There was a movie entitled Hit List. You would not want to be on that list.

Years before the movie, I began a “Hit List” too. The list used to be on a piece of paper kept in my actual page-by-page journal. I now have a digital list in OneNote for Windows 10.

You may be on this list.

Lists are necessary for developing effectiveness in praying. I don’t think it is possible to become a great prayer warrior without prayer lists.

Prayers develop through asking and receiving. Some prayers are answered, and some are not, but with each prayer, something is learned. A prayer warrior learns as much by tearing up an errant request as rejoicing in a miracle.

You can’t learn from victories or defeats without lists to remind you of your prayers – noting that some requests take years.

My “Hit List” is the first list in my OneNote program.

I place emergencies on this list.

Specific needs for people or organizations that I know personally. When someone asks me to pray for cancer – their name goes on the list. If you ask for money to pay a house payment – on the list goes the request.

The list resolves itself quickly – healing or not, payment or eviction.

I have prayed my “Hit List” for years. Hundreds of prayers on and off. From this list, I’ve learned more about praying than anything else that I have read or tried. I have prayed, observed, and learned from my “Hit List” prayers.

My top three lessons:

  1. The faith of the person asking for the request is important. In Mark 9, a father asked Jesus, “If you can do anything…” Jesus rebuked the father. I have found many people ask me to pray for something for which they have no faith. No matter the seriousness of their need, seldom have I had a prayer answered for someone who doesn’t believe.
  2. Sin must be resolved. A husband asked me to pray for his wife – she had left him. I discerned that He wanted me to side with him in the dispute. I only take God’s side. The man needed to repent before his prayer could be answered.
  3. Price to be paid. There is often a price for answered prayer. Someone who wants good health but refuses to give up smoking. Another needing to lose weight but without exercise. An “A” for an exam after goofing off all semester.

Yes, I’ve been asked all of these requests.

Some prayers I don’t put on my “Hit List” anymore because I know they won’t be answered. If possible, I try to point this out, but often just smile at the person requesting. What? You just smile but do not pray or even confront?

Yep, you cannot throw pearls before swine without getting trampled.

An insincere prayer request is a subtle form of manipulation. It tries to get others to side with you. It allows you to self-congratulate on seeking God – but hypocritically, you don’t want to change.

God isn’t manipulated.

To get on my “Hit List” I have begun to do this one thing:

If you share with me a prayer need, I will stop and pray for you, then I will ask you to send me a text or an e-mail with the request. I do this because I forget and 50 percent of the time, those requesting don’t send the request.

I can’t be fervent in prayer for insincere asks.

I value my “Hit List” and so I protect it from too many requests. I enjoy praying for those with great need, who are repentant, grow in faith, and are willing to change.

We should all have a “Hit List.” The answered prayers resulting from “Hit List” praying would release miracles and change the world.