We are in the front half of our 28-day journey of prayer. What’s God been doing in your life? Sometimes prayer can be overwhelming because there is just so much about which we want and need to pray that we get distracted. We throw up our hands and don’t pray at all. Let me toss out an idea which I have found helpful to stay focused and thorough in my prayer life.

It starts with getting a small notebook or journal. My journal has maybe eight pages for prayer. I write the following titles on the top of each page. Daily. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. You can include Sunday if you’d like.

On the daily page, I list in the items which I want to pray for every single day. These are usually pressing needs that easily come to mind. A health crisis. Job need. Family. Close friend. Whatever. That page sees more change than the other pages, and notations of answered prayer are so encouraging. It often sees additions and deletions as God is at work.

And then I break up the other big areas that are close to my heart and list them on the other pages, each with a day of the week heading. So, for example, Monday are mostly for missionaries. Tuesdays are for the church staff. Extended family on another day. Specific people that have requested prayer on another. Maybe ministries on another. The government and its leaders on another. However, God leads. You see, I find praying for all those things on one day can make my prayer time just a shotgun approach. If I spread out my requests topically through the week, there is a flow to my prayer time. Also, the week takes on a rhythm that is refreshing and after a few weeks I know what to pray for on any given day — even when my prayer journal is not around. One day is focused on the worship of God.

And then, it’s always nice to keep a page reserved for answers to prayer. As I see God at work, I write down what He’s doing and how I’ve seen Him answer specific prayers. I’ve always found this a helpful tool to encourage daily prayer and to keep it fresh and my heart open to God’s leading.

The goal is to keep my time with God fresh and current. I’ve found that keeping a pattern to the weekly prayer time is one great way to do just that. Besides, it broadens my concerns beyond those in my immediate circle of influence. Prayer can get so focused on me and my life that I forget to cross the globe with God’s passion and my prayer.

I hope you are finding this month a refreshing emphasis on prayer. If you have a short (or long) story to tell, I strongly encourage you to go to the Lounge after worship and let us capture that story. We want God to get all the glory for what He is doing among us. May He refresh our lives as we concentrate on praying in February. See you at the throne! With or without a list!