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 4x6 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.
I happen to believe that praying for ourselves is essential, so I always add MY needs to my prayer list and I encourage you to do the same. Need some help knowing what to pray about for yourself? I'm giving away a signed copy of my new book, "Prayers For a Woman's Soul". Just leave me a comment sharing your thoughts the first thing you'd put on your prayer list, and I will choose a random winner.
Give-away open only to residents of the U.S. If you're reading this in an email, you can leave a comment and enter the give-away by CLICKING HERE.