31 "31's" of prayer | The Practical Disciple

31 “31’s” of prayer

I have learned the hard way that spiritual growth most frequently happens when we are intentional and committed to it.  Duh!  That may sound obvious, but is it?  For example, what can you list right now that you are doing on a disciplined basis with an intent to grow spiritually…to become a better disciple?  If you just paused and groped how to answer those questions, then you aren’t currently exercising the obvious.  

I regularly take on practices for set periods of time.  For example, right now I am spending 15 minutes of giving thanks every evening for 31 days.  I am about halfway through.  I will report on how that goes in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I encourage you to take on some form of thirty one day exercise that will get you closer to God or closer to being like Jesus. In that spirit I am offering 31 simple suggestions for 5 minutes of focused prayer that you may want to adopt for the next 31 days.  If you want to stretch yourself pump the practice upto 15 minutes per day.  Keep your focus though around just one selection for 31 days straight. Practicing a focused discipline for a season has a way of transforming us in ways that are difficult to describe.

  1. Pray for your work.
  2. Pray for your spouse.
  3. Pray for a specific person’s spiritual well-being.
  4. Pray for a specific enemies well-being.
  5. Pray for your community, national, or world leaders.
  6. Pray for your pastor.
  7. Pray for a specific child.
  8. Listen for God.
  9. Give thanks.
  10. Confess.
  11. Praise God.
  12. Pray for your Church
  13. Tell God the stresses in your life and let go of them
  14. Pray for an answer to a significant question in your life
  15. Pray for a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth of God’s love for you
  16. Pray for the restoration of our natural resources
  17. Pray for a high school graduate you know
  18. Pray for a specific physical need in someone’s life.
  19. Pray for a homebound person.
  20. Pray for someone grieving.
  21. Pray for a cause that is particularly meaningful to you.
  22. Pray for reconciliation of a broken or wounded relationship.
  23. Pray to be free from a specific sin with which you struggle.
  24. Pray to be more loving
  25. Pray to be a better steward of your money
  26. Pray to be a better steward of your time
  27. Pray for opportunities to use your spiritual gifts.
  28. Pray for peace
  29. Pray for someone needing a job
  30. Pray for a missionary
  31. Pray for a Sunday School teacher

Bonus prayer suggestion…       

     32.  I would love for people to pray for The Practical Disciple.  I hope that doesn’t seem pretentious or selfish in some way, but I ask for your prayers because I truly want this blog to help other people grow in discipleship that they might honor God.  I need God’s constant guidance to do that and to do it well.  I would hope that God would continue to bless the PD with readers.  I would pray that he would fill my mind with exactly what needs to be here.  So, even if it is not 5 minutes, I would appreciate inclusion in your prayers regularly.  Thanks. Lastly, to those of you who take on a 31 day prayer challenge, please let me know through a comment or email.  I would love to hear about your experiences.  If a significant number of people take on challenges I will post some tips along the way to help keep you inspired.  Blessing to you from The Practical Disciple.

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  • Well this post was definitely helpful! I actually just started a morning & evening prayer time a week ago. At the 31-day mark, I’ll probably just stop and see what things in my life have shifted. I’m hoping to keep the prayer times a regular thing; if not both, then the evening prayer time. Now that I’ve started them, I’m realizing how absolutely necessary these set-aside prayer times are in order to stay completely focused on God’s voice throughout the day. I’m already noticing a difference after just one week, so I can just imagine how things will have shifted in a month, 3 months, or a year! Thanks for the prayer ideas!

    Lisa Beth 🙂

    Lisa Harst 9 years ago


  • Lisa, Thanks for commenting. I would love to hear the insights that you have either along the way or at the end of your 31 days. I too find that my time of withdrawing to pray is really critical to how well I am tuned into hearing God’s voice throughout the day. I think you will find that you will go through waves of awareness of God, but that when you maintain a daily practice, your average baseline of awareness remains higher even during a down time. I find I have to adjust my daily prayer time every once in awhile so that I don’t get in a rut and just start going through motions. That or I can get in a mode of my prayer time becoming an item on my to do list that I am trying to check off. I try to remember that the object of prayer is not prayer, but God. That simple awareness seems to help keep things in perspective. Blessings.

    admin 9 years ago


  • I loved the idea: 15.Pray for a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth of God’s love for you Thanks for that one especially!

    My favorite prayer times are when I feel I am just talking to God in a conversation style. I tell him about my day and what all is going on in my head and heart. One time when I was on a turn around for the good with my hub, I was talking to God telling him that I just really liked my hub right now. I heard (in my brain very loud and clear) “Then you need to tell him.” It was a very amazing experience. It wasn’t my thought at all.

    I pray for a lot of the things you mentioned in your list. A couple of other things I pray for is for God to increase my creativity. I love being creative and feel a closeness to God when I am, knowing it is his gift to me. I also pray for God to love my in-laws for me because I have a really difficult time with that. Just to be honest, I don’t think I do. They’ve caused too much pain in my life and marriage. Lucky for me they live three house away.

    Have you thought about sending out an intercessory email asking for specific prayer for PD? I am on a list for a couple of blogs.

    I am praying right now for your blog. It has already blessed others….It blesses me all the time.

    Laurie 9 years ago


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