Mobilizing Prayer with a Prayer Calendar
Church leaders are known for encouraging prayer. Encouraging an action is not as effective if the person is not actively involved in it. Encouraging works best from alongside or behind, when you’re observing an action. I’ve recently been inspired by a prayer mobilization tool called the Prayer Calendar. This tool and the habits that go along with it, go further than personal prayer, but are meant to draw other people into your life of intercession and create a culture of prayer around your life.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Make a list of 30 to 90 people who you know that need prayer.
2. Focus first on those who are lost or whose spiritual condition is unknown to you.
3. Put these in a spreadsheet numbered 1-30. So if you have 60 names, you will make two columns. If 90 names, 3 columns. I’ve made a template for you HERE.
4. Pray for the names on the corresponding day of the month that you’ve written or typed in everyday. So the names in row 1, you’d pray for every 1st day of the month. The names on row 25, you’d pray for every 25th day of the month.
Other tips here:
- You could organize the columns if you’d like into Lost, Unknown Spiritual Condition, Family, Church Family, Missionaries or whatever.
- I have about 150 people in my Prayer Calendar, so 5 columns of 30. Which allows me to intercede for 5 people each day.
How does this draw people in and create culture? It seems pretty individualistic at this point.
5. Call or text one or more of the people you pray for everyday and let them know you are praying for them. Ask them if they have any prayer requests. Pray with them on the phone if the occasion is right for that.
Disciple Making Tip:
- If they are already believers, tell them what you’re doing and ask them if they’d like to join you in making a prayer calendar for themselves.
- If yes, set up a time to meet with them to go over the plan for a prayer calendar.
- A yes, and a follow up here may tell you that this is a person ready to say yes to obedience and becoming a disciple maker. This may be someone that you can train and mentor and partner with.
What does this process do?
- It helps you organize the intercession part of your prayer life, which is essential to the life of a Disciple Maker. In Matthew 6:1-18, Jesus talked about three key habits of kingdom people: Giving, Praying, Fasting. Why were these three, so important? Lots of reasons, but one is: YOU HAVE TO BE ORGANIZED TO PRACTICE THEM. If you don’t set a budget, you probably won’t give. If you don’t set a time and place and make a list, you probably won’t pray. If you don’t plan your meals and make a commitment, you probably won’t fast. Intercession requires organization. The Prayer Calendar has worked to establish intercession for me.
- It helps create a culture of prayer around your life. When you call or text people and let them know you are praying for them, you are letting them know what your life is about. You’re establishing yourself as a person they can call with needs or problems. Those people that have called me through the years and ask how they could pray for me are all close to my heart. They are unforgettable. They are now on my prayer calendar and will be getting calls from me as well.
- It helps you find persons of peace. Those who are excited about your efforts to pray for them and who may say yes to establishing their own prayer calendar are people God has prepared for this time. Your prayer for them and your call to them may very well be a divine appointment that propels them into spiritual maturity and binds the two of you together as partners in disciple making from now on.
Get Started Mobilizing Prayer!
Take some time this week to make your list and start your prayer calendar. If we want to make disciples, we must do what Jesus did, and he prayed regularly and consistently. Go beyond encouraging prayer. Mobilize prayer and expand the kingdom as Jesus did.
For more information on this process check out these resources:
- How to Pray Like a Disciple Maker – Video (1:32)
- Contagious Disciple Making Podcast on the Prayer Calendar (This one got me started)