If you’re looking for sound, practical ways to improve your prayer life, read The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies. I just finished leading one of our Wednesday night Faith Community Institute classes through the reading of this book, and the impact on my prayer life has been profound and, I pray, permanent.
And I’m not alone in the spiritual growth I experienced – several of those taking the class have commented on how encouraged and challenged they were through the principles and practical strategies shared throughout this book. One of those taking the class expressed it this way:
The book we are reading on prayer is so good I am going to read it again this summer! I have been looking up every Bible reference and writing little notes in my Bible. [This class has] made a big difference in my prayer life.
Targeted Prayers: Defining
Throughout the book the importance of praying specifically and praying through scripture is emphasized over and over. The authors of the book, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, saw this type of praying modeled countless times by their mother. The following video, The Mighty Influence of a Praying Mom: Rhonwyn Kendrick’s Story, clearly illustrates this type of specific and scripturally-based praying.
Targeted Prayers: Applying
Wanting to get to a place where I am consistently praying more specific and scripturally-based prayers, I took the “Appendix 4: Prayer Strategy Verses” (a series of 135 specific prayers / spread over 9 different categories / with accompanying scripture passages) and added them to my PrayerMate app. As a result, my habitual “shotgun” prayers (“Lord, please bless my wife,” “Help my boys to do right,” “Help me to be the husband I need to be,” etc.) are becoming targeted – specific & scriptural – prayers. Here are a few examples:
- For My Wife
- Find her beauty and identity in Christ and reflect His character. (Prov. 31:30; 1 Pet. 3:1–3)
- Be hospitable and diligently serve others with Christlike joy. (Phil. 2:3–4)
- For My Boys
- Come to know Christ as Lord early in life. (2 Tim. 3:15)
- Develop a hatred for evil, pride, hypocrisy, and sin. (Ps. 97:10; 38:18; Prov. 8:13)
- For Myself
- Walk in integrity, keep my promises, and fulfill my commitments. (Ps. 15; 112:1–9)
- Love my wife unconditionally and stay faithful to her. (1 Cor. 7:1–5; Eph. 5:25–33)
Targeted Prayers: Technologizing
If you’re like me, you like to have those things which are most important at your fingertips for easy and immediate access. That’s why I converted the “Appendix 4: Prayer Strategy Verses” into text files that can be uploaded into PrayerMate, adding the text of the verses along with the references. Here are screenshots of three of those targeted prayers listed above as they look in PrayerMate: My wife’s beauty and identity in Christ, My boys to know Christ, Me to depend on God.
If you would like to do the same, here are the steps:
- Install PrayerMate on your phone.
- Download, unzip and save these files to Dropbox (or the cloud storage option of your choice)
- Follow the directions in step “2. Importing new data” in this “Getting More out of PrayerMate with Dropbox” post.