Starting A Prayer List

You do not have because you do not ask God (James 4:2, NIV).

Overwhelmingly, I’ve been asked by readers of this blog to give advice on starting a prayer list. Well, confession, only one person, but that person did have a good idea!

First . . . 

When beginning your first prayer list, take a simple 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of lined paper and write on the bottom . . . 

Ask and it will be given to you (Matthew 7:7, NIV).

Then, read this verse every time that you take out the page to make a notation.

Second . . .  

Draw a line down the center of the page so that you have clear left- and right-side columns within the page.

At the top of the left side of the paper, write in large, bold letters . . . 


Then, at the top of the right side of the paper, write in large, bold letters . . . 


Yes, “answered!” Why make a prayer request unless you believe the Lord will answer it?

Third . . .  

Down the left column of the page, place #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10. Put several lines between each number. The numbers go down the page from top to bottom.

Now in the right column of the page, place #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10. The numbers go down the page from top to bottom but should match — the #1 on the right side is on the same line as #1 on the left side.  

1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, etc., down both columns of the page.

Fourth . . . 

List a specific request at #1 in the left column and include the date next to the request. But no more than one request at a time. With #1 in the left column having a request, you now have a corresponding number in the right column empty and waiting for an answer.

I can’t emphasize too much — I can’t emphasize this too much — make the prayer specific! A specific prayer is a request that can be answered specifically. “God bless me today” is not a specific request, but asking for $100 to pay a gas bill is a specific request.

Fifth . . . 

Let the Spirit develop the list.

In your devotional times, ask the Spirit to inspire specific requests. List the request in the left column and be ready to list the answer in the right column. Be patient — don’t write two or three requests at one time. 

It might take a month or longer to fill in ten requests. As your “top ten” prayer list develops you can see requests and then rejoice to specific answers.

That’s it — how to develop your first prayer list.

Obviously, you will add lines as more requests are included, but keep the original list, as some specific prayers may take months or years to receive the answer.

Nothing better than rejoicing over a one- or two- or ten-year request.

As the Apostle John says . . . 

We are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15, NLT).

Sixth (don’t forget this step) . . . 

Fold and place the list in your Bible.


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