Thursday, 31 January 2013

Prayer Binder

Prayer..... so much depends on it. God calls us to pray to him to strengthen our relationship with Him, to focus our minds, hearts and souls on His will and to intercede for others. In the chaos of the day I pray often, those quick, pleading prayers of patience, help and grace. It seems I am always speaking to God. But those prayers aren't enough. Something my soul has been crying out for is a time each day of focused prayer. Time to just soak in His peace and pray for things that the Spirit leads me too.

The trouble is that over the years, I have trained myself to not be able to do this. When I sit down with good intentions to pray, my mind follows its normal habits of going a mile a minute thinking about other things. I usually end up frustrated with myself and disappointed for God and get up to do something else.  I had to somehow train my mind to be able to again sit quietly in the presence of God and I needed something to keep myself focused on the task at hand, but what?

A few months ago, an idea of a prayer binder peeked my interest on Pininterest. It became clear to me that as an organized woman of lists and binders that a prayer binder was exactly what I needed. Something that laid it all out for me and kept me focused during that time with God.

Don't take this the wrong way, I am not suggesting legalism or mantras of repetition. That is not what my prayer journal offers me, but suggestions for the days when my mind is too busy and I need guidance about what and whom to pray for.

I searched on the Internet for ideas and finally decided to come up with my own personalized version of what others had. I included the following categories:
  • My Husband
  • My Children
  • Praise ( Attributes of God)
  • Who I Am In Christ ( Thanks to Neil T. Anderson)
  • Character Qualities for Myself
  • Family ( This section is blank to add your own family members)
  • Friends ( I left this section blank also. hint: I used my Christmas Card lists to compile these people)
  • My Church
  • The Nation & World Missions
I searched the Internet for sites that provided me for biblical things to pray for in each category for  and was so excited and surprised by the result... different prayers to focus on in the 9 different categories for 31 days.

One of my regrettable faults is that I tend to get overly excited about things, put hours of work into them and then move on to something else. I didn't want this to be one of those things. So,  I have been using my prayer binder consistantly for the past month to make sure it was worth sharing with my blog readers. I haven't been able to pray every day, but on the days I do, it is so much esier to grab my binder, find my comfy chair (under piles of clothes to fold) and spend time with God. The difference it has made has been transforming! I know now that my thoughts won't wander, I have experienced true peace in sitting with God and have been able to calm my heart enough to hear from Him in these moments and that is all the encouragement I need to MAKE time during my days for this.

I also made a check list for my own encouragement to be able to go back and see the times I have been able to sit at Jesus' feet. At the back of the binder I keep looseleaf to write down specific prayer requests. I date them and look back periodically to see what prayers God has answered.

I put all of the sheets in plastic page protectors and have them all stored in a white binder with a front pocket for the title page.
At the bottom of the Prayer Binder Categories document you will find all of the sites I reference when compiling this binder. I meant in no way to infringe on any copyright rules.  Thank you to all contributing helpers.
I wanted to share this with all my readers because it has made such a difference in my prayer life. If anyone would like the word document to change and personalize, please let me know and I will email it to you. This is not to be sold or misused in any way. My only intent is for it to bring glory to God in encouraging fellow believers to be better able to sit down and speak with Him.

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