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Using Prayer Cards

August 9, 2010

You can tell what subjects people are passionate about by looking at their books. If you come over and look at my shelves, you will see book after book on prayer. You would think after reading all those books on prayer, I’d be an expert. But unfortunately, it’s just the opposite. I read all those books on prayer because I feel so inadequate. But thanks to A Praying Life by Paul A. Miller, I have learned how to be more disciplined in my prayer life, and grow deeper in my relationship with God.

Miller suggests using prayer cards as a way to focus. My categories include– family, church, missionaries, adopting families, repentance cards, and hope cards. On the card I list important requests, verses I want to pray over the life or situation, and sometimes the date of an answer.

For example, on my “adopting families” card I wrote out Heb. 10:36, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised.” Then I list families I know who are adopting. About once a month I email the couples  to see how I can specifically pray and update the prayer card.

During my prayer time (at night!) I go through my cards, praying for each one. Not every prayer is going to get an “answer date.” On my repentance card labeled “pride,” I will continue to pray “…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) every day of my life!

I’m a methodological person, so having a routine works for me. It helps me feel like I’m joining in God’s plan for each person and situation I pray for.

Do you struggle sometimes in your prayer life? What tools help keep you focused?

Sandra Peoples is a pastor’s wife and mom to two boys (plus one more boy her family is in the process of adopting from Ethiopia). She has an Master of Divinity degree in Women’s Studies and wants to encourage women to grow in godliness. She blogs at Heart for Him and Twitters from @HeartforHim.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2010 7:59 am

    Sandra, thank you so much for the practical advice this morning. Prayer is hard work and it takes discipline to stay focused. Journaling helps me, but I think I may try incorporating our prayer cards!

  2. Julie Sanders permalink
    August 9, 2010 8:26 am

    I really like this idea, Sandra. I’ll be trying it out in my daily routine. What a fantastic “fresh idea” for tackling the concerns that seem to come along with the start of a new school year, too.

    • August 9, 2010 1:24 pm

      Hi Julie! I also like to keep the Christmas cards with pictures on them to use as prayer cards for family members and friends! Especially with my little boys, it helps them know who we are praying for.

  3. August 9, 2010 8:45 am

    Sandra, like Julie, I plan to use this technique as we begin our school year … and I’m hoping to use it to teach Casiday to be focused in praying as well. LOVE this … thank you so much for sharing! {And we cannot wait until you are a full-time writer here at Scripture Dig!!}

  4. August 9, 2010 8:59 am

    “I read all those books on prayer because I feel so inadequate.”

    I can completely relate. My book shelves are full of book on prayer (along with others), yet I still struggle with this discipline in my life. I’ve recently re-started using a Scripture prayer calendar for both my kids and my husband, praying over a particular area of their lives with Scripture. I like having structure to my prayer time, as it helps me to know what to pray.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • August 9, 2010 1:19 pm

      A prayer calendar sounds like a great idea! I’m with you- I need a little structure so I keep at it!

  5. Michelle NIst permalink
    August 9, 2010 9:11 am

    Very good practical advice! I am going to try to do something along these lines, too.
    I’m organized in other things, but not prayer as much. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. August 9, 2010 10:54 am

    Love the idea of prayer cards. Sometimes I use the back of my book mark to list current and urgent prayer needs.

    I a girl who needs a plan, but I also don’t like to get in a routine of doing the same ol’, same ol’. So when I’m not making a prayer list, I’ll write them on the back of my book marks. Now I think I’m going to shift to prayer cards throughout the rest of the year.

    LOVE IT!

    • August 10, 2010 8:27 am

      I’m with you on the plan but not too routine. I like to have a variety of “plans” that I can use throughout the year to keep my quiet time fresh and real – when I get too much into a routine, it starts to become stale and forced.

  7. Lisa permalink
    August 9, 2010 11:40 am

    I read Paul E Millers book after you wrote about it on your blog and loved it. I made out a bunch of prayer cards and it’s really helped me stay focused on who and what to pray for. Now if I could just make myself sit down and regularly use it.

    • August 9, 2010 1:20 pm

      🙂 Thanks for clicking over Lisa! I keep mine by the bed so before I fall asleep I can pray through them.

  8. August 9, 2010 12:05 pm

    Great idea! I’ve used many different methods to organize my prayers, but right now I have a prayer scrapbook: a little notebook with pretty papers and lists of people I pray for, and verses on various topics.

    • August 9, 2010 12:21 pm

      I love this idea, too. My daughter would also like it. Hmmm …. so many wonderful ideas!!

    • August 9, 2010 6:50 pm

      I actually had planned do something similar along these lines – use a small three ring binder with divisions for categories, then put a prayer concern at the top of each page. I could record my specific prayers and answers on the rest of the sheet. Anyway, it’s on my 2010 “To Do” list. It’s not done yet. Anyone want to hold me accountable?

  9. August 9, 2010 12:23 pm

    i do struggle… I put “prayer triggers” all over – laminated cards in the shower, post it notes on my computer, objects that remind me of the person I’m praying for, a cork board of friends… so when my eye catches them I stop and pray… It seems to work for me, plus it keeps my easily-distracted-brain focused on something healthy 🙂 love your idea too!

    • August 9, 2010 12:44 pm

      I also have the same sort of thing, Jenny. For example, when my wedding rings catch my eye, I pray for my husband and our relationship. When I drive past a friend’s house every day, I pray for her husband who is unsaved. I think those are great tools to keep us focused on communing with the Lord.

  10. August 9, 2010 12:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this.I to struggle with my prayer life. I lose focus and maybe this will help. I like how this helps keep you in touch with those you are praying for

  11. Becky permalink
    August 9, 2010 10:06 pm

    Sandra,
    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing…I think I’ll get started on some prayer cards tomorrow morning! 🙂

  12. August 10, 2010 12:58 pm

    Thankyou, this is really encouraging and filled with good ideas for helping to make prayer more a part of our lifestyle.

  13. August 10, 2010 6:11 pm

    Thank you. I’m one of the “inadequate” ones. (smile) But I recently joined our prayer ministry’s text messaging program. I find myself praying at least 10 times a day. I like the idea of having the cards so that I won’t forget and making note of the prayers that are answered.

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