Prayer is such an integral part of the Christian life, so it should come to us naturally, right? While it is true that the Holy Spirit helps us to pray, sometimes prayer is hard. Our minds wander. We don’t know where to start. We push it down on our priority list, forsaking the immediately urgent over the eternally important.
Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” For many of us, we wouldn’t know what to do with three hours of prayer! What do we pray for? How do we pray? What words do we use? I believe that to have truly effective prayer times, we must be strategic. We must learn from Christ how we ought to pray, and we must be intentional with every minute we have on our knees before Him.
I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.Martin Luther
Here are a few tools that have helped me create Spirit-led discipline in my prayer life.
Val Marie Paper Journal
I received my first Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal this past Christmas. While I have kept some sort of organized prayer journal since I was in high school (see a tutorial I created here), now as a busy mom and freelancer, sometimes I don’t have time to put together my own journal with brightly colored pens and cute colored tabs. Her prayer journal provided me with an easy way to organize and strategize my prayer life. While the moment-to-moment prayers throughout the day are vital, so are intentional, persistent prayers. Her journal equips me for the latter.
One other thing I love about her journals is that it’s easy to look back and see how God has answered prayers in the past months. I love looking back at the “check marks” to remember how God has worked through my prayers.
You can purchase Val Marie Paper’s prayer resources here. I use the Yearly Prayer Journal, but she has journals for pregnancy, adoption, men, kids, and so much more. I love her products because they are intended not to make prayer a ritual but a passion.
Daily Grace Co. Cards
Daily Grace Co. has some of the most beautiful prayer tools. From journals to cards to wall art, their products help me regularly incorporate Scripture into my prayer life. My two favorite products right now are the “Prayers for my Husband” and “Prayers for my Children” cards. I use these every morning during my prayer time, praying through a few cards each for Joseph and Karis. While I have other, more specific needs I pray for them, these remind me of more broad needs that I need to take to God (such as salvation for Karis and integrity for Joseph).
My favorite thing about these prayer cards are that they are all based on Scripture. I’m a huge advocate of using Scripture in prayer, and I love how each card has coordinating verses to direct our prayers. It reminds me that I’m not praying for my own will, but for the will of God.
View their prayer collection here, but they also have a lot of other Scripture-centered products (I’m a fan of their gorgeous mugs). I love the heart behind this company–that women would saturate their everyday lives with the Word of God.
Garden of Prayer Books
If I could send each of you one resource, this would be it! I have mentioned before in my blog posts, but the person who has had the most influence on my prayer life is my grandmother. She is a prayer warrior like no other, and you can have Patti Webb (or CeeCee as she would insist you call her) speak into your prayer life, too, through the two books she has written with her friend Sarah Maddox.
You can find A Mother’s Garden of Prayer and A Woman’s Garden of Prayer on Amazon in either hardcover or Kindle formats. You can also them on Facebook. Both books have similar structures—they list Scriptures that can be applied to specific needs and requests of mothers and women and provide sample prayers. For women, the chapters include areas such as handling emotions, enriching your marriage, and growing spiritually. For mothers, there is guidance on praying for a child’s spiritual growth, decision making, and character development.
My favorite thing about these books (other than the fact that they were written by my grandmother) is how personal and practical these books are. I make a habit of working through A Mother’s Garden of Prayer, choosing a chapter each week to pray for Karis. A Woman’s Garden of Prayer I find myself turning to periodically when I face a particular challenge or issue.
I pray that these three resources help you to grow in your intentionality and passion for prayer!