One of the things I have learned about myself over the years is that if there is something important for me to do, I need to create a structure to do it or else it won’t get done, or it will get done poorly and/or rarely.
Prayer is one of those areas. I have always, always struggled with deliberately spending time in prayer. I know that’s probably not cool for a pastor to share but it’s true. I would bet that more pastors would admit that if they felt more safe around their church and peers. But that’s another discussion.
I wanted to share the structure I created for myself just this week for praying, just in case there is anyone else out there who is looking for or needing something similar. I have four parts, or lists:
- Start the day prayer – a stand-alone prayer to start every day.
- Weekly Prayer List – this has a daily component and then each day of the week which has its own prayer focus.
- Special Prayer Requests -special requests for the sick, marriages, and other short-term situations go.
- End of the day prayer – a stand-alone prayer to end every day.
Start and End of Day Prayers
I have attached a PDF that contains the text of the Start and End of Day prayers. This might be weird for you, but try praying them out loud. There is something about praying out loud that, at least for me, makes the prayer seem more real.
Weekly Prayer List
At the top of this list is a section called Daily. In the daily section I have my family memebrs listed out individually. I also have other things like my day job, things from my calendar for that day, whatever else I might do on a daily basis.
After this is each day of the week. For each day of the week I have listed, for the msot part, an element of our church life and structure. My particular list looks like this:
- Sunday – the church body, praying for the gathering that day.
- Monday – the church elders listed by name
- Tuesday – Men’s Discipleship, its leaders and participants
- Wednesday – Women’s Discipleship, its leaders and participants.
- Thursday – Children’s and Youth Discipleship, the leaders and participants
- Friday – Social/Global issues like our government (according to 1 Tim. 2), Israel, missionaries, persecuted church, being a student of God’s plan and local/global events, things like that.
- Saturday – Worship Ministry, our worship leader, the band. I pray for the pastor (which is me) for a encouraging and convicting Bible study, and for the people coming to church the next day.
Special Prayer Requests
This list is to help keep track of things that just come up. Someone in the hospital, the sick, a mission/service team that was just sent out, marriage issues that have come to my attention, anything that I don’t want to slip through the cracks but doesn’t go on my Weekly list.
This is the plan as it stands today. I’m going to try to be disciplined about it but also not beat myself up if I miss part of all of a day. I’d be interested to hear from others who already do something like this or are going to try this with me.