I believe that pastors should be prayed for daily. They are in the middle of tremendous spiritual warfare and this is a way we can minister to those who minister to us. Don’t just pray for him – pray something definite from the Word of God for him and for his family. (I have written more about praying for the pastor here.)
3. A different member of my family.
We pray for our families every day, but all too often we pray the same things, or only for the same people in our immediate contact. This has helped me to concentrate my prayers on someone in my or my wife’s family each day. God will bring things to your mind and lead you as you pray for them individually.
4. A close friend in the Lord’s work.
It may be a fellow staff member, a pastor, an evangelist, or missionary. God allows our paths to cross with fellow workers for a purpose. It is not just to be acquainted or to have fellowship. It is to pray. “Pray for us” (Hebrews 12:18) is the heart cry of all sincere Christian workers. We need one another and we need prayer.
5. A specific part of the ministry God has given us.
We are blessed to be part of a church with many different avenues for ministry. Each day I try to “adopt” one and pray in a specific way for that work and the workers who are part of it. I cannot be involved in everything, but I can help together by prayer (2 Corinthians 1:11).
6. An individual God has given me to minister to.
A lost person I am trying to win for Christ. A backslider that needs to come home. A family we are trying to help. Students. Workers that I am responsible to oversee. All of these and more are people for whom I will stand before God. Intercessory prayer is part of good stewardship. I believe prayer is the greatest thing I can do for those I love.
Every day I try to spend some time praying for revival. Ask God to give you a revived heart first, but do not stop there. Pray for revival for your church, your nation, your generation. This world desperately needs a spiritual awakening that only the Holy Spirit can bring.
Any list can become a rut. Do not be in bondage to any system or structure, unless Jesus gave it! Prayer lists should be prayer prompters, but the Spirit of the Lord should guide your prayers. He knows best what to pray for. Take these thoughts and develop your own daily prayer guide.
Pray and watch God work.