Prayer Journal

Because I've been asked to do this, like, a million times (well, actually, Joe Andrews asked, but my conscience kept nagging me to do it), I am writing out some basic ideas for a prayer journal. I've kept a prayer journal for at least two decades now, and I make changes to the journal regularly. A prayer journal is not a legalistic formula that I feel like I have to finish; rather, my prayer journal helps me accomplish several goals for my own life. I want to be a man of prayer who prays regularly and specifically; I want to pray for people regularly and keep my promises; I want to invest in the lives of others, and prayer is the greatest investment I can make in people's lives; I want to fulfill the pastoral role of intercessor for the flock as I stand between them and the world (Acts 6:4; Ps. 106:23); and, I want to be more like Jesus, and Jesus is right now praying interceding for His people by name in the heavenlies (Hebrews 7:25).


Now as to the specifics of praying for people

This is not in my journal per se, but I begin every day with a season of prayer, praying Scripture verses for the people for whom I will pray. I pray verses of thanks (Ps. 118:24; 136:1; 1 Thess. 5:16-18), I pray verses of dedication (Romans 6:10-13; 12:1-2), I surrender to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to fill me (Ps. 81:10; Eph. 5:18), I pray verses Paul prayed for the people of God (Rom. 15:13; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 3:14-21; Col. 1:9-14; Col. 4:12), I pray verses for growth in grace (2 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 8:29), and I pray verses of warfare (2 Cor. 10:3-5 and sometimes Eph. 6:10-18). I also pray through the Model Prayer of Matt. 6:9-13 to remind me of its great truths:

  1. Privilege to Call God Father and the Price He paid so I could
  2. Praise to God for He is Worthy ("Hallowed be Your Name")
  3. Purpose for life and ministry ("Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven")
  4. Provision for every day ("Give us this day our daily bread")--moral, physical, emotional, spiritual
  5. Pardon for self and others--reminding me to forgive those who have hurt me
  6. Protection from myself and from the Evil one ("lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one")
  7. Power for service and glory to God ("for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory")


My Journal is made up of 8 sections:


    • I pray for my family--nuclear and extended
    • I pray for some special people in my life and around it--both lost and saved
    • I pray for my church family--all the regular attenders and about 40 lost people in and around our church
    • I pray for the school--administration, faculty, staff, donors, trustees, students, alumni, finances, revival
    • I pray for our government leaders (I have a list of national, state, and local leaders and their families)


      I pray through the entire church roll


        I pray for the school--faculty (& wives and children), trustees, donors, and students


          I pray for the school staff, spouses, and families (although I actually pray for them by name several times each week from memory)


            I pray for friends that are special and lost friends who need Christ


              I pray for all my students for the semester by name along with their families


                I pray for missionaries (I actually pray for many of these by name every day, but Friday I have a list of about 80 missionary families so that I take their names as well as their children's names before the Lord)


                  I pray for about 80 pastors, their churches, their wives, and their families

                  This structure helps me to pray for people and invest in their lives weekly. If it serves as a guide to help you develop an organized prayer pattern, perhaps all this typing will have been worth it. If you see this as legalism, my only question to you is, How do you pray for those you love regularly?