In my spring cleaning, I stumbled upon a journal that my husband and I used our first year of marriage during a time that we were regularly praying together. Though things eventually interrupted our practice, the method we had developed was quite powerful and instrumental in getting us to pray regularly for people in our lives.
Every day was set aside for a particular subset of people in our lives. We would take time to pray specifically for those people on that day. And then, of course, when prayer came to mind during the day, the hope would be that we would lift small prayers up for those individuals throughout our 9 to 5.
Monday-Immediate Family. If you’re single, this would be your parents and siblings. And if married, your spouse and children (if any).
Tuesday-Extended Family. This is self-explanatory, right?
Wednesday-Church and Its Members. This is the day to pray for your local church, its members, its ministers, its ministries, you name it.
Thursday-Friend. This is the day to pray for close Christian friends, members of your small group, neighbors, faraway friends, you name it.
Friday-Co-workers & Neighbors & Others Who Are Apart from Jesus. This is the day to pray for those friends and acquaintances you have that are outside of Christ. This is a great time to call to mind co-workers that do not know Jesus and neighbors.
Saturday-Anybody. Schedules are tough to keep and that’s why we incorporated a ‘catch up’ sort of day. This day, if you’ve stayed with the schedule, you could pray for anyone who comes to mind or a friend who’s going through something particularly difficult. Or, if you missed a day, today’s the day to catch up.
Sunday-Missionaries. Often we can get stuck in our own little world and forget that Jesus is doing stuff all over the world. If you don’t personally support a missionary, ask your church pastor for a missionary that you can pray for specifically. This is a great way to set the tone for the week-remembering those in much more difficult situations and calling to mind their incredible needs.
- Find a Prayer Buddy. My husband and I did best with this schedule when we agreed to pray together. But, you could of course, adopt this schedule for yourself and incorporate it into your alone time with the Lord.
- Don’t Exhaust the List Each Week. Don’t try to pray for everyone in the group every week. That will often exhaust you and if you’re like me, you’ll soon find the prayer time too much to retain in your daily schedule.
Ideally, we wouldn’t need a schedule to pray, but would just be selflessly lifting prayers for others all day long. That ideal is not me and so, I need a schedule. Otherwise, I find that weeks have passed and I’ve never sat down to say an intentional prayer for my neighbor, my husband’s co-worker, or even a hurting friend.