Monday, March 19, 2012

A Plan for Prayer

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Col 4:2 NIV)

The call of God on the life of a believer is clear. We all know that we should pray. We all know that we need to pray more. We all really want to be people who are devoted to prayer. But even knowing those things we often struggle to find time or to make time to actually pray. It seems to me that if any significant change is ever going to happen in our devotion to prayer we need a plan. More than likely you are not just going to wake up tomorrow morning, roll out of bed, and set the world on fire by the transformation of your prayer life if you have no plan. The truth is, if we don't make a plan, we will do things exactly the same as we did them yesterday and the day before and the day before that.

I thought I would encourage you today by sharing my plan with you. Plans don't have to be sophisticated. In fact, the simpler the better. My current plan has three parts:

1. Praying with the other pastors every Tuesday afternoon- When you share requests on your keeping in touch cards, those really do get prayed for every week by our pastors and elders. We also pray for each other and for other things concerning the church. This scheduled prayer time is an important part of my plan. Let me encourage you to find a couple of other people that you can schedule time to pray with on a regular basis.

2. Praying with folks from the Robinwood Congregation every 2nd and 4th Monday- We are convinced that God wants us to draw near to Him and ask for things like a child asks for things from his father. The scripture says, "you have not because you ask not". We are committed to drawing near to our Father and asking Him to move in powerful ways in our congregation. Would you be willing to carve out a few hours a month to pray with someone for the ministry context where God has place you?

3. Personal and Family Prayer- We try to spend time as a family talking to God each evening after some time in the scriptures. But when we are tired, it sure is good to have a plan for what we are going to talk about. Recently I have chosen a specific focus for personal and family prayers each day. It's not that we can't pray about other things that day, it just really helps me to have a plan. I'll list my categories for each day below. Maybe you'd like to chose different categories for your personal and family prayer time. Whatever you do, make a plan to pray!

Monday- Men. Praying for specific men in our church community to grow in Christ and develop into Godly leaders in their homes and in Christ's church.

Tuesday- Seizing the Time. Praying about things that God is doing in my world, through our church, in our community. Asking God what He is up to, asking Him to help us seize the time, to make the most of every opportunity, to do far beyond all we can ask or imagine in and through me, my family, and our church family.

Wednesday- World Missions. Praying for the missionaries that our family and our church family supports. Praying for unreached people groups and countries. Pray for opportunities for our church and for my family to be involved in bringing the gospel to the nations.

Thursday- Thankfulness. You might try having fun seeing how many things you can thank God for on Thankful Thursday!

Friday- Family. Praying mostly for immediate family, but also extended family.

Saturday- Salvations. Praying for people on our lives that don't yet know Jesus to come to know Him.

Sunday- Sermon. Obviously I am pretty motivated to pray on Sunday mornings. But Sunday mornings before church are a great time to pray for your church family and for how God might use you to build up the body of Christ at church that day.

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