Most often when we try to pray, we simply feel overwhelmed!
There are so many needs: in our own families, our friends, our community, etc. We hardly know where to start. We might find ourselves simply saying, “God bless so and so.” Our prayer life feels anemic, and we don’t see a lot of answers to general prayers.
Two things will help:
1. Learn to pray specifically.
James tells us, “You have not because you ask not.” (James 1:5) John encourages us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)
Jesus himself tells us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Mathew 7: 7)
God may not always answer our prayers in the way we’d like or on our timetable, but He always does what is best for us. We are his beloved children.
The key is over and over he encourages us to ASK.
2. Organize your prayer life.
Because I want to practice asking God for things, I found it helpful to create a prayer notebook. It’s divided into 7 sections, one for each day of the week.
To keep from feeling overwhelmed with so many needs I have assigned a theme for each day and a general prayer I pray for John and me and our kids and grandkids. I have additional notes for each day of the week. These are always evolving. Sundays my notebook is reserved for praise. It’s the Sabbath, and I want to focus on God rather than people. The Sunday section is blank. Yes, blank. This forces me to be creative in my praise.
Tuesday’s prayer theme is marriage.
Here’s my prayer for my marriage and for those of my kids and grandkids:
You have called us into marriage. It was your creation that you might be glorified. Lord, please be protecting our unions.
Give to each of us:
- Sweetness of speech
- A desire to work through struggles and stick to it when we are tempted to flee
- Help in really listening and considering the other’s view and not presuming; we want good communication
- Eyes only for each other
- The discipline to quickly forgive and to ask for forgiveness
- A sense of how we are fitting together — two being better than one
- Growing thankfulness for one another
- The discipline and time to pray together
- More spontaneous laughter
- Growing tenderness
Deliver us from:
- Taking one another for granted
- Failing to appreciate or to build up
- Those who would tear apart our marriages
- Wandering eyes
- Emotional divorce
Give us eyes to recognize how the enemy might try to tear us apart.
Please be adding layers and layers of glue into our unions and melting us into oneness.
May our marriages glorify YOU. Amen”
I hope this will encourage you to write your own prayer for your marriage.
Note: This can be adjusted for singles. Single people can pray for their future mates if God should choose for them to marry. Even if they do not feel the call to be married, they can pray for the married members of their family and friends, and for wisdom regarding how to support those marriages.
If you want to see the other specific prayers I pray each day of the week, along with the daily themes, you’ll find them and a lot more in the last chapter of my book Cousin Camp.
Prayer is the one thing at which we cannot fail and it’s the best thing we can do for our family.
Do you keep a prayer journal? Comment below!