Friday, August 24, 2007

Actually using my prayer journal

It's time for another Building Our Homes Together Wednesday! This week I am going to share a previously published post (try saying that 3 times quickly) concerning actually using my prayer journal. If you would like to see what other ladies have shared for this feature, head on over to Prairie Flower Farm and check out the links for Building our Homes Together!
My prayer journal
I thought it would be helpful to share this info again, so here it is:

I’ve done a number of posts about my prayer journal -- guidelines for making one, how it’s put together, and how to make a prayer journal kit as a gift -- but I thought it was high time to actually write a post as to how the prayer journal works on a daily basis.

Before I begin, I'd like to say a word about prayer requests. A number of people have asked me how I deal with the short-term, more urgent prayer requests which we get at church, from friends, or via our church’s prayer chain (email or phone). They felt these requests would be hard to keep track of on an ongoing basis in a prayer journal. And they’re right. I don’t put these sorts of requests in my prayer journal.

If I get a request for someone at church, I usually write it down in the notebook I keep with me for sermon notes. That’s usually enough to keep that request in my memory for when I pray for that person during the week. When it’s answered, I can cross it out. If I get a request via phone or email, I’ll jot it on a post-it note. When the prayer is answered, I toss the paper.

The prayer requests I keep in my prayer journal are long-term ones. For example, for my grown children I pray for things like this:
• Closeness to God
• Spiritual growth
• Wisdom for parenting
• Wisdom for marriage
• Wise use of finances
• Wise use of time
• Use of spiritual gifts and talents... etc.

Now, as to actually using my prayer journal on a daily basis. The first section I come to is Adoration -- where I have a number of pages concerning the attributes of God. So I turn to the attribute for the day -- I keep a marker in this section so I praise God for a different attribute each day. As I praise Him for, say, His omniscience, I can also thank Him for the fact that He knows all about me and every circumstance of my life. I find that praising God for His attributes first sets the tone for my prayer time.

Next, I come to Agreeing -- that is, agreeing with God about my sin. In this section I have a number of pages concerning character flaws and sin issues in my life. Again, I keep a marker in this section so I pray concerning a different problem each day. This makes a huge difference in my life, because these issues don’t slip off my radar screen. I am praying about them on a regular basis. Also in this section, I have a section called Health and Energy -- detailing the daily need for eating healthfully, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, etc. Again, since these are areas where I am prone to get lazy, it makes sense to have them here where I can pray about them every day.

Next, I come to Asking. Within this section, I start by praying through the requests for Every Day. These would be ongoing, long-term requests for my husband, children/spouses, grandchildren, parents and close friends.

Next, I pray through the requests I have allotted to different days of the week. On Monday, for example, I pray for missionaries. Again, the requests I pray for missionaries are not short-term urgent requests (although I do pray for those needs at other times) but are ongoing, long-term things like protection, boldness, opportunities to witness, fluency in language, times of refreshment, etc. Each day I also pray for a portion of our church family. And this is where those prayer requests I get at church or via the prayer chain come into play. As I pray for, say, Sue Jones (made-up name) I remember that Sue is having a biopsy next week, and pray about that.

So that is pretty much my prayer time in a nutshell. I have found that my prayer time is so much more effective and so much more of a blessing to me as I use my prayer journal. I hope that those who are making their own journals or those who receive them as gifts will find them as helpful as I have found mine to be.

I'd just like to add here that the time of praising God for His attributes is becoming ever more precious to me as I tend to consider my requests in the light of the particular attribute I am praising Him for that day. For example, as I pray for my children, and I am praising God that He is truth, I can thank Him that His promises are true, and that He will keep His promise to continue the good work He has begun in the lives of my children (Philippians 1:6).

10 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:59 PM

    I am thrilled you posted this! It has been almost a year since I put mine together...and it is still a work in progress. Life changing...

    Blessings, Patty

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  2. Hi Patty,

    I couldn't agree more! Life changing, indeed! Thanks for encouraging me to post this information again... I think it has been a great encouragement to several different ladies.

    Have a blessed weekend!

    Love in Him,
    Mrs.T

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  3. Good morning, Mrs. T!

    Thank you for posting this about how you use your prayer journal. I can't wait to put mine together!

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

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  4. Thank you sweet Mrs. T. for your prayer journal info. Precious! I love to read your posts.......you are a woman of God that I look up to.

    Thank you also for praying for our Tay. It is quite swollen this morning. We will continue with ice!

    Hugs and so thankful you are a part of my life!!!!!!
    Linda

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  5. I am glad I have found your Blog, I really enjoyed reading it. I have put you in my favorites, so I can come back and read all the good things. Really love it, I love the Lord, also Thanks to Linda for showing me the way here. Juanita Massey

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  6. Thank you, Mrs. T, for posting this. I clicked around and read some more about your journal. I would like to make one for myself, and perhaps a few others as Christmas gifts. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. I was wondering if you could tell me where to find the post you mentioned about making Prayer Journal Kits as gifts? I would love to read it; thank you.

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  8. Ladies....

    Hello and welcome to all of you! I am so sorry to have taken so long to respond. It was a very, very busy weekend with almost no computer time at all.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed this post and hope that those of you who put a prayer journal together will find it as much of a blessing as I have.

    Heather, in looking around I find that the post about making prayer journals as gifts was actually on my Christmas blog. It may be here somewhere too, but anyway here is the link:

    Making a Prayer Journal Kit. Have fun!

    God bless,
    Mrs.T

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  9. This is great! What a neat idea to give as a gift! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Denise, thanks for visiting! I am so happy that you enjoyed the post. It's very interesting that one of my prayer journal posts (not this one) has been the most popular post of all time here on my blog. Obviously, a lot of people are interested in making and using prayer journals.

    Yes, they do make lovely gifts and the kits are fun to put together. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

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