Organizing Prayer Time


First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  1 Timothy 2:1-2

For a long time, I felt inadequate in my prayer-life as a Christian.  I loved Christ, I did, but there was this guilt that gnawed at me.  For all the serious needs in the world, I had been gifted with a power to change things that I just was not using.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing, but whenever I heard that verse I knew that wasn’t me.  My excuse?  Life was just so… busy.

I’d thank God before meals, but between buckling the kids in highchairs and making sure the baby didn’t stick his hand in the dish too soon, it was hardly focused prayer time.  I’d also try and pray before bedtime, but by the time night came around, I was so exhausted.  I could hardly think clearly, much less supplicate for my friends and family in any efficient manner.

I knew a relationship as important as this merited more of my time than I was giving it, so I refused to say “I’ll pray for you” or “I’ll keep so-in-so in my prayers” one more time until I was actually able to go through with it.  Being the organizational freak that I was am, I decided to focus my creative energy there.  Winging it hadn’t been working.  From now on, I was going to pray intentionally.  No longer would my arsenal sit there dusty and dull.  Instead, I was going to pull out those weapons of righteousness, sharpen them, and begin aiming them well.

So I made a few changes…  First of all, since I’m a morning person, I started praying before the boys woke up when I was my freshest.  (If you’re not a morning person, your peak time of day may be different.)

I also wrote down a physical list (since I’m terrible at remembering things unless they’re written down) of all the family and friends I wanted to pray for.  I also included specific requests for my own family that I wanted to cover.

I quickly realized that praying for everyone on my list would take an hour, and that just wasn’t going to happen.  So I split them up into six categories and have been supplicating for different people each day of the week.  I don’t have solo-prayer time on Sunday mornings, but I feel like I get enough congregational prayer-time later at church that God and I don’t miss each other too much.  😉

There are few things I do pray for every morning.  I borrowed an acronym from my younger Worldview camp days called ACTS.  The letters stand for Adoration (Praise), Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  I feel like that layout is a pretty good approach to ease into prayer.  Although the first three remain the same for me each day, the supplication section changes.

Here’s how I’ve organized my requests:


(for my individual family)

That my husband, myself, and the boys would seek to please God wholeheartedly and delight ourselves in His Word.

(for others)

My husband’s immediate family (he’s got seven siblings, four of which have their own families, so the list is somewhat long).

I’ll name them each person specifically, bring up any known needs, and ask for their general growth in Christ and protection.



(for my individual family)

That God would bless my husband, myself, and the boys in our work and learning.

(for others)

My husband’s extended family (cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc)



(for my individual family)

For my husband to make wise choices in leading our family, to grow in love for me, and to have a heart for his children.  For me to respect and honor my husband and not frustrate the children as I train them up in the way they should go.  For the boys to obey their parents in the Lord and grow in favor with God.

(for others)

For my immediate family (my list is much shorter).



(for my individual family)

For my husband, myself, and our boys’ emotional, mental, and physical health and for protection against harm.

(for others)

For my extended family.



(for my individual family)

That our sin would not be hidden from us, that we would be given the power to resist temptation, and that God would be merciful to us in our faults.

(for others)

For our local Church (our pastor and elders, new/expecting mothers, newly engaged/married couples, repentance of astray members, and our faithfulness, hospitality, witness, and growth) and Christian Church at large (for its protection, faithfulness, and growth)

For our Government (leaders, judges, and lawmakers in city, state, and country levels)



(for my individual family)

Specific family requests/problems.

(for others)

For our family friends (their growth, protection, and any specific needs)


A few tips/verses of encouragement:

1)    Do your best and don’t worry about having to pray perfectly.  God knows our inadequacies and promises to make-up for them.  Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

2)    Likewise, don’t feel like you have to spend a long time just talking to God just for the sake of talking.  A focused 5 or 10 minutes can be just as powerful, if not moreso, than a secluded hour-long prayer session.  It’s about quality, not quantity.  Matthew 6:7 – And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

3)    Confess any unrepentant sin that may be holding back your prayers from reaching the Father.  Proverbs 28:9 – If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

4)    Lastly, be encouraged that ‘the prayer of a righteous man has great power’ (James 5:16) and ‘whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him’ (1 John 3:22). 

So although our lives are busy, busy, busy…  Don’t neglect one of the most powerful ways God has given us to best change the world.  Even if you’re only able to set aside a few minutes a day, let’s make those minutes count!  Are you with me?

Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

15 thoughts on “Organizing Prayer Time

  1. juliewhitne says:

    Thank you for this. It is something I am currently struggling with and it’s nice to know It’s not just me. I love list making, but have never applied it in my spiritual life.

    • I’d never really heard of it myself before either. But at least for me, I’ve learned that if I’m going to do anything well it will usually involve a list. 🙂 Do what it takes, right? Thanks for reading and commenting, Julie! I’m glad you stopped by! ~Kelsey

  2. sage_brush says:

    Mornings are best for devotion! The “Bread from Heaven,” symbolized by the manna the Israelites had to gather in the morning. Bless you dear one, for walking so closely to our Savior.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this! Just so you know, I found your blog through your organization tips on Pinterest….and now you have a new follower. 🙂

  4. Hanna says:

    I’m here too because of your organizing tips from Pinterest 😉 Thank you for the spiritual lift!

  5. Lisa Watson says:

    I love studying about prayer and intercession. I enjoyed this very much and will use some of your tips as I set my 2014 goals today. I use colored index cards to list ongoing prayer concerns for family and close friends. Each person gets their own color. I was afraid I would forget something if I didn’t list them, and I can mark the answered prayers to keep me thankful! I like your suggestion about praying for different groups on specific days since my stack of index cards is big now 🙂

  6. QUEEN RILEY says:


  7. lucy Nieves says:

    Thank you so much. I really needed those encouraging words. As I been going through so much I sometimes feel like I have given up or God has given up on me though I know he hasn’t. He stated that He would never leave us or forsake us and I believe that 100%. I thank you soooo much.

  8. Korsi says:

    very practical

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