Have you ever told someone you’d pray for them and then forgot?
Or maybe you’ve been meaning to pray more for your husband or children, but you just don’t get around to it?
It’s easy for our prayer lives to get buried under the pressing things in life. The laundry pile, the incoming emails, the daily task of figuring our what’s for dinner. I’m not the only one, right?
But once we put in a little effort into organizing our prayer lives, we’ll find it easier to pray about the important things in life… instead of letting the urgent steal our attention.
Here are 5 smart ways we can organize our prayer lives:
1. Prayer Journal
If you find your mind wandering during prayer, try writing down your conversations with God, as if you were writing Him a letter.
I started this habit of writing in my prayer journal as a young teenager, and not only did it help me focus my attention on talking with God, it’s also become a testimony of God’s faithfulness over the years. Looking back now, I can see how He moved in those situations that seemed so impossible, and how He answered the requests that seemed to insignificant for His attention.
If you want to start a prayer journal, you can grab any notebook you have lying around. But if you like pretty things, check out Dayspring’s collection of journals and notebooks. They have such a wide array of prayer journals available, and I always stock up on prayer journals to give away as gifts.
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Like this flowery “Dear God” journal that includes meaningful Scripture and has a lay-flat binding, to make writing easier.
…Or this artisan leather journal, which is perfect for those hard-to-buy-for men and teenagers:
Get away for a few minutes and write what’s on your heart. It will get the worrisome thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, and you’ll be glad you did.
2. Prayer List Notebook
If you’re less of a writer and more of a list-maker (like my husband), you’ll appreciate the simplicity of prayer lists.
Simply divide your journal into sections and bullet point what’s on your heart. Then you can go through and pray over those concerns, and write down answers right next to them.
Or you can use a Prayer & Answer journal like this one from Dayspring:
This method helps keep you focused on the important things and also appeals to the left side of our brains, as we can make sure that we cover the essentials in prayer. But the answer section engages our emotions as well, when we look back and see how God has answered our prayers, all on one page.
Simple and smart, right?
3. Prayer Binder
For those of us whose lives aren’t as put-together, a prayer binder may work better. In fact, this is the method I use to organize my prayer life right now.
I’ve seen this done many different ways, but basically I combine the prayer journal and prayer lists in one place.
Get a Binder
Any binder will do, but I prefer the mini binders because they’re easier to carry with me. I can just stick it in my purse and pray when I’m waiting in the car or waiting in the doctor’s office.
I use a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 three-ring binder, kind of like this one:
Create Different Sections
- I have a section that’s for journaling my prayers. When I have something on my heart, I’ll write it out to the Lord in a letter.
- Then I have a section where I list prayer requests, and at the top of each page I’ll write the category (family, friends, finances, etc), and underneath I’ll bullet-point the requests.
- And then I have sections for adoration, confession, and thanksgiving. I enjoy having a section just for adoration and worship, and I write down the things I’m praising God for, the gifts I’m thankful for, and the attributes I want to worship Him for. This has become such an enriching part of my prayer experience as I shift your attention from “give me” to “thank You.”
Fill It Up
When you use a binder, you can insert other prayer prompts in there, like newsletter from Christian organizations, missionary prayer cards, printable prayer calendars for husbands and children, and so one.
It’s a great way for people who have a lot of moving parts to their lives organize their prayer life.
4. Prayer & Planner In One
This is such a genius idea, I wish I would have thought of it!
If you’re a planner-type person, include prayer sections in your planner so it seamlessly flows together. So when you look for a planner, find one that has a place for notes or a place to freewrite, and use that to list your prayer requests as they come up.
You won’t have to keep track of another notebook and you’ll be prompted to pray every time you plan.
How easy is that?
I love this simple bullet journal from InkWell Press for exactly this purpose (it just might be on my wish list):
This one even has four different colored sections, so you can keep track of different parts of your life that need planning as well as prayer. Love it!
5. Devotional + Prayer Journal in One
I just recently created this journal, and it’s so good I had to share it with you because it’s the perfect way to seamlessly integrate your prayer life into your quiet time.
Sometimes I get into a rut where I do a lot of Bible study, but don’t have time to pray. And other times I spend a lot of time praying, but don’t get to dig into the Bible.
What I love about the Quiet Time Journal is that the introduction helps you cultivate consistent Quiet Time through a scientifically proven process, and the daily pages integrate Bible study and prayer, so we’re prompted to do both things when we get away for a few minutes with the Lord.
Here’s what it looks like on the inside:
What a smart way to organize prayer and Bible study together!
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