1.17.2014

365 Days of Prayer


You may have noticed that we are halfway through January, and I have yet to mention any personal goals for 2014. That's partly because I don't have as many as I did last year. No running goals or reading goals or goals to give up dessert (who are these people that feel compelled to give up dessert? *she says as she eats another bowl of ice cream*). But I do have a few things I'd like to focus on this year, and one of them is prayer.

Over the past year, I've become more aware of the lies we tell ourselves about how we spend our time and the things we choose to do during the day. We say we don't have time for this or we're too busy for that, but the real truth is that we always have time for the things we want to spend our time on.

I get up at 5:15 in the morning to go running because running is a priority for me. It's a priority over sleep and often a priority over putting on makeup or having time to blow dry my hair. I go to church on Sundays because it's a priority over sleeping in (although I usually do want to sleep in). I cook meals at home because eating healthy and saving money is a priority over greasy takeout (most of the time; I am still human).

We spend our money and our thoughts and our time on the things that are important to us, and in 2014 I want to make sure prayer is something that's important enough to me to be intentional about for all 365 days of the year. I want to be someone who says, "I'll pray for you," and then actually do it.

So this year, I've started a few different prayer guides, and I wanted to share them with you.

Prayer for My Husband
I found this list over at a blog I enjoy reading on a daily basis, Elizabeth from Oak and Oats. I bought a stack of plain index cards at the store and spent one Saturday a few weeks ago writing out 31 prayer cards. Each has a specific prayer and includes verses related to that prayer.

I love that I can pray specifically for Jordan each day. I want to be a wife who prays daily for her husband, but I'll be honest: even though Jordan and I pray together most every night, I have rarely spent daily time in prayer for him specifically. That will hopefully change this year, and I think the index cards will be a good system for me. They've been working so far!

*I also want to add that if you're single, I think these would be great verses to pray over your future husband.

Prayers for My Friends and Family
I numbered a piece of paper 1-31 and wrote the names of my close friends and family next to a number. That number corresponds with that day of the month. On that day of the month, all year long, I will pray specifically for that person.

This of course doesn't mean that I can't or won't pray for them on any other day of the month, but I wanted to set aside intentional time to pray specifically for that person all year.

I'm working on sending out cards to each person (in the mail, cuz it's fun to get a letter that isn't a water bill), letting them know that they are going to be prayed for and what specific day of the month I will be praying for them. I sent out my first letter to one of my oldest friends a week or so ago (we've known each other since sixth grade!), and she just sent me a text yesterday to thank me for praying for her and to tell me something specific I can be praying about.
_________

Finally, even though I don't have a prayer guide for this one, I also wanted you all to know that I pray for you. I don't know if that sounds silly or weird since we don't really know each other, but I pray for the people who come here. I pray that you will be encouraged and inspired. I pray for you to find jobs and have babies and recover from an illness or injury. 

I want you to know that I take prayer seriously. I think it's important, and this year I want to make sure it's a priority for all 365 days of the year. If you have anything that I can be praying for you about, please let me know. I would be honored to pray for you.

Other posts to check out:
Prayer guide for your husband
Daily prayer topics
Make your own mini prayer book

33 comments:

  1. So well said Amanda. I too want to get my prayer life in order this year. I've been thinkin' of starting a prayer journal.

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  2. I started a system of praying for my husband this year, too. It's silly I haven't done it before now! But I think I've just gradually learned how real/powerful prayer really is - why would I NOT be praying for the people I love the most?? It's definitely going to be worth our time!

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  3. AH you're so smart! This is fantastic! So inspiring. I need to pray more. I must pray more. I'm so glad you blog.

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  4. This is wonderful. I love the index card idea. Sometimes you need a physical reminder that nudges you to pray. Definitely doing this!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this post!! I get so upset with myself when I remember that I'm not making prayer a priority. I got a prayer journal for Christmas--because I know I focus better when I'm writing things down. I struggle with knowing WHAT to pray for though, and this list idea will definitely help. :)

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  6. You are so absolutely right about how we spend our time. Prayer is definitely something I need to make more of a priority and I love the system you have created...especially how you are praying for family and friends with a specific day. Thanks for sharing!!

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  7. Beautiful! I love Elizabeth's idea with the note cards and I love that you are choosing to do it, too. I need to be more prayerful for Lamar and you've reminded me to make it a priority. Thanks for that!

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  8. I absolutely love this post. Being intentional about my prayer life is one of my New Years Resolutions, too! I've started a prayer journal where I write down every single prayer request. I found that I was telling people that I would pray for them, pray for them right then, then it would leave my mind. Now I have something that I can come back to every day. I still need a lot of work and a lot more grace to make it a priority, but it's a start. I love your ideas, especially the one about thoughtfully praying for my husband. Thanks for the post!

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  9. I really love this idea. I have been trying to be more intentional with my prayers. And some days it is hard. I like how these are set out and you can reflect on the specific person/husband. I might have to get some index cards this weekend. Thanks for the great post!

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  10. Excellent idea and commitment for this year! I started a prayer journal last year but that lasted til about the middle of January because I started off in depth but I didn't always have time to go in depth every night and was discouraged about that so I gave up on it. This year, I actually recieved 3 calendars for Christmas gifts so I took one and dedicated it to being my Blessings calendar. Instead of doing a memory jar type of DIY project, I decided to list all my blessings and memorable moments on a calendar so it was all in one spot and the box is small enough to fit information while not having an expectation for a novel. It's been neat to reflect on how God has been working this year and the bridges He's building in relation to others.

    Prayer is something I also hope to be more consistent in, in just having an open ended conversation with God...not needing to give a formal greeting or concluding "amen" but instead, just talk to God throughout my day. After all, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says "pray without ceasing." So I am aiming to talk to God throughout the day. And when I take the time to listen and reflect, He responds too. I pray God will bless you and your husband through your committment to talking to Him. :-)

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  11. I love this post so much! I was hugely inspired to start praying specific, consistent prayers this year, because a friend of mine needed to make a big decision in her life, and God answered the prayer very distinctly. It helps my faith to see how God answers prayers. I hope in your journey to pray consistently this year, your faith grows exponentially as well. Can't wait to hear how God answers your prayers too!

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  12. This is a wonderful idea. Thanks so much for sharing your insight and ideas!

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  13. I love the praying for one person each day of the month! I want to try that out!!! and the notes?!?! what a blessing to know you are being prayed for every 10th :)

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  14. Oh, my dear, dear girl. This is such a great idea! I made a commitment to myself to pray for my fiance each day, but didn't have a guide or anything to keep me going, I love the idea of cards for each day of the month. And the friend/family list - you have inspired me!

    One of my goals this year has been to grow in God, both in my strength and faith in him. This goes hand in hand with that. Thank you again!

    ~Katy

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  15. This is wonderful. I need and want to be better and more diligent in my prayer life, too. I haven't started the 31 days of prayer, yet, but I am definitely going to! Kudos to you!

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  16. this is so beautiful! i love that you are writing down your prayers! what a great source of love to look back on one day too! I love the little links to your 'prayer guides' this is such a great way to keep your prayers current and focused! i journal and leave prayers in my journal, but i love the idea of having the note cards out and being abel to flip through them:) you are an inspiration little lady- sharing your faith on the blog is not the easiest thing, so i have learned with my new monday series on the 'joshua code'! but i love that you are sharing this part of you on your blog:)
    xo

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! Sharing my faith really is not easy. I wonder if people will stop following me or think I'm silly or whatever, but really it doesn't matter what they think! My faith isn't the main reason I blog, so I don't feel like I need to post about it all the time, but I definitely want my readers to know that I do believe in Jesus. I'm enjoying your faith posts as well, so keep it up! :)

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  17. I love that you posted this, Amanda. I was very encouraged by it. I have been realizing lately too, that I make some big excuses when it comes to what I have time for, prayer especially. And prayer, it should be the least of all. I pray throughout the day every day, but prayer where I sit quietly and really focus on the words I am saying? Not so much. This is a goal of mine this year. And I love that you want to pray specifically for Jordan! I think that is so very important.

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  18. Thank you so much for this post! I love the idea of keeping note cards and of praying for a certain person each month. I know I need to be more intentional about my prayer life and this sounds like a great way to make that into a habit. I second Lauren when she says "I'm so glad you blog." :)

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  19. What a noble intention! I've been getting back into prayer- something I fell out of in college, mostly due to shame (after my first time getting drunk- something I was very ashamed of, and for some reason, felt distanced me from God). Now I pray every morning after reading Jesus Calling, and I pray according the the message and verses that morning, but every day I pray for an open heart. I always think of the Psalm that goes "create in me a pure heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." That is pretty much my life prayer. Given how powerful prayer is, I'm saddened that I fell away from it for so long, even though God continued to answer my prayers (much longer after they had been prayed). It is very touching that you pray for your blog readers. But, readers make your community, and why wouldn't you pray for your community? How blessed we are to have your prayers. :)

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  20. This is an awesome focus for the year and I feel very inspired about prayer from reading this post. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the prayers!! xx

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  21. I've also found writing down prayers--when I want to remind myself or when I'm praying very passionately about something, to be very effective in helping me not to get distracted or sidetracked by my own thoughts. And you're right, we do have time for everything we really want to do, that we make a priority!

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  22. This is terrific. What a wonderful intention and so fulfilling. Well done.

    -Amy

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  23. I love this!!! I'm definitely going to be "stealing" the idea of praying for one person on a specific date every month! :-)

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  24. This is great! I love reading about other people's prayer goals because it helps keep me inspired and on track with my own prayer journey. I would love for you to pray for Tyler and I! I'll email you.

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  25. I love this- such a great idea. My prayer this year is to be better with time management. I am the world's worst with being too busy with too many things and getting burned out and overwhelmed. But you are absolutely right - we have time to do everything we want to do, but more importantly everything God has called us to. Thanks for the great idea!

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  26. that is a really great idea!!! thanks for sharing!! :)

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  27. Thank you for posting this about prayer!! I want to be more intentional about praying, and I also forget to pray for my husband Albert during my individual time with God. You'd think it'd be easy to remember him, since I live with him every day, but you're right in how we get so busy that we tell ourselves we don't have time for things for which we could actually MAKE time. Thanks for linking to the blog post "Prayers for Your Husband"!

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  28. I really really love this!! And I love having a system to help me remember people as I pray. So often when I am in a quiet time I can't remember! This would be so helpful!! And the notecards make it totally "doable" for me!

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  29. I just love this! Thanks so much for sharing! I am giving away a Starbucks Verismo Brewer on my blog. I would love if you would check it out. http://thediaryofarealhousewife.blogspot.com/

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  30. this is so lovely - I bet that writing out the cards was incredibly fulfilling and moving, too.

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  31. I want to share my testimony on how i was able to get back my husband last few months and with the help of Dr Ekaka because my man left me for over 3years and went on with another lady and i was unable to move on with my life because of the love i have for him last month i saw a testimony on the internet on how Dr Ekaka help someone with love spell so i never believe it but just have to try my faith which i did and i contacted him on his email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com and he told me what i need to do and after 2days i received a call from my husband asking me to come back to him it was all like a dream to me i am so happy now as we are back together again thanks to Dr Ekaka and i will advice anyone in need of help to contact him.

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Thanks for the comment! I will respond via email and also occasionally in the post thread if you are asking a question that other readers might be interested in.

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