The First Meeting of Our Day – Part 2
Last week’s blog post was meant to be a single post, but I needed to continue with showing you a few of our Family’s prayer goals or targets. Due to the feedback we received, I’m glad we extended this message after all; it peeked the interest of many.
Planning is essential to everything we do and if you want to achieve better results in any area of your life start with a plan. That’s what our Family Plan is. It’s nothing more than a way for us to better every area of our life and today we discuss how we do that in the area of prayer. In the previous post we talked about how that looks, today we want to go just a little bit deeper.
How do you know what to pray?
Let’s begin with how does one know what to pray. You see ordinary thinking will have you go into prayer without a plan or your plans. If God plans, then you should. He says a person who plans is wise. We know what to pray because we use our written Family Plan to decide for us. Each page has something that defines a particular area of our life. It has where we are and what we’d like to see happen in this area this year. So depending on the results we’ve seen, we talk with God about where we are and how much further we have to go to achieve what we’ve planned. I kid you not, every time He gives us something (a thought or idea) that helps us move the plan further along.
What you didn’t ask for.
What I need to warn you about is an effect that I need to give a name. When you pray, you will always receive more back than you can really handle. Let me explain why, then you can research it for yourself using the characters in the Bible. When you receive instructions, thoughts or ideas from God, they are enormous. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways are better. So every time He gives you something, it’s larger than you can think of and better than your best thoughts and ideas. God doesn’t know how to be limited as we are. He has no limits. Most of the time, I’m a bit overwhelmed at what comes from our meetings.
If not us then who…
When people naturally pray, they can spend the majority of the time focused on themselves. Because Pamela and I have a plan, we spend less time praying for ourselves and more time on others. We have others-centered prayer commitments listed in our Family Plan. We participate in our local church’s prayer shield. We cover (in prayer) our church’s leadership team and their supporting staff. Why you ask? I was once in their shoes. I know what it takes and the pressures they experience. So then, what we pray over our lives, we pray for them.
First, we pray for our parents and their churches. We pray for our pastors and mentors. We receive emails weekly of the prayer requests from our campus and we prayer over those. We pray for the people in our small groups and our office teams. We love praying for our friends. We can see God working in their lives unlike many of our other prayer targets. We believe that we can’t leave the lives of our friends in the hands of their other friends, what if they’re not praying for them? Our motto is this…if not us then who? We make sure that our friends, family and teams have someone who prays specifically for them. Who’s covering your friends in prayer? Who has your parents covered? Who’s praying for your office? If not you, then who? Maybe they have the same excuses that you gave for not praying. Let’s end that today, create a plan for prayer that has them listed.
A board of prayers
Let me provide just one helpful tool. Mark Pettus mentioned this in a message several years ago. He has a cork-board that he uses to pin prayer requests to. When I heard that, something came alive in me, I went to Walmart immediately, and got one. We have it hanging in our bathroom and use it everyday. We place index cards on it with prayer requests we pickup from those we encounter or know about. The most exciting thing about this prayer board is when we get to remove a prayer request from the board. We record and date each card so that we know when we began praying for the need and the date the prayer was answered. God loves it when you plan for stuff like this. We plan to have answered prayers because we know if we pray it, He hears it.
Today is Friday!
I’m sure I have given you a lot to think about. While my goal was to help you establish a plan for your family’s prayer time, I believe I’ve also exposed another way for you to transform your prayer time, meeting with God. What would your life be like if all your prayers were answered? Leave us a comment or simply reply via email.