You can tell what subjects people are passionate about by looking at their books. If you come over and look at my shelves, you will see book after book on prayer. You would think after reading all those books on prayer, I’d be an expert. But unfortunately, it’s just the opposite. I read all those books on prayer because I feel so inadequate. But thanks to A Praying Life by Paul A. Miller, I have learned how to be more disciplined in my prayer life, and grow deeper in my relationship with God.
Miller suggests using prayer cards as a way to focus. My categories include– family, church, missionaries, adopting families, repentance cards, and hope cards. On the card I list important requests, verses I want to pray over the life or situation, and sometimes the date of an answer.
For example, on my “adopting families” card I wrote out Heb. 10:36, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised.” Then I list families I know who are adopting. About once a month I email the couples to see how I can specifically pray and update the prayer card.
During my prayer time (at night!) I go through my cards, praying for each one. Not every prayer is going to get an “answer date.” On my repentance card labeled “pride,” I will continue to pray “…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) every day of my life!
I’m a methodological person, so having a routine works for me. It helps me feel like I’m joining in God’s plan for each person and situation I pray for.
Do you struggle sometimes in your prayer life? What tools help keep you focused?
Sandra Peoples is a pastor’s wife and mom to two boys (plus one more boy her family is in the process of adopting from Ethiopia). She has an Master of Divinity degree in Women’s Studies and wants to encourage women to grow in godliness. She blogs at Heart for Him and Twitters from @HeartforHim.