Perhaps nothing has impacted my life more than prayer. Why? Because it’s what connects us to our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ. It’s conversation with the Almighty, who has all power and love and mercy. His eyes are keeping a watch on us and He yearns to direct us and give us wisdom.
Can we learn to have a better connection with God through prayer? Yes!
Prayers of My Heart: A Personal Prayer Journal
In Prayers of My Heart, you’ll find help to maintain the focused, meaningful, and intentional prayer life you want. It has 12 Month-at-a-Glance charts, 52 Week-at-a-Glance charts, and ample journaling pages, along with instructions and examples to help you start recording your prayer requests and praising God for His answers!
Month at a Glance
There are 12 pages, one page for each month of the year. As friends call with prayer requests for surgery, a job interview, test, or court date, you can turn to your Month at a Glance calendar and record the request. Only a few words are necessary; John – surgery; Amber – test. You may also want to record birthdays and anniversaries in this section, so you can pray for people on their special day. As you look at each month, you can see at a glance what you need to pray for. It’s also easy to highlight, date or place a check mark by the request when you see God’s answer.
Week at a Glance
This section is designed for you to write the names of those you are praying for at the top of each column. Under the column, record prayer requests specific to them. It’s here that you’ll rejoice as you see God’s hand moving in the lives of those for whom you pray.
Look now at the “Week at a Glance” sample in the Appendix of your journal. Notice how the names of those being prayed for are recorded in the column headings across the top of the prayer chart. For instance, under my husband, Keith’s, name I’ve written “Your wisdom and direction.” Since I’m praying to God, “Your” obviously refers to our Heavenly Father. Keith wears a million hats – husband, father, grandfather, state district judge, deacon, Sunday School teacher, friend. God knows what I mean when I record “wisdom” under Keith’s column heading.
Under another person’s column, I may write “patience” if they’re being tested. When our children were little, I would pray, “increase understanding,” if they were having a tough time with a subject in school. Or, I might pray, “desire You” when the world was vying for their attention.
One lady calls her family every Sunday and asks how she can pray for them for the following week. They now anticipate her call and look forward to sharing prayer requests with her. She records their requests in their designated column. (GREAT IDEA!)
The “Friends” column provides a place to record prayers for our friends. What a sweet privilege it is to pray for strength in marriages, guidance in raising children, help in meeting financial needs, patience in the home, and growth in the Lord.
The “Ministry” column is where you can record prayer requests related to your particular area of service or volunteer work. Your ministry may be teaching a Sunday School class, leading a Bible study, visiting nursing homes, encouraging those with whom you work, or ministering to extended family.
The “Church” column is for pastors, leaders, and events going on within the church. It is here you can pray for God’s direction, the Holy Spirit’s anointing, for unity within the body, and outreach opportunities. A friend of mine calls her pastor each week and asks for specific ways she can pray for him. No doubt, he appreciates that!
You may want to take your prayer journal with you to your Sunday School class, Bible study, or Life Group and record prayer requests under a separate column heading. You can designate a whole column to your class’s requests and pray for them as you go through the week. When weekly praises are given, you can easily turn to the prior week and highlight or date answered prayer. Imagine the blessing to your friends as they realize you are taking their prayer requests before the throne of God each week!
The “Unsaved/USA” column doubles as a place to record prayer requests for both unsaved individuals and for the United States and our elected officials. Or, you may choose to separate the two subjects into two columns.
Additional columns allow you to have headings for other friends, ministry projects, co-workers, or persons for whom you regularly pray. These column headings can change depending on the events in your life or projects with which you are involved. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. Use initials for names and abbreviation for words.
By recording prayer needs in a downward column, you can easily trace God’s hand in the lives of those for whom you pray. As with the “Month at a Glance” format, place a check mark, date, PTL, or highlight answered prayer.
One additional column I’ve added that isn’t in your Sample Pages, is “LORD;” which is now my first column. When I kneel, I begin my prayer time worshipping Him; and recording one or more of His attributes in the first column. For instance, today under LORD, I recorded “Abba Father” and focused my prayer and praise on God as Abba Father: “Abba Father, thank You for adopting me!” Often, I use the acronym P.R.A.Y. (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield), from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion and my P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference, to continue. “Forgive me when I become sullen and think no one cares about me. You care and have chosen by Your grace to adopt me as Your own! Help me be mindful that I’m Your chosen child and that You paid a high price for me. Prompt me by Your Holy Spirit to be sensitive to Your voice and obey You.”
I continue my prayer time using God’s attribute as the springboard for my prayers for family and friends.
Meditations, Notes & Prayers
In the final section of your journal you have pages with blank lines on which to record your prayers, confessions, praises, and thoughts God places on your heart. Some of my most precious moments have been in stillness before the Father. With pen in hand, Bible and journal open, I find that God brings to mind poems, ministry direction, and ideas He wants me to do. The joy of intimacy with the Savior is abundant!
Sermon and Bible study notes can also be recorded in this section. When you go before the Father with the notes you’ve taken, you can ask that He make the teachings real and applicable in your life or in the life of a loved one for whom you’re praying.
May God quicken our hearts to a renewed zeal to pray for our families, churches, nation, and world.
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16