Thursday, February 4, 2016

prayer notebook

I thought I would share all about my prayer notebook.  About a year and a half ago, I came across a blog post put out by Missional Motherhood, and in this post, Donna Gaines (wife of pastor Steve Gaines, of Bellevue Baptist Church) shared about this notebook of hers.  She gave a testimony in this blog post, and either at the end of that post or in the next post, she shared about how to make your own prayer notebook, including pages that can be printed off.

That is the day that my prayer life changed.

I will say here, that to pray this way is a major commitment.  I let it drop for a while, because who has half an hour to an hour every morning, to pray for your family, when you're a mom with kids still at home?  I am ashamed that I let this stop, though, but I know that the enemy was thrilled when I quit praying through this notebook.  Just this week, on Monday, while being particularly frustrated with a kid of mine (I won't name which one), I believe that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind this notebook, and then I just so happened to stumble across this notebook.  I pulled it out from under some things, dusted it off and promptly shut my bedroom door, and I got busy praying these Scriptures over my family.

Here's what my notebook looks like.

I made mine personal, in a three ring binder and with page protectors over all those sheets I printed off a long time ago.  And yes, I have to make everything pretty.

Here are the first few pages of my notebook, and there is a process to how I pray.  I always start off in praise.  For this section in my notebook, I looked up verses from the book of Psalm and wrote them out.  Here are some verses listed that you might not be able to read.

"Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant."

"Your name, O LORD, endures forever, Your renown, O LORD, through all generations."

"How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!"

"You are my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in Whom I take refuge."

You get the drift, right?  On the next page, I listed some characteristics of God and I praised Him for being those things.

Worthy of praise.
Mighty God.
Everlasting Father.
Prince of Peace.
Wonderful Counselor.

After giving God praise, I say some prayers of thanksgiving.  I'm sure you know what those prayers sound like...I thank Him for my family, for answered prayer, for hearing my prayers and petitions, for our health, for the way that He uses us in ministry, for friends, for our extended families and for our church family.

After that, I always begin by praying for myself.  I ask for God to manifest the fruits of His Spirit in me, to help me to be clothed in my spiritual armor (from Ephesians 6), that I would put on the virtues that Colossians 3 lists, and that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to Him (Psalm 19:14).  There are some more that I pray as well, that I got from a book called Prayer Portions by Sylvia Guinter.

Next, I start praying for my family.  I personalized this section by adding pictures of my family.

I insert Todd's name in these verses that are listed on the right.  If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the verses that are listed, and how I wrote his name in the blanks.  I read them off some mornings, but the more I do this, the more I am memorizing them and saying them from memory.  (Bonus: hiding God's word in my heart!)

I do this exact same thing for my kids after I'm done praying for Todd.

When I pray for my kids, I include into these prayers, Alex (who practically lives here) and Sylvain, our Compassion child that we sponsor.  I also pray for my future daughters in love.

The next section in the notebook is my church.  I have the names of the pastors (and their wives) listed, and I pray over each one of them.  Included in this section are the teenagers that I am with each week.  If they've texted me a prayer request, I write it on a clean sheet of notebook paper along with the date, and if that prayer gets answered, I write out PRAISE in big letters.  I keep track of these sheets of paper.

I also include in this section, the other youth leaders.

The next section is for my friends.  I write out and pray over any specific need that they give me, and in this section, I include our homeschool group, the other small group leaders and leadership team.  I also include in this section my Tuesday night bible study friends.  I have specific things listed for them, but I at least pray for the ladies in the class.

The next section is for intercession, and I suppose some of the things listed above could be in that section instead.

Then comes government, where I pray over our world, our country, the leaders, our city and town, and ministries like A21 who fight to end human trafficking.

The last section is for my missionary friends.  I have their cards with their sweet faces on pieces of paper, and I have their names and families written beside them.

Well, that's my prayer notebook.  I may not use this every single day of my life, but most days of the week, I do use this as a guide.  On the days I don't use it, I still pray for my family and others, but it's a shorter amount of time and I don't stay as focused.  This remedies that.  I will also state here that getting up so early is something that I ask God for.  I pray each night as I lay down that He would wake me up early to spend this extra time with Him.  He has been faithful to do that for me, too, because I believe that He is glorified in hearing His word prayed to Him over the matter of these things listed.  This is a commitment, but one that is well worth the time.  If we don't pray for our families, who will?!  It's an honor.

If you are interested in the posts I talked about at the beginning of this, I am including the link for you.  Just click here, and it will take you to the Missional Motherhood page.

Thank you for reading.  Love to all!

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