Keeping a Prayer Journal

Most people who enjoy successful devotional lives have a plan that assist them in their personal prayer and study time. Most of these plans involve a Bible, pen or pencil, paper, notebook, and an outline. If you want some ideas for starting a prayer journal, or would like to try something different, consider the following ideas.


Write on four separate pages in a notebook these headings:





As you pray, list items on the pages under each heading. Note the dates of significant responses in your prayer requests or concerns. Under each heading, pray, sing songs, and quote verses of Scripture.

Model the Lord’s Prayer

Write a prayer that follows the model of the Lord’s Prayer:

  • Acknowledge God for who He is
  • Praise and thankfulness
  • Commitment of self/will power and expectation to God
  • Present personal needs and concerns
  • Confessions and repentance
  • Expressions of faith and trust

Again Scripture, song, and prayer can be listed under each section.

Read the Bible on your knees

Lay the Bible before you on your chair or bed. Read the passage on your knees. Apply the verse to your life in prayer as you talk to God. Have a pen or pencil and paper nearby to write down thoughts that come to you as you pray. Some enjoy using the Psalms in this manner.

Categorise your prayers

Purchase a pocket-sized notebook to which pages can be added. Divide it into the following sections:

  • Praise and Thanks
  • Dedication and Commitment
  • Daily Needs and Requests
  • Answered Prayers
  • Special Victories

Under each section, list the items that come to your mind. Again, praying, singing songs and quoting Scripture are helpful.

Write your thoughts and feelings

Purchase a spiral notebook and write your thoughts and feelings to God. This helps you to focus on your feelings. Also, writing down your joys and disappointments assists in bringing healing as you empty yourself before God. An excellent book on prayer journaling is A New Way to Pray, by Dwight K. Nelson.

My Part, God’s Part

Several notebooks available at Christian bookstores are designed to assist Christians in daily prayer life. One such notebook, by Becky Tirabassi, is divided into two sections: “My Part” and “God’s Part”. Under “My Part” are the following divisions:

  • P — prayers of Praise
  • A — prayers of Admission of sin
  • R — prayers of Request
  • T — prayers of Thanks to God

“God’s Part” is divided as follows:

  • Listening (a time of silence and meditation on Scripture)
  • Messages (notes from sermons, other books, and so on)
  • New Testament (list helpful verses from the New Testament)
  • Old Testament (list helpful verses from the Old Testament)
  • Proverbs (list helpful verses from Proverbs)

The last section — “To Do” — is for making notes, lists and schedules to help organise life as God suggests during daily devotions.

As you can see, many ideas are available for structuring and getting the most out of our daily prayer time.

By Kurt Johnson

Types of Prayer

The Bible talks about different types of prayer. Knowing what type of prayer to pray and when to pray it is very important to our prayer life.

In practice, we all use different types of prayer during our prayer times, and there is no reason why we cannot apply any of these types of prayers to all the situations that face us. Ask God to fill you with more of His love and make your prayer life richer.

Prayer of Supplication

Luke 11:9-13; James 5:17-18; 1 Kings 8:37-40; 1 Kings 8:54-55

Supplication means to petition or entreat someone for something. A passionate zeal and hunger fuels the prayer of supplication. Prayers of supplication are prayers that all Christians should regularly engage in, as we earnestly desire to seek God’s face and know His will for our life. Ask God to give you a hunger for Him.


Prayer of Intercession

Genesis 18:22-33 (Abraham); 1 Kings 18:41-46 (Elijah); 2 Kings 4:32-36 (Elisha); Acts 12:1-18 (The early church)

To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercessory prayer means praying earnestly for the needs of others, and seeking God’s will for their life. We are called to intercede for others, just as Jesus is interceding for us (Hebrews 7: 25).

Six Essentials of Effective Intercessory Prayer

  • Be Sincere
    Prayer is a sacred responsibility, and we need to treat it as such. Samuel told the Israelites, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.” (1 Samuel 12:23)
  • Be Discreet
    If you’ve ever had details of your personal life spread all over church, you know how devastating a little gossip can be. Here’s a simple rule for any effective intercessor. Assume every prayer request offered by a friend is for your ears only, even if they don’t specifically say so. If you belong to a prayer group, you might ask the person if they mind you sharing their request so others can pray, too. Even if they respond positively, refrain from telling the group any more than is necessary.
  • Be Sensitive
    Often, when people have just suffered a traumatic event, they’re exhausted with having to retell their story to every person who asks. While we want to demonstrate concern for others, there’s no reason to make them relive the ordeal by asking a lot of questions. All we really need to do is let them know we love them, and we’re praying.
  • Be Encouraging
    An encouraging card or a sympathetic whisper promising to pray for someone in pain can brighten a dreary day and lift a weary heart. A simple expression of concern can be an incredible source of encouragement to anyone going through a physical, spiritual, or emotional struggle. And through the week, when they become discouraged, they can remind themselves that “Someone is praying for me!”
  • Be Organised
    So often we glibly promise to pray for someone — and we really mean it — but somehow we simply fail to do so. When you make a commitment to pray for someone, make a note of it. Amid the pressures of daily life, prayer often gets pushed to the back burner. The whispers of our conscience can be drowned by the screams of a hungry baby or the demands of a cranky boss. But no matter what your work schedule is, you can find time to pray.
  • Be Committed
    If you consistently have trouble making time for prayer, find a partner and hold each other accountable. Even if you don’t have the time to pray together, just remind each other regularly of your commitment to pray. In promising to pray for someone, you’ve made a sacred commitment. It’s a solemn responsibility — with incredible rewards.

Prayer of Faith

Mark 11:12-14; Mark 11:20-25; Luke 7:1-10; James 5:13-18; Matthew 9:18-26; James 1:5-8

The prayer of faith is rooted in our confidence in God’s Word. When you are sure that what you are praying for is God’s will for you, the prayer of faith can be employed. The prayer of faith is knowing God’s will, praying it and receiving it from Him. Not forgiving and doubting are the two greatest hindrances to prayers of faith.

Prayer of Agreement

Genesis 11:1-9; Matthew 18:19-20; Exodus 17:8-13; Psalm 133:1-3; Acts 4:23; Hebrews 10:24-25; Matthew 28:16-20

The prayer of agreement is when two or more people come together and agree with one another and with the Word of God that something specific will be done. When we stand together in unity — with one purpose, sharing a joint vision and trusting God’s Word to be fulfilled — God can work miracles.

Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving

Psalm 100; Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 149:4-9; 1Thessalonians 5:15-19

Praise and worship brings us into the presence of God. Praising God in both the good and bad times affirms our faith in Him. Praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons. They disarm the two most deadly weapons to our Christian walk: unbelief and satanic attacks. These two things are manifested in many different ways, but praise and thanksgiving is the two-edged sword that helps us fight against evil.

‘The Church of Almighty God’

Prayer of Contemplation

The following steps may help you build contemplation into your prayer life.

  • Establish a time and a place
    Establish a regular time and place to give God your undivided attention each day (not in the car or while doing the dishes!). Have everything you need: your Bible, a journal, a pen, etc., so you can move right into prayer.
  • Keep your purpose clear
    Come to this time for the sole purpose of seeking God’s face. Keep this time for worship, meditation and listening for His voice. Intercession and supplication are for another time.
  • Be still and quiet
    This is a difficult discipline and takes much practice. After acknowledging God’s presence, become still and quiet before Him. Relax your mind and breathe deeply, all the while thanking Him silently that He meets you in the stillness.
  • Meditate on Scripture
    Unlike Eastern meditation, our goal is not to empty our mind, but to fill it with the revelation of God’s manifest presence. Read small portions of Scripture, asking God to reveal Himself to you. Wait on Him and listen for the Shepherd’s voice.
  • Journal your prayers
    Write daily love letters to God that respond to the joy of being with Him. Chronicle what He seems to be saying to you in writing.
  • Prepare for wandering thoughts
    Don’t worry if your mind wanders, especially at first. Jot down things you need to do later; then return your mind to seeking God’s face again.
  • Don’t fear drowsiness
    It is no sin to fall asleep in the arms of God. Of course, if this becomes the norm, you may need to change your sleeping habits!
  • Infuse intercession with contemplation
    Whenever the battle in prayer takes its toll, take a few minutes to contemplate the loveliness of Christ, rest in His arms and simply enjoy His presence. Then go back to the work of active prayer.

By Tricia McCary Rhodes


Are you looking to spice up your prayer life? Here are some creative ideas on how you can improve your prayer life, ranging from thought-provoking to uplifting.

Community Prayer

Prayer Walking

Prayer walking focuses intercessory prayer on the neighbourhoods, homes and people encountered while walking. Christians who practice prayer walking simply walk their communities, block by block, earnestly interceding for the people living on those streets.

City Prayers

Have your church or small group sponsor a “free prayer” booth in some public place, where people walking by can stop and get prayer for their needs. Take your youth group out to the city mall one afternoon or evening and challenge them to pray with the people walking by.


Make an arrangement with your local Fire, Ambulance or Police station to cover them in prayer. Set up a “prayer needs” box at the station that you collect each week. Get the names of each officer who would like to be prayed for and have intercessors from your church or cell group adopt them for prayer.

Prayer Business Cards

Print up some business cards offering free prayer for any need. List an email address where prayers can be sent. Include a special Scripture verse on the card.

Pray for Government Leaders

Consider sending a letter to the government officials telling them that they will be in your prayers.

International Women’s Day of Prayer

Open your church for the full 24 hours on the International Women’s Day of Prayer (the first Saturday of March), so that people can come and go at any time of the day or night. Schedule prayer intercessors in two-hour shifts.

Family Prayer

Family Gratitude Circle

After dinner every day, or once a week, go around the table and have each person share something they are grateful for. After you have gone around three times, and everyone has shared three things they are grateful for, have someone lead a prayer of thanks to God.

Hot Seat Prayer

Have everyone in the family get together in the living room once a week. Choose one member of the family as the prayer subject. Ask them what they would like prayer for and have everyone pray over them. It is a wonderful way to build family unity, and a great way to encourage each other, and to keep in touch with each other’s needs.

Lunch Box Surprise

Make a prayer card for your children, print it out and stick it in their lunch box once a week to remind them not only that you are praying for them, but that God is with them. (Or you can make a card for your spouse and put it in their lunch box or briefcase.)

Family Prayer and Share

Meet once a week with the whole family and take some fun Bible time together. Encourage your children to use skits, games or anything interactive that will illustrate or draw attention to a Bible story or principle. Use this time to share special needs, prayer requests, new revelations, or scriptures that you like.

Character Work

During family worship ask each person to share one character trait they would like to work on. Then have the other members of the family pray for that person’s character everyday. Next week, report on the progress and continue to pray, or move on to another trait.

Fridge Prayer

Make a list of things to pray for with your family and post it on the fridge. Pray for each need, and check them off as the answers come through. A great reminder to your kids and yourself that God does answer prayer!

Workplace Prayer


Make a card, print it out and stick it on the bulletin board at work. Choose a funny photo to get everyone’s attention, and a scripture that will bless them.

Give God a Break

Take your coffee break with God. Get your coffee and take a walk around your office building and pray. Or take your coffee out of the lounge and into your office, shut the door, and pray. Or even better, invite others at your job to join you for coffee time prayer. Pray for your boss, company finances, your family, co-workers, etc.

Target Your Boss

With prayer that is. Set aside a little time each week to pray for your boss and the company business. Then send a thoughtful card to your boss. Let him/her know that you are available to pray for any specific needs they might have.

Personal Prayerlife

Email God

If you have trouble keeping a daily journal, try sending an email to God each day. After writing your email, instead of sending it, just print it, and put it in a binder. Before you know it, you’ll have a daily record of your personal journey.

Red Light, Green Light

Pick a topic for prayer each day, then whenever you come to a red light, let that be your reminder to pray for that need.

Divine Date

Set aside a block of time (two hours or more) each week to get alone with God, apart from your regular prayer time. Let this time be just for you to hang out with Him. Go to a park, or the beach, or somewhere you don’t often go. Make sure you won’t be interrupted. Leave your cares and worries behind, don’t bring any prayer needs with you. Keep this time free from other concerns. Just enjoy God and allow Him to speak to your heart.

Prayer Room

Find a room at home that you can make into a prayer room. If you haven’t got a spare room, make a prayer corner! Furnish it with a comfortable chair, a softly lit lamp, a picture of Jesus, and a basket containing a Bible, short readings on prayer and Bible promises, and Bible promise cards that can be taken along for encouragement when leaving the room. If you have room in your yard, consider making a prayer garden.

Group Prayerlife

Intercessory Prayer Groups

Take time to organise a prayer group dedicated to intercession, and let the Holy Spirit work miracles! Let people know that you are willing to bring their needs before God.

  • Offer special prayers for your pastor and his family, especially before each sermon is preached.
  • Have a small chest or box available at the front of the churh for prayer request.

Prayer Cards

Distribute intercessory prayer cards. Encourage people to write down their specific requests on the card. Encourage them also to keep a record of God’s answers. Over time, as they see God’s decided answers to their prayers, their faith will dramatically increase.

Prayer Bands

Prayer bands are a channel for God’s blessings to flow through us to others. Follow this step-by-step process to organise your prayer band:

  • Invite approximately 3-5 people to join your prayer group.
  • Appoint a time to meet each week.
  • Give each person an opportunity to share their prayer requests.
  • Read a Bible text about God’s promises to hear and answer our prayers. Share some of the requests you will seek God for on this particular occasion.
  • Kneel and pray together, seeking God aloud.
  • In conversational prayer, give each individual an opportunity to affirm the prayers of others in the groups, and intercede before God for their request.
  • Allow some time for quiet, personal prayer at the end of each session.

Prayer Chains

  • A prayer chain consists of about 5-7 people and a prayer leader.
  • As a prayer request is given to the prayer leader, the prayer leader will contact the next person in the chain.
  • Each prayer chain member makes contact immediately with an assigned person until everyone is reached.
  • There can be any number of prayer chains in a church community. If a church has several prayer chains, appoint a coordinator to liaise with the pastor to distribute prayer requests to the individual prayer chain leaders.
  • Within a matter of minutes dozens of prayers with very specific requests can be sent to God.

Prayer Partners

Choose prayer partners in your local church, matching mature Christians with new members or youth. Or, find prayer partners in other parts of the world.

Sunrise Prayer Service

Consider having a sunrise prayer service, either as a church or as a prayer group. Take time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, and praise Him for its magnificence.

Prayer Garden

Create a prayer garden at your church. Appoint people to lay plans for the garden and make a budget. Make assignments to persons who have gifts in gardening, concrete work, wood work, etc. Plan a dedication for the prayer garden. Invite people of other faiths in your community to use the prayer garden. If there’s no room to make a prayer garden, consider making a prayer room.

How to Pray

Suggestions to get started

Time spent with God is never wasted. Prayer should be as much a part of our daily routine as eating, drinking and sleeping. Spending time with God is essential for healthy spiritual growth and not an optional extra, yet many of us experience frustration knowing that our prayer life could be much more than it is. However, starting a regular prayer routine can be difficult.

Here are some suggestions on how to pray and start develop personal prayer life:

  1. Choose a designated daily time to meet with God.
    Write it in your appointment book. Fix the time firmly in your mind. If your primary prayer time is not when you first get up in the morning, remember nonetheless to make contact with God first thing in the day. And make sure to set aside enough time.
  2. Set a specific minimum amount of time for your daily appointment with God.
    This may vary, depending upon your circumstances. At times it may increase — or emergencies may reduce it. On holidays, vacations, and days off, plan on spending extra time with God.
  3. Choose a regular location where you can meet with God.
    It may be your office, bedroom or garden. Select a place where interruptions can be kept to a minimum.

By Kurt Johnson

how to pray
‘Going to the river to pray’

Prayer Models

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father: calls for respect (hallowed be Thy name).
Thy kingdom come: pray that Jesus will come back soon.
Thy will be done: pray that you will understand the importance of God doing His will through us rather than us leading ourselves.
Give us our daily bread: acknowledge, ask and be thankful for the tangible things in life.
Forgiveness: pray for forgiveness for your sins. We should not resent others – we need to forgive others in order for God to forgive us.
Lead us not into temptation: ask God to help you overcome temptation, and to help you get out of sin.
Deliver us from evil: pray that you will choose God’s way for your life.


Adoration, praising God for who He is.

Confession, telling Him everything we’ve done wrong and asking for His forgiveness.

Thanksgiving, thanking Him for prayers answered, helping us in our daily lives, etc.

Supplication, asking God for daily needs.

By Kurt Johnson

learn how to pray

Choose Your Prayer

If you struggle with what to say in your prayers, the suggestions below may help you.

Dear God your sinful servant needs help
Heavenly Father your frightened son begs for advice
Gentle Son your confident daughter thanks for forgiveness
Kind Spirit your fearful child asks for you
Forgiving Creator your sorrowful creature requests courage
Loving Jesus your grateful brother appreciates confidence
Jesus Christ your confused sister enjoys faith
Mysterious Saviour your joyful follower pleads for patience
Unseen Redeemer your eager believer has peace
Merciful Friend your angry Christian deserves an answer
Powerful Protector your peaceful disciple searches understanding
Faithful Judge your struggling prodigal hope for friendship
All Wise Master your determined friend fears strength
Patient Brother your lonely seeker loves generosity
Trusting Guide your faithful minister longs for love

By Rose Otis

Creative Ideas for Prayer Time

  1. Get rid of rubbish — confess the sins that are making it hard for you to feel close to God, such as wrong actions or words, unforgiveness, and bad attitudes.
  2. Choose the time of day that works best for you, when there will be least distractions and you will be most focused.
  3. Beware of rigid formulas — change the sequence, stand rather than kneel.
  4. Be creative in your approach to reading the Bible. If you have never tried biblical meditation before, use the follow simple steps as a guide:
    i. Take a word, verse or short passage of Scripture
    ii. Read it slowly
    iii. Pray, asking God to help you understand it and speak to you through it
    iv. Read it again
    v. Think about the word/verse/passage in detail – what do we learn about God? What do we learn about ourselves? Can we work it out in our lives?
    vi. Write down what you have learnt
  5. Be flexible — listen to worship and teaching tapes or read a chapter of an inspiring Christian book to help you get in the right frame of mind. Read from a different version of the Bible. If you normally pray inwardly, pray out loud.
  6. Try to set aside occasional longer times when you can really soak in God’s presence.
  7. Write a psalm
  8. Memorise Scripture — write a verse on a card then break it into small easily learned portions. Use it to encourage yourself when things are tough.
  9. Go for a Prayer Walk — this can be an opportunity to praise God for His creation or in a town to pray through the streets, for businesses, schools etc.
  10. Personalise Scripture — insert your name and let God’s Word bless you; for starters try Psalm 23.
  11. Pray with someone — for shared encouragement and motivation.

By Clare Blake, from “Woman Alive” June 2001

teach me how to pray
‘Small group prayer’

Encountering God in Prayer

Here are some suggestions on how you can get to know God better through prayer.

  • Ask the Father for the covering of the Holy Spirit bringing the presence of Jesus.
  • Claim the blood of Jesus over all sin.
  • Ask for angels to guard you, since He has promised.
  • Ask Him to make sure that no other influences or thoughts will be allowed to disturb, that He will protect.
  • Invite Jesus to search your life for a revelation of hidden sin. Allow Him to take you back to childhood if necessary. Take time to be attentive and listen.
  • As conviction comes to your mind of thoughts, acts, cherished “rights” such as anger, rebellion and resentment, or experiences that in the presence of the cross are sin, be specific, call it sin, and ask for forgiveness. Accept forgiveness and thank Him aloud. (Your ears need to hear your own voice expressing confidence and praise).
  • Ask for a deeper repentance. Since it is a gift, thank Him, whether you feel anything or not.
  • By your own free choice, tell your Heavenly Father you give Him permission to remove the sin and sense of guilt or condemnation that came with the sin. Let God know you are willing to allow Him to place the burden you have been carrying on the shoulders of His Son. Accept Jesus’ desire to release you from this guilt. Christ wants to do this for you. Be sure to express thanks aloud.
  • Ask God what He has for you in exchange. What characteristic of Jesus is He waiting to give you? What gift of guidance or insight is He making available? Take time to be attentive and to listen.
  • Let God know you will accept His gift (whatever thought, word or picture He brings to your mind). Be sure to thank Him aloud.
  • Repeat the process as desired. Enjoy His presence. Praise Him.
  • At the time you are accepting gifts from God, if He has just impressed you of specific instances of sin, you may want to ask what help He would have sent if you had turned to Him fully in that earlier moment of temptation. Or you may ask what Jesus would have done in your place. He may give you delightful insights.
  • You may want to ask Him at the final moments of this specific prayer if there is anything or anyone else He wants you to pray about or for, or if there are any particular instructions He wants to share with you, etc. Take time to be attentive and to listen.
  • Be sure to praise Him aloud as you end your time in prayer. You’ll want to. He’s a wonderful God, and a marvellous, generous, loving friend!

By Juanita Kretschmar

how to pray

Five things we need to know about prayer

  1. Prayer isn’t talking to the wall
    When we pray, we’re communicating with a real person. We’re talking to Someone who hears and understands us. God feels the joy, the excitement, the sorrow or the pain we have at that moment. And He knows there are times when we won’t know what to say. That’s OK. We’re permitted to just rest in Him, to pray without words. Besides, true friends can be in each other’s company without talking.
  2. Prayer is as important as breathing
    Someone once said, “Prayer is as necessary for spiritual life as breath is for physical life”. It’s impossible to be an authentic Christian and not be a praying Christian. Within any successful relationship there needs to be communication. Imagine having special friends and deciding not to speak to them – the friendship and the relationship would deteriorate. Why would we want to have a second-rate relationship with God?
  3. God’s available – our time, our space
    Even if He may not like where we are, or what we’re doing, He’s still available and He never closes shop. He’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even better, He home delivers. You can pray anytime, anywhere.
  4. Allow for God’s wisdom
    Answers to prayer depend on God’s wisdom and timing, not on us. We shouldn’t expect God to answer prayer exactly the way we want. When we were children there were times our parents told us we couldn’t have what we wanted. A good parent knows there are times to say No! and God, as the Best Parent, will sometimes say No! or Not yet! God is much wiser than we are. Allow Him to answer in the way He thinks best. And remember, His main concern is our salvation – that’s His higher priority.
  5. Prayer makes a difference
    Prayer makes a difference to us and to our lives. I feel at peace when I have a consistent prayer life. I begin to see a dimension beyond the here and now because I’m tapping into the Eternal One. The ultimate goal of a prayer life is to develop it to the stage where, beyond the time we set aside for prayer, it seems like a continuous conversations you break into throughout the day. That just has to make a difference.
discover how to pray

When you feel God is not hearing you

We’re always going to be in trouble if we rely on our feelings as a test of our spiritual life.
God works way beyond the feelings level. If feelings become the test, there are times when we
feel kilometres from God. At other times we feel so close. We need to rely upon the knowledge we have.

  • We know God moved heaven and earth to give us Jesus.
  • We know He has promised to be with us, even through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • We know He is constantly with us.
  • We know He hears and answers prayers. Romans 8:27-39 tells us nothing can come between us and the love of God, in Jesus.

Our feelings may go up and down, but God is constant. Trust Him.

Adapted from “The Edge”, by Carole Ferch-Johnson and Bruce Manners

Jesus’ Prayer Life

Jesus himself prayed often. Being one of us while on this earth, Jesus was subjected to the same frustrations, temptations, joys and sorrows that affect us all today. Through it all he prayed that God would give Him the help and strength to accomplish the task He had been given.

Jesus is still our example today, thousands of years later. Here are ten characteristics that describe Jesus’ prayer life, giving us a clear picture of what Jesus thought of prayer.

Ten Characteristics of Jesus’ Prayer Life

1. Jesus believed that prayer works

Matthew 7:7-11 — “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; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Additional texts: Mark 9:28-29

2. Jesus’ prayers did not make Him passive

Matthew 25:31-46 — “… The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me …’ ”

3. Jesus got alone to pray

Matthew 14:23 — “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”

Additional texts: Matthew 6:6, Mark 1:35-36, Luke 5:16

4. Jesus balanced private and shared praying

Luke 9:28 — “About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.”

5. Jesus prayed before meals

Mark 6:41 — “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.”

6. Jesus gave thanks

Luke 10:21 — “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.’ ”

Additional texts: Matthew 11:25

7. Jesus sang some prayers

Mark 14:26 — “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Additional texts: Matthew 26:30

8. Jesus prayed before making important decisions

Luke 6:12-13 — “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.”

9. Jesus prayed for His disciples

John 17:11,15,24 — “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name — the name you gave me — so that they may be one as we are one. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Additional texts:
John 17:9-26

10. Jesus still prays for us

Romans 8:26-27 — “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

Additional texts: Hebrews 7:25

Taken from the book “Praying Jesus’ Way” by Brian J Dodd

Starting a Prayer Group

A prayer group is a group of Christians who meet regularly to pray.

Prayer is a powerful weapon against the devil, and it is also an important tool in encouraging and uplifting others.

A prayer group needs people committed to praying together. A prayer group invites and encourages others to share their prayer needs and as a group, offers prayers of praise, petition and thanksgiving to God. It should be a safe place for people to share their concerns, joys and heartaches, knowing that many are praying on their behalf.

How to Start a Prayer Group

  1. Seek out other Christians and ask if they will pray with you on a regular basis.
  2. If you are finding it difficult to invite others to join you, don’t be discouraged. Pray that God will lead you to someone.
  3. Remember: you only need two to start a prayer group.
  4. Pray that your group will grow.
  5. Choose a suitable meeting place. For example, meet in each other’s home; meet outside in a park; find a spare room in the office during your lunch hour.
  6. Make a commitment to meet at a certain time once a week, fortnightly, monthly, or whatever suits you.
  7. Set aside a specific time period — most groups are comfortable with one hour.
  8. If you wish to bring your prayer group to the attention of others, begin to advertise as soon as possible. A notice could be placed in church or school newsletters and bulletins, or in community noticeboards. It will attract other Christians to your group, and it will let your church and/or community know that you are praying for them.
Small group prayer

Tips for Prayer Group Leaders

  1. Pray regularly for your group, that it will grow in love and unity.
  2. Encourage your group to support one another. The care that you give each other can be a powerful witness to those around you.
  3. Keep a book with names, addresses and telephone numbers of your group.
  4. Keep another book with a record of things prayed for.
  5. Work out dates, times and venues of meetings for six months ahead, and give a copy to each member of the group.
  6. If you are praying for specific institutions, such as local schools or businesses, make an appointment with the appropriate people and convey the following (as appropriate):
    • Your concern for the pressures people face today (whether those people are school children, people in the workforce etc)
    • The formation of your prayer group
    • Your willingness to pray for specific needs
  7. As your group grows, consider a co-leader to help and support you.
  8. Allow another person to lead the group from time to time, so that it doesn’t become dependent on you.
  9. Be mindful that if you leave, someone needs to replace you.

Tips for running prayer group meetings

  1. When you meet, reassure people that they don’t have to pray out loud. Some people need time before they feel comfortable praying in front of others.
  2. Have a list of prayer points ready before each meeting. This can be added to when you get together.
  3. If the meeting is in a home, and you are going to offer refreshments, consider offering them at the end rather than at the beginning of your time together.
  4. As far as possible, keep to the agreed time schedule.
  5. Begin with an opening prayer, dedicating your time together to the Lord.
  6. Give a short devotional, or nominate another person in the group to do so (having asked them ahead of time).
  7. Sharing time: this period will develop as people begin to know each other better and as special needs become apparent.
  8. Combined prayer can begin with praise and thanksgiving. Try to vary input, such as reading of Psalms, singing, or play praise music.
  9. Remember: There is no right or wrong! If a particular format suits your prayer group one week, but doesn’t seem right the next, that’s alright. Choose the style of prayer group meeting that’s right for your group.

Essentials of a successful prayer group

Be committed to praying with others

Jesus responds to united hearts. When we show our willingness to pray in harmony and love, the Lord promises to be present.

Take advantage of any opportunity to pray with others

Accept the invitations offered to pray with others. Ask others to join you for informal prayer. Offer to pray about concerns or problems raised in conversation with others. You don’t have to wait for the prayer group meeting to pray with someone or to pray for their needs. God loves to hear your prayers! Do it informally, simply and briefly on the spot. If the person is not a member of your prayer group, first ask their permission before sharing their problems with your group.

Confidently suggest prayer when problems are faced

There is nothing too big or too small to bring to God’s attention. Anyone may call their prayer group or their church to prayer when a need is recognised. Breaking off the discussion in a board or business meeting for a season of prayer gives God opportunity to apply divine wisdom to the situation.

Give others a chance to pray

When praying in a group, leave some issues for others to cover. Keep your prayers short and to the point. Long comprehensive prayers are better offered in private.

Affirm the prayers of other audibly

While in group prayer tell God you agree with the prayers already offered and you affirm and uphold these petitions.

Use the names of other group members in your prayers

Make an effort to memorise the names of each person in your prayer group. Mention their name as you affirm their prayer in the group.

Treat the prayers of others with respect

Leave the content of your group prayers with the Lord. It is not helpful to carry information shared in prayer away from the group or to air it elsewhere.

Follow through on your prayer promises

If you have promised to pray for someone or something in your prayer group, follow through. If you are likely to forget their request, keep a notebook handy and write requests as you receive them. Give people confidence knowing that their needs will be taken to the Lord by yourself and, if they wish, your prayer group.

Pray specific prayers

Get specific in your prayers. Give God the details, and don’t be afraid to ask Him for what you want. He has promised to answer the prayers of those who seek His will.

Who or what should your prayer group pray for?

If your prayer group is struggling for ideas on what you could pray for, here are some suggestions. You can pray for:

  • Your pastor and his family
  • Those in service industries — nurses, doctors, police, ambulance etc.
  • Volunteers in your community and overseas.
  • Service organisations such as ADRA, Salvation Army, and Red Cross
  • Your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews — and don’t forget the children of your friends.
  • Schools, both Christian and non-Christian, that they will teach our children to be responsible citizens.
  • Christian teachers in non-Christian schools, that they might be an effective witness.
  • Your neighbours and families in your street or suburb. Is there a family who is struggling? Ask God to meet their needs.
  • Government leaders and officials
  • Your supervisor at work
  • Your colleagues
  • People suffering from the effects of natural disasters all over the world, whether it is drought, flood, earthquake or any other disaster.
  • Refugees and others who have lost their homes due to civil war.
  • Those suffering from religious persecution. Pray that their faith will remain strong, and that their persecutors will come to know Christ also.
  • Your family
  • Your spouse
  • Missionaries, both at home and overseas, endeavouring to share the good news of the Gospel.