Intentional Prayers

8 Nov

Sweet girls who love studying the book of Mark with me!

How many times have you taken down prayer requests during Bible Study or when friends ask you to pray for something but then failed to pray for them?  Do you find yourself scrambling to keep track of a prayer list?   I have been given the awesome privelege and responsibility of teaching at my church.  Each Sunday night I am blessed to spend my evening opening up the Word with a group of middle school girls.  I don’t just want to teach them a bunch of facts about God.  Rather I desire that God would radically transform their lives!  One way that I have seen God radically transform lives is through prayer.  After a couple of weeks teaching these girls I realized that I really didn’t know exactly what they needed me to be praying for them about.  I don’t just want to pray God bless Suzy to have a good day.  Instead I want to pray specifically for her in the areas where she is struggling that God would act in a mighty way in her life.  At the end of our bible study each week I hand each girl a 3X5 index card.  Then I ask her to write down three different prayer requests on the same card.  Most of them usually write down their name as well. 

  1. Spiritual: For the first one I ask her to tell me how I can best be praying for her spiritual life.  Oftentimes this relates to our lesson.  For example maybe she is mad at God, struggling to make time reading her Bible, doubting God’s goodness, confused about what to believe, etc. 
  2. Personal: Then I ask each girl to write down a personal request for herself.  (Anything that isn’t spiritual.)  These would include things like praying for a girl’s relationship with her parents, that she would stop cussing, her brother would stop being mean to her, etc.
  3. Others: Lastly I have the girls write down anything else going on in their life that they want me to pray for.  Things like grandparents, or friend requests go here. 

More sweet ladies

Having the girls write down specific requests not only helps me to pray better for them but also allows me to write more poignant Bible Studies for them.  (If you didn’t know writing Bible Studies for teenage girls is what I love to do!)  We have spent this semester going through a study on the Gospel of Mark that I have written but tonight took a break to talk about spending time with God.  Almost every girl had written  down within the past couple of weeks that she was having trouble reading her bible or praying.  I don’t know that I would have realized this had I not asked them to write down specific prayer requests regarding areas where they were struggling. 

This could also easily be adapted as you pray for your family members and friends.  I have literally handed friends of mine 3X5 index cards and asked them to write down what I could pray for them about.  Sometimes when I am on the phone with a family member or friend I grab an index card and jot down requests.  Index cards work great for me.  I usually keep them in my kitchen as I cook dinner, wash dishes, clean, bake, etc.  At other times I take them on walks with me.  They are small enough that I can place them in my purse and go through them as I am waiting somewhere.

2 Responses to “Intentional Prayers”

  1. Lisa March 30, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Thank you for this suggestion. I teach a 9th/10th grade girls Sunday School class and have been thinking about how I can pray for them more. Your suggestions are great. I’m looking forward to introducing the cards this Sunday.

    • emersonfamily March 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      I’m glad this is helpful. It has really helped me to pray more specifically for people in my life.

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