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Many of you managed to find me and my little corner of the internet through the study that I did of the book Fervent earlier this year. That book…changed my life. I’ve mentioned many, many times before (even wrote an article about it for a magazine) that prayer and the realization of how powerful prayer is, changed my life.
I am always looking for more effective and better ways to grow spiritually. Whether it’s a new book or a bible study, I’m constantly wanting to grow. Scripture was pretty specific on how we are called to draw closer to God always and that we are to meditate on His word day and night and pray continually.
I’ve laughed about it before, but ya’ll my ADHD is for real when it comes to prayer. I would love to be the person that could sit and silently talk to God for hours on end. I’d love to even be the person who can sit and talk to God outloud for hours on end. But, I can’t. My mind never seems to turn off and I’m going 90-to-nothing almost all the time. Sitting down and praying is difficult for me; especially when I am expected to sit down and pray without interruption.
I am all about my planner. I live by a schedule and love my Emily Ley planner and my Whitney English Planner (yes, I have two…don’t judge). Yet, when Illustrated Faith came out with their own day planner, the nerd in me had to have one. Even if it was just to see what it looked like and what was inside it. I fell in love with the Bible Journaling community as soon as I purchased my first Journaling Bible. I love the beauty that people are creating all over and how something so simply is being used to bring honor to God.
I have followed Shanna Noel for a while now and was so pleased when DaySpring picked up her Illustrated Faith line…I’ve loved watching her ministry grow. So when I ordered her planner, I really more or less did it in support of this ministry she’s built. I didn’t have a whole lot of intention of really even using the planner just because, come on…who keeps three day planners?
What I got in the mail was just as beautiful and just as creative as I expected it to be…with journaling pages and coloring pages and plenty of blank space for really making this planner my own. Unfortunately, I am just not that creative when it comes to painting and drawing and sketching. So I set it to the side and started seeking out ways that I could use it. I mean, I wanted it to be beneficial. I wanted to use it for something useful. That’s when I saw somewhere on social media (because who can keep up these days, amiright?) someone mention something about a Prayer Planner.
That’s when it hit me…
One thing that I learned through reading Fervent is that prayer needs to be intentional. It’s great to pray throughout the day (and we should!) but there are some areas of our lives in which prayer needs to be purposeful…intentional…deliberate. We are fighting a very real enemy these days and without strategic prayer, we end up kind of bantering and rambling to the Lord and hoping that he kind of gets our drift and knows what we mean.
NOTE: I don’t think that every single prayer has to be specifically geared toward just one thing. That’s not what I’m saying. I am saying, however, that we need to have time in daily routine in which we pray for specific things/people/circumstances.
I have a whole list of prayer prompts that I use when I pray. Prayers for my husband. Prayers for our boys. Prayers for the world and our nation. The list goes on. But, sometimes, I just don’t have the time to pray for two or three hours in the mornings or in the evenings to hit every single one of those areas of my life.
Instead, I’ve opted to intentionally plan my prayers. Using my Illustrated Faith Day Planner, I’ve set aside specific prayer prompts for each day and spend a few minutes every morning praying over that prompt a bit more in-depth than I normally do. Since school is starting back this month, I’ve been focusing the month of August on praying for my children. Next month, I’ll be focusing on strategic prayers for my husband. As the the year goes on, I’ll rotate each month and focus on something else: our country, the world, our extended families, friends, etc..
I love that there is a date for each prayer and that years from now, we’ll be able to look back on how I was specifically praying and targeting different areas of our lives. Beside each date, I write down the prompt for that days prayers (for this month, I’m praying specific biblical virtues over my children using these verses) and the verse that correlates. Any answered prayers, I write the date that the prayer is answered in a different color out to the side.
This kind of thing just keeps me on track, keeps me focused and keeps me deliberately in line with the areas of my life that need to be covered with the power of the Holy Spirit.
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