By Kathi Pelton
My life is busy!! My brain is full and to be honest— I’m easily distracted!! Is anyone else like that?
So— I have learned to use lists! If I go shopping or have a busy day planned…I make a list. When I have an upcoming birthday or at Christmas time I make a list! WhenI pack a ministry trip or vacation—yep, I make lists to keep me on track and so that I don’t miss something important. When we moved cross country in January…A LONG CHECK LIST WAS ESSENTIAL!
What about with prayer? Yes— I make prayer lists!! Not for every prayer time since I like to live a lifestyle of continuous prayer. But for my focused daily prayer time I have a list. My list includes prayer points that I bring before the “Throne of Grace” and as I bring each point before our Lord, I then wait for His Spirit to lead me in His intercession for that person or subject. It is not dry or legalistic but rather it keeps me focused and at the same time leaves room to be led by the Spirit to go deeper and spend more time on what He reveals needs more attention.
My prayer list is also an ongoing testimony book of answers! I always leave space to add notes and the testimonies of answers to those prayers. It becomes the spirit of prophesy to the prayers yet to be answered.
For instance— I pray for all of our ministry supporters each day. As I mention them by name, I wait and I am sensitive to the Spirit giving me insight and His heart to press in deeper day by day for specific ones. I do the same thing with our children. I bring each one before Him and wait…always asking Holy Spirit to lead me and pray through me for what He knows they need; not just what I want for them.
Usually my list includes prayers for our nations leaders, our local church leaders, our city and nation. Again, as I bring these before His throne of grace— I pause and listen for His voice and to feel His heart. Some days it’s merely mentioning these things and other days it become deep intercession. He leads— I follow!
I also pray His Word. Praying aloud the scriptures over your loved ones, leaders and nation will never come back void! For instance, yesterday I had Ephesians 3:17-19 on my heart. It reads,
“I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
I began to pray these verses aloud over my children, my husband, our ministry supporters, our leaders and our nation. That they (we) would be rooted and grounded in love and the knowledge and fullness of God. His Word is always better than my words!
Far too often the church will view anything planned as “religious or legalistic.” That is not true! We can make lists and still yield and submit to the leading and flow of His Spirit. Often the church is not getting things accomplished due to distraction and the desire to be freely led— but think of how much is accomplished when you do both. You make a plan and you yield to the Lord directing and establishing your steps— even in prayer.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD directs and establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
So—as the Christmas song goes, “He’s making a list, checking it twice…” During this time of heightened distraction in the spiritual atmosphere it might be good to make a list! Then bring your prayer points before the throne of grace and where Jesus will meet with you.
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
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