Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. - Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
I'd always been quick to say "I will pray for you." I had all the right intentions to pray for that person. But, over and over I found myself forgetting about the request as I turned away from the person.
I was convicted of my actions several years ago and I started to write the requests haphazardly on pieces of paper and placed them in my Bible. I prayed for the requests when I remembered to pull out my list.
This year the Lord once again convicted me (pretty hard) and very loudly, He made it clear that when I said I would pray for someone that I had to honor that promise and pray. So, I switched out the notepaper and started a Prayer Journal and decided to write down every prayer request that is given to me.
In this journal, I have five columns and the headings are People in Need of Prayer, Prayer Request, Date Requested, Short Term (ST) or Long Term (LT) and Date Answered.
Pray without ceasing. -1 Thessalonians 5:17
Here are the benefits I've discovered of writing down prayer requests:
I am reminded of all the prayer requests that have been asked of me. Keeping a prayer journal helps me overcome life's distractions. This journal keeps me organized and focused. Writing things down helps me focus and be intentional in prayer life.
It's a reminder to continue praying for those on-going requests that need long-term prayer. For example, when a relative was going through family changes due to illness and old age, their name was in the LT section and I prayed for the changing situation as it happened.
Having people's names on my list is also a prompt to call and follow-up with them. It's a great way to strengthen relationships.
I use my written prayer requests to THANK GOD for answers to prayer and His faithfulness. When a prayer request has been answered I highlight the request as a reminder that prayer is not just something I do but there are real results.
It is not always enough to just pray once we must continually be in prayer.