Growing in Prayer?

Some of you have mentioned that you want to grow this year in the area of prayer. Today’s post will only scratch the surface, so I hope you’ll check out the books I’ve recommended on this topic. I’ll have more on prayer on the blog next week, but today I’ll get us started with a few suggestions.

“Will you pray for . . .?” is perhaps the question I’m most often asked. I’m thankful when I get the invitation to intercede in prayer, it allows me to be a part of God’s process and work in others’ lives. Although I still have much to learn, I thought I’d share with you a few things I’ve found helpful through the years.

My Helper for Praying:

I use a large “daily planner” that has a monthly calendar and pages for each day. I’ve added sections to the planner to use specifically for prayer. It’s a loose-leaf binder and pages can be easily added or removed. Each individual or ministry has its own page where I record Scriptures that apply to their needs. I log dates of prayer requests, answers, and praises on their page, but if I’m asked to pray about something happening on a specific day and time, I flip to that page where I’ll be doing my daily quiet time and put it on that page. That way, I know I’ll be reminded to pray for that specific need on that day.

My journal really helps me to keep up with the specific needs of people I care about and this is a way I can be diligent in interceding for them.

This is an old-fashioned approach. For those of you who plug things into your smart phone, there are several great apps that you’ll find helpful. I’m still very much a “pen and paper journaler” so the journal-planner still works best for me. Some day, I may step into the digital world on this front, but for now, I’m still scribbling prayers out by hand in my prayer journal.

Intercession Tips:

  • When someone asks for prayer, if at all possible pray with them right then.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to bring this to mind at critical times when intercession is needed.
  • Write down the prayer request. If you keep a log or prayer journal transfer it to the appropriate category.
  • When an individual is facing a potentially severe trial, or in crisis, ask them if you can include a group of women for a specific time of prayer over her. It may be necessary to enlist women to pray at specified times in order to have a regular cycle of intercession.
  • Use every opportunity to intercede: when driving and you recognize someone in traffic, when passing a friend’s house, or when hearing a song that reminds you of someone–pray for them.
  • Keep reports or updates from ministries in order to pray for their specific needs.
  • If your prayer time is interrupted by thoughts of things needing to be done, jot those things down and return to prayer, keep in mind these interruptions may be things that need prayer as well.

You don’t have to use a prayer journal or set specific times to pray, however, I’ve found that these things help me to be diligent in actually praying, rather than having good intentions that never come to fruition. I’ll share more of those suggestions on the blog next week.

I love the freedom of coming to God anytime, anyplace, praying about anything, and that can happen all throughout the day. Disciplined intercession can seem monotonous at times, but is labor that yields sweet reward.

One of life’s greatest joys is seeing God answer prayer. What are you asking God to do today?

How can we pray for you?

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/


  • Vivian Etherington

    Thank you for this post! I am continually dissatisfied with my prayer life! Recently I have been thinking about my need to organize….have a page for each day of the week, etc. Thank you for the push I needed to do it! You know I am weak in the area of organization. I am so grateful for your example in this area; I have benefitted from it and personally seen you do exactly what you say you do in this post!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hey, Viv ~

    I’ve never met anyone who was truly satisfied with their prayer life. I know I’m not. Time, that is always a needed element for improving my prayer life, slowing down to intercede and worship in a focused manner.

    May we both grow in this discipline this year!

  • Vicki

    Hi Kim~

    Prayer was my focus for last year, and while I have certainly in no way “arrived,” I can say that I truly have grown in understanding how very important that connection with our Father is. I take that time with Him way more seriously than I used to. I also have to say that I have seen God working in ways that I’m not sure He would have had I not asked! Sometimes we truly do not have because we do not ask!! Praying Scripture has become huge to me.

    This year The Lord has lead me to focus on love…completely under the mantle of prayer. First I’m asking Him to help me “come to know and believe the love that He has for us” (me) in a very personal way (1 John 4:16) and then to love Him better because He first loved me (1 John 4:19). From all that I want to put the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-38) into practice in very tangible ways. My desire is that God’s love would just fill me to overflowing, spilling out onto everyone I meet, beginning with my family! I tend to be a “Martha,” so my comfort zone is to be busy (sometimes too busy) doing, but I want to grow in loving on people by listening, interceding, and only “doing” what God directs. As The Lord brings me to mind, I’d appreciate your prayers in this regard.

    I feel like the focus on love follows well after my focus on prayer because these past years have been ones of also coming to understand that it’s not up to me to “make things better” for everyone… or anyone. When it’s me trying to change something, what change does happen won’t last. And when I’m trying to change someone, they only feel like a project. Most often the very best thing I can do is pray. God truly is moved by our prayers!! This gives me freedom to really love – in a greater and better way.

    Thanks for your encouragement to choose a year-long focus. That’s been a very good thing!


    P.S. It’s been some busy days around here, and I haven’t had much time to post a comment – kind of putting it all in one. Sorry for the “book!” 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Vicki ~

    Sorry to be so late in responding, I’m really behind in my correspondence! I loved hearing what God has been showing you and knowing how to pray for you this year. So exciting to dive into a study on love! I’m praying that God envelopes you with a greater understanding of His love for you, and as that happens, the overflow will be greater demonstrations of love for Him and others.

    You may have read these posts before, but these came to mind as I read your comment and I thought you might find some food for thought or principles and Scriptures you could apply as you tackle your spiritual focus this year:

    I look forward to hearing what God is teaching you! May the love of Christ be the ruling factor in your life (2 Cor. 5:14).

    Blessings, Friend ~

  • Vicki

    Thanks for your prayers, Kim! And thanks for the links to the three posts about love. I’ll keep them to refer to again and again this year. It’s amazed me how much God is showing me already about what stifles the flow of love, both in receiving from and in giving to God and others. Everything about God’s love is certainly upside down from the world’s idea of love, as well as what my fleshly desires are drawn to. I admit I am “poor in spirit” in this area! Only by the power of His Spirit will what I am learning this year become a way of life for me.

    Thanks again for your encouragement! I love growing in The Lord with you and others who comment on your blog.