Writing Down Prayer Requests
Here is how you can begin your own, personal prayer journal. I highly recommend creating one because in a few days, weeks, months, and even years, you can look back and reflect on how God has answered the prayer requests of so many different people. We receive so many prayer requests at What Christians Want to Know that I write them down.
Who Should Be On Your Prayer List
Here are just a few thoughts on for whom you should pray. As you build your journal you will add to this list.
Pray for Government Leaders
I get many prayer requests from church members, family, local citizens and from the website here.
I believe one of the greatest things we can do is to give thanksgiving to God for all He has given us (Colossians 1:12). One of the greatest sins is that of ingratitude. Many ask what God’s will is. The Bible tells us that we are to “pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). Take some blank sheets of paper and start writing out all that God has blessed you with. I include my family, my home, my job, my church, my friends, and my freedom to worship but the list is endless. You could probably think of things you would include that I might not even mention here. I believe it is biblical to pray for those in authority as Paul said pray “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2). It is “pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons“ (Ezra 6:10). Today we don’t have kings, but we do have local authorities like the police, mayor, council members, the president, congress, and those who govern over us for our own welfare because these “authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). You may not agree with the president or the politicians, but they have been established by God and we would do well to pray for them.
Pray for Church Leaders
I also believe we should be praying for our pastors (include their wife and children) and the church leadership like the youth ministers, elders, deacons, board members, and committee members. These men and women may face greater spiritual warfare and attacks than other Christians do because they are at the front of the spiritual battle. We also need to be praying on a regular basis for missionaries for they are on the front lines of the spiritual war in this world and often times they face immeasurable and formidable foes and circumstances beyond their control. Paul may have been the greatest missionary ever but he still asked the Thessalonians to “pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
Pray for Church Members
It is good to also pray for fellow church members. Paul was a passionate man of prayer, writing to the Colossians that, “the day we heard about you, have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10). Paul commanded the Ephesians to be “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). Paul wrote, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1).
Pray for Those Who Persecute You
How about those who hate you and persecute you for being a Christian? Are you kidding? Pray for those who attack you for your faith? Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). I also get persecutions and attacks from other Christians who do not agree with me but I have discovered that it is best not to retaliate but to pray for them. I do not budge on what I write that is taught in the Bible, but I have begun to pray for those who wrestle with the articles that I write. Not for my own good or protection, but for God to bless them. Hard? Yes, but it is not impossible.
Ask Jesus to Pray for You
Think of this…Jesus prays for us! Imagine hearing that prayer. Jesus “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34). He told the disciples that He was not only praying for them, but “also for those who will believe in me through their word”, that “they may be one even as we are one” (John 17:20, 22). If we are on Jesus’ prayer list, how much more should we be praying for others in the church and for those who don’t yet know Christ.
How to do it; Creating Your Prayer Journal
Now that you know who to pray for, here is how you can create your own prayer journal and make daily entries. I get many prayer requests from church members, family, local citizens and from the website here. I quickly learned that I need to write these down and here is what I write down:
The person’s name
The person’s situation (illness, joblessness, etc.)
The person’s prayer request
I leave a blank space under it and put “Answer” and the date it was answered.
Then I make a line and separate the person from others. I like to pray daily for my wife, my children, my grandchildren as this is truly a Christian’s first ministry…to their own family. That’s the reason that I have them on a permanent list that is on the inside liner of my prayer journal notebook. This permanent list also includes the president and local authorities like the police department and fire fighters .
Now, here we begin to assemble our prayer requests on blank sheets or lined notebook paper. You can either buy a notebook (8 x 11 inch or so) with lined papers or buy a notebook binder with the 3-hole punch place for paper. I like notebooks because I can collect them and quickly scan the dates and names for when people let me know that God has answered their prayers. I put the dates on the upper right hand corner of each sheet to know precisely the day, month, and year like Saturday, 11/24/2012. The place that is the blank section under the person’s name is where I put down how and what God did in answering their prayer…when and how it was answered. Some may remain blank for some time but I have discovered that they slowly fill in over time. Each day I turn to a new sheet of paper in my notebook. This makes it easier to find names and dates so I can fill in the answered prayers or remind myself to keep praying until the prayer has been answered. It is as simple as that.
Creating your own prayer journal, and making sure you include your own supplications, is a faith-building experience. It is so edifying and encouraging to see how our God is such an awesome God. A prayer journal is so easy to make and so wonderful to review and it prevents the important people and their prayer requests from leaking out of your memory. Start your own prayer journal. It is inexpensive, it allows you to remember the prayer requests, and you can look them over later to see just how amazing God is. He hears and answers our prayers. I thank God for all He has done for us. That is one of my memorized prayer requests when I pray to Him daily. See if you don’t enjoy the experience as much as I have. You won’t forget it…and you won’t regret it.
By Jack Wellman