Praying Intentionally

One of my goals for the new year, in keeping with my one word focus, was to come up with a more intentional way of praying for my family and for others.

I’ve tried the traditional prayer journal; and while I enjoy writing out my prayers, keeping up with prayer requests seemed rather haphazard. I couldn’t find a good way to organize the requests within my journal, and I couldn’t always carry it with me, which meant that some requests would get forgotten before I could write them down.

I began by trying to think how best I could write prayer requests down the minute they were given to me. Simple 3×5 cards seemed the best solution. They would be easy to carry with me and easy to file later. So I set out to devise a system of organizing my prayer requests within a file box.

organizing my prayer life

And in keeping with my organizing personality, it would have to be not just functional but beautiful.

Here’s a summary of what I came up with:

  • Four categories I pray everyday: Daily, Urgent, Thanksgiving, and Praise. Daily are routine prayers that I pray for myself, my husband, my children, etc. Urgent requests are the ones that need immediate attention: someone is in the hospital or is having emergency surgery, for instance. Thanksgiving is where I will file answered prayers and other things I’m thankful for, praying one of these cards a day. Praise has been a fun category where I right down an aspect of God I’m thankful for, praying one of these cards a day.
  • Besides these four, I have categories that I pray through on different days of the week—my husband, my children, my church, our country, missions, etc.

Having this system makes it much easier to add requests and much easier to move them around. Perhaps on a particular day of the week I’ve been praying for a church member who has been ill. Suddenly, that member has to be hospitalized and needs surgery; I move the card to Urgent. After the surgery and recovery, that member is completely healed; I mark a date for answered prayer and move it to Thanksgiving.

Now, for some free printables for you. Print off what you need and write your category on the tabs. I have two templates right now, one that I designed for myself and one for my husband.



Click on the images to download. I hope you are inspired to begin praying more intentionally, and I’d also love to hear what methods have helped your prayer life.

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