In today's sermon you encouraged us to be in prayer for one another. While I think this is great and I need to make it a part of my life, at the same time I am overwhelmed with another thing to be praying about. How do you personally make sure you're covering everything you need to be in prayer? Looking for tips to organize my prayer life, thanks!
Here are some ideas that may help you be better organized your prayer life. First, I keep a list of the people I’m praying for and their prayer needs. I do this digitally in Evernote, but paper and pen work just fine. Second, because my prayer list continues to grow I have had to schedule, by days of the week, when I pray for certain folks. This is mainly to make sure that I DO pray for them, although I will pray for them if I feel prompted to at other times during the week.
For instance, I pray for my family members every day of the week and extended family members once a week. I pray for the Gateway staff and their families on Mondays (although this may soon split between two days as the list is getting pretty long) and for elders and their families on Thursdays. I also pray for my sermons every day of the week and I have prayers and resolutions for myself that I pray through every day of the week. That gives you an idea of some of the things I pray for regularly.
Third, as sad as this may sound, I schedule a reminder in my ToDoist app to pray for all of these things. My life easily gets filled with things that are less important than prayer. So I schedule an alarm to go off on my phone first thing in the morning so I don’t forget to do the most important things…like prayer. This is my way of making sure I pray for everything I want to be committed to praying for.
One final thought. As odd as this may sound, you do have to make sure that what you’re praying for is manageable. Meaning if you’re feeling pressure or anxiety because you don’t have enough time to pray for everything, you may need to think through what you should be praying for and how often. Continuous prayer doesn’t necessarily mean every second, minute, hour, day, or week. It just means regularly, which gives us some flexibility in prayings for lots of things and still being able to manage life and all that it brings.
For instance, I cannot figure out how to pray for everyone who attends Gateway Church (as much as I’d like to pray for everyone). At my last church, the congregation was much smaller and I could pray for every person (men, women, children) by name once a month. Wth over 1,500 people attending each week at Gateway, I don’t know how to manage regular prayer for every individual by myself (I don’t even know everyone!). Thankfully, I’m not the only person who is supposed to be praying for the congregation and if we all connect to one another and commit to praying for each another, then everyone at Gateway will have someone praying for them.