Does your prayer life need some focus?
Mine sure does. And that’s why I invited my friend Julie Gillies to guest post on my blog today. Julie is the author of “Prayers for a Woman’s Soul” and has had her life transformed through prayer. Because of the miracles Julie has experienced in her life, her book is about how to pray for yourself.
Today Julie is sharing with us how she brings order to her prayer life. She also is having a special giveaway of her book “Prayers for a Woman’s Soul” on her blog. To enter, just click over to her site and she’ll tell you what you need to do to enter.
The Simple List that Changed My Life
One of the most crucial aspects of our prayer lives is focus. If we can maintain our focus, we will be able to ask and keep asking, to knock and keep knocking (see Matthew 7:7), and God will hear us. He will move, and we will reap the results of focused, persevering prayer.
But if you’re anything like me, you multitask during the day, juggle many responsibilities, and have a lot on your mind. The weeks zip by, and it’s not always easy to maintain our focus for the next 15 minutes, let alone maintain a prayer focus.
So I’d like to talk about maintaining a strong prayer focus for one year. If that sounds overwhelming to you, it is actually the opposite. It’s a relief to have a simple list prepared and in the place where I always see it. It’s a gentle reminder that helps me remember the things God impressed on my heart, and it helps me to pray without ceasing.
And trust me, a year of concentrated, specific prayer yields powerful results.
In fact, I am convinced that my annual prayer lists have drastically altered my heart, my life, my marriage, and my children.
So, are you ready to create your annual prayer list?
Before you get too impressed, I keep it simple. I use either a 4×6 index card or similar size sheet of paper. I take some time to prayerfully consider where I am in life, where I’d like to be, and I reflect on the various situations unfolding. I ponder the dreams in my heart, and ask God to bring to the forefront His desires and plans for me, and to shape my plans according to His will.
I also think about family members, and if anything is weighing heavily on my heart, I’ll consider placing that on my annual prayer list. Let me give you an example. I began to notice that it’s still entirely too easy for me to fall into negative, critical thinking. So this year, I added “Freedom from negative/critical thinking: Positive and encouraging thoughts and words.” (It’s #1 on my list.) I’m trying to capture and stop those negative or critical thoughts as they’re forming, and asking the Lord to help me be more positive and encouraging with my words. And I’m already seeing results!
Essentially, any area of our lives or relationships where we long to experience change is perfect for our prayer list. I try to keep my list to no more than 8-10 items so I don’t feel overwhelmed when I pull it out. You can make yours shorter or longer, depending on your personality, your season of life, and the amount of time you’re willing to invest.
My prayer list is tucked inside my Bible. But the idea is to keep it where you’ll see it, so feel free to place your list on your nightstand or next to the kitchen sink, or tape it to the bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car, or wherever best suits you.
Once established, our lists will help us to maintain our prayer focus all year. This is “praying without ceasing” (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17), and it’s powerful. When we partner with God by faithfully do our parts, we will reap the life-changing benefits of focused, unceasing prayer. And we’ll see how a simple list can change our lives.
Friends, don’t forget to visit Julie’s site for a giveaway of her book. Click here.
Julie K. Gillies is the author of Prayers for a Woman’s Soul (Harvest House Publishers). Healed from a traumatic childhood and awed that God saved her seriously troubled marriage, her message helps women pray with boldness, confidence, and the certainty that God hears. Julie is the Critique Groups Director for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and serves on the editorial team of P31 Woman magazine. She’s the joyful wife of Keith, mom of two soldiers and one civilian, and Grammy of four. She loves hanging out with the entire gang at home, especially on days when her house is clean. Sign up for 5 Days of Extravagant prayer, find other FREE resources and connect with Julie at: www.JulieGillies.com