You want to pray. You want to spend time interceding for your loved ones. You want to carry their requests before God’s throne, and plead for His divine power and mercy.
You want to pray, but you aren’t sure how to get started. You don’t know how to keep track of all the requests that keep flooding in. You feel guilty for not praying for everyone you know, but the list just keeps growing… and you aren’t sure how to remember every request, every single day.
You want to pray, but you aren’t sure how to get started, so you think about making a prayer list. Problem is, there’s hundreds of ways to do a prayer list. How do you know what will work for you?
I know people are wondering this very thing, because searches for “prayer lists” land hundreds of people on my blog each month. And in fact, my most popular post of all time is about prayer lists. So what are some good ways to get started?
Here’s a few ideas to help you get your prayer list started…
Make a Bookmark –
Perhaps the easiest idea it to simply write down your requests on an index card or sturdy piece of cardstock, cut down to the size of an average bookmark. Be specific if you need help remembering the details — or be general, if you want the list to last a bit longer. You can even add headings for particular categories or days of the week. Use it to mark your place in your Bible or daily devotional book.
Start a Journal/Notebook –
Record your prayers every day in a fun notebook or pretty journal. Be sure to include answers to prayer, too! Maybe use one color pen for requests, and one for praises — or start your prayers in the beginning of the book, and record the answers on a few pages in the back of the book. If you prefer digital to paper, you can do it that way too: set up a password-protected blog, and post your prayers each day. Just make sure you keep it private!
Use a Business Card Binder –
Grab a binder, some business card pages (like photo album pages), some blank business cards, and notebook paper. Record prayer requests on the blank cards, and group by categories in the card-holder pages. Record answered prayers on the notebook paper, and replace the request with a blank card.
Set Up a Calendar –
Decide whether you want to rotate through your list on a weekly or monthly basis. Then, start listing your requests on a regular old calendar (paper or electronic). List one month’s requests at a time — in case any of them change during that month — and record any praises at the end of the month, or on a blank sheet at the end of the calendar.
Use Sticky Notes –
Jot important requests down on sticky notes and place them around your home — on mirrors, inside cabinets, by your computer, beside your pillow. If you have a commute, stick some in your car too! Whenever you see a note, stop and pray for that request. When prayers are answered, replace them with new requests — or reminders to praise God for those answers!
Get a Phone App –
If you prefer an electronic prayer list, download one of the many free phone apps available. Some good ones that I know of are: Prayer Popper (Android), Prayer List (Android), Prayer Mate (Android/iOS), Pocket Prayer (iOS), Prayer Notes (iOS). Most prayer apps have a reminder setting, and they usually let you sort requests by category. Just don’t clear the reminder notification without actually spending time in prayer!
Create an Evernote System –
Create a separate note for each category or specific prayer time, and set the day and time you want it to remind you. Personally, I have a different list for each day of the week, plus a daily list of requests. When it reminds me to pray, I leave the notification up until I actually do pray through that list, then reset the reminder date for that same day the next week. It’s a little clunkier than a regular phone app, but it’s also more customizable — plus, it can remind you via phone or email (or both!). I also like that the reminder shows the body of the note — so even if I accidentally clear the notification, I’ve still seen what I’m supposed to pray for, and that makes it easier to think specifically about each request (rather than just a generic “time to pray” message).
There’s other ideas out there, but these are some of the most popular methods. But don’t afraid to play around with them, until you know what works for you. My suggestion? Pick one that sounds interesting (and feasible), try it for a month, and then decide whether to continue with it or try something different.
Best-case? Your first choice wins and you have a newly established habit of praying for the people you love. Worst-case? You try a few methods before settling on your own variation… and you still end up praying for the people you love. That’s a win, no matter what prayer list method you end up using!
Do you use one of these prayer list methods? Or do you know of a different method that you could share? I’d love to hear about it!
photo credit: incurable_hippie