On Thursday, October 1, 2015, I caught only the last ten minutes or so of a presentation by Susan Moskalets at Bible Explorations Feast of Tabernacles Camp in Terra Bella, CA. It was a powerful teaching on prayer, with a written prayer journal.
Susan showed us a prayer journal, and how she writes down everything and everyone she wants to remember to bring before God in prayer, and she prays over it every day. She promises people that she will pray for them every day for the rest of their lives, and she shared just a few examples of people’s lives that were changed as a result of the power of prayer.
Before heading to the airport for my return flight home, I was able to pick up a small notepad at a convenience store (the only option at 4:30 a.m.). As I was waiting for the delayed flight, I started writing out my prayer requests. Number one on the list was to incorporate everything in Susan’s prayer book into mine, so that I was adding my prayers on top of her prayers. I’ve since asked her to put the same entry into her book so that she is adding her prayers to mine for the people and items in my prayer book.
While the airline crew meant well, when they learned about our delay, they jumped the gun and rescheduled me for the next available connecting flight, even though in the end I made it to Denver in time to have caught my original flight, but alas, they had given my seat away. Another gentleman on my plane (also traveling the same route I was), waited at the gate hoping to make his original flight. We both stood by as the last few people boarded the plane. They were a group of eight, with two in wheelchairs. Perhaps had we made the flight, the people with wheelchairs would have had to wait the five hours until the next available flight.
I went my way, getting some lunch, walking around a bit, surfing the net and answering emails on my iPad, treated myself to some See’s Candies (butterscotch squares – YUM!), worked some puzzles from the newspaper, and continued to add names and situations to my prayer book.
When I was finally able to board the plane home, the same man who had been at the counter earlier was my seatmate. Coincidence? More likely the Holy Spirit. I had noticed at the counter that he had a prayer book and another Christian book in his hand, and he was still holding them when he boarded the plane. He recognized me from the counter. We discussed how the people with the wheelchairs were spared the long wait, and how he had a chance to read from his book on prayer. I pulled out my prayer notepad and asked if he would like me to write him in it and that if so, I would promise to pray for him every day for the rest of my life. He gladly accepted, and I wrote his and his wife’s names in my book, and he also asked me to pray for his son and daughter-in-law. This was a good Christian man who has been active in church and lay ministries for many years, and he told me that in all his life, no one had ever promised to pray for him every day for the rest of his life. He said he hoped I lived for 1000 years! I told him about Susan’s talk, encouraged him to get a prayer book, and asked him to make the first entry to be everything in my prayer book, just as I had done with Susan. We had a wonderful flight, and I was able to teach him many Bible truths that were new to him. He was listening intently and promised to study from the list of resources I gave him (first being my article titled How To Worship in Spirit and in Truth). The joy of the Holy Spirit was shining through me, and he wanted for himself more of what God was doing for me.
While in California, I also had a chance to have dinner with a dear friend who has been having some asthma and health issues. When I got home, I shared with her some of the information Dr. Mike Casey had provided during his presentations at Bible Explorations, and I also told her at the end that I had a new prayer book and that I had put her in it and promised to pray for her every day for the rest of my life. Here is a bit of the response she emailed back to me: Judy, your promise of prayers for me has touched me to the core. I was in tears being blessed with the positive energy and prayers you sent my way. I read it again before I went to bed. Thank you so very much.
One of the entries in my prayer book is that the people who I have told that I’m praying for them will see a real difference in their lives so that they recognize firsthand the power of prayer. I would like to encourage anyone who reads this to do the following: 1) get a prayer journal, 2) write a list of your praise and worship, and your prayer requests, and add to it continually as appropriate, 3) include “everything in Judith Koch’s prayer book”, and 4) pray over it every day for the rest of your life. If you would like to be included in my prayer journal, please feel free to send me an email with your prayer requests. Please keep it short and sweet, the shortest and sweetest will be “everything in (your name here)’s prayer book” because I will know that you are joining me on this wonderful prayer journey.
I am attaching a PDF file of the handout that Susan gave at her meeting (with a few modifications made by me, mostly using the Sacred Names). I encourage you to print it out and use it as you are impressed.
Thank you, Susan, for sharing your wonderful testimony with me. I promise to keep paying it forward, and to pray for you every day for the rest of my life!
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Below are some guidelines I prepared for some teens who wanted to know how to write their prayer journal:
This is your prayer journal, so you can do it any way you want. Here is how I have done mine, and how I have taught other people to do theirs:
Title the first page: Praise and Worship, and make a list of all of the reasons why you worship God (example: He is Holy and Righteous, He is the Creator of the World). As you find Bible verses that tell of his marvelous works, add them to this page. This page is about HIM. We always want to start with praise and worship. Prayer is about gratitude and a relationship with God, not only a “give me” list (although there is a place for your needs.)
Title the second page: Thanksgiving, and make a list of all the reasons why you give thanks to God (example: home, food, and other blessings in your life). This page is about what God has done for you.
Title the third page: Commitment, and make a list of the promises you make to God (example: to seek and fulfill His will in your life, to study and obey his word, to pray to him daily).
Title the forth page: Daily Bread/Needs, and make a list of the things you ask God to do for you each day (keep you safe and warm, well fed, keeping you healthy, etc)
Title the fifth page: Church, and make a list of the church groups and people that you want God to bless (example: your Sunday school teacher, your minister, and friends in the church that you pray for)
Sixth page: Family and Friends: list all of the people (not from your church, since they were listed on page five) that you want to pray for. Especially the ones who do not know God in their lives.
Seventh page: Forgiveness list: List the people who have hurt you or disappointed you in your life, and ask God to forgive them, and ask God to help you to not have anger or resentment against them. We are told to pray for our enemies or those who have hurt us. You can also make a forgiveness list of the sins that you have confessed and asked to be forgiven, and how you plan to deal wtih those sins if they come up again, such as "turn my bad attitude into gratitude" (asking to be forgiven for a bad attitude and when you feel yourself grumbling, instead of looking at what is wrong, look for something good that you can praise in the situation).
Other pages: you can have a page for your dearest friends, where you list their individual needs. So even though you might have listed Grandma on page six, on your dedicated Grandma page, you will write individual prayer requests for her. (Examples: a peaceful home, safety when she is on the road, that she is healthy, etc). Do this for everyone you want.
Special needs. Everything you’ve already written are the things you will always pray for, but use this page for temporary things, like help me get a good grade in my math test tomorrow. Once the prayer has been answered, you can cross them off the list (but so they are still readable, so when you pray, you can give thanks for answered prayer). You may also see that God doesn’t always answer all of our prayers. Thank him even when he didn’t answer the prayer, because he must have a good reason that we don’t know.