When you finally set aside some time to pray have you ever felt like this . . .
I don’t even know how to begin. There are so many needs- my kids, my friends, my spouse, that “issue,” an urgent request…and then there’s me, oh my; I’m already discouraged and I haven’t even begun to pray!
If we are really honest, each of us feels this way at some time. And if you are a Mom with little ones, before you even get started praying some small person will likely interrupt you!
I spend a lot of time hanging out with young Moms. Recently in three separate conversations I was asked,
“Susan, how in the world do you organize your prayer life? Do you have a plan?”
Actually, I do have a plan.
It’s always evolving and it’s not perfect. But it does help me to focus and it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed with too many needs for one time of prayer.
I have a simple notebook in which I have inserted dividers – one for each day of the week. Every day I pray for myself, my husband and each of my five married kids and their children.
Monday’s theme is our relationship with the Lord. (Matthew 6:33). I begin by praying the Lord’s Prayer inserting each of our names within the prayer. I pray for discipline in quiet times, a hunger for God’s word, and whatever relates to this theme.
Tuesday it’s for our marriages. Right when our kids were born I began to pray for their future spouses (if it was God’s plan that they marry). I prayed these little boys and girls would come to know Christ at an early age and I prayed for the parents who were raising them. I secretly hoped there were parents somewhere praying for me! Today I’m praying for my grandchildren’s future spouses.
Wednesday the theme is close friends. Girls need a soul sister. Guys need guys even though they may not recognize it. We need friends with whom we can be completely vulnerable—friends who’ll push us to Christ and to our mates, folks who’ll challenge us, cry with us, and stick with us.
Thursday’s theme is boldness to proclaim Christ. (Psalm 138:3). I pray for confidence, courage and conviction, especially for the next generation.
Friday’s is “heart for the world” day. How desperately we need a vision and love for people outside our cloistered circles. I ask God to give to each of us a passion for one country and ways to invest in the poor in our own communities.
Saturdays are reserved for extended family and Sundays are simply for worship!
In addition to family prayers each day, I pray for different groups. One day it may be friends looking for mates, another for friends struggling with infertility, a day for our church staff, a day for friends in other locations, a day for specific Hollywood actors and actresses to come to Christ, a day for each of the girls in my Bible studies, a day for ministries abroad, a day for special people to come to Christ, a day for our country’s leadership and so forth.
It may sound overwhelming but dividing subjects up into days keeps me from feeling discouraged. I constantly add to my pages and they are messy.
There’s not one right way to do this. Mine is only one idea. But we can begin by purchasing that notebook and some new pens!
The JOY comes when we look back and see how God has answered!
For the word of the Lord is right and true. He is faithful in all he does. ~ Psalm 33: 4
Susan Alexander Yates is a mom to five children (including a set of twins) and grandmother to 21 (including a set of quadruplets!). Susan and her husband John have been married 51 years. Susan has written 16 books and speaks on the subjects of marriage, parenting, faith, and women’s issues. Susan’s favorite time of the year is June when all her kids and grandkids are together for a week of “cousins and family camp” in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.