For 2009, these are the areas I intend to focus on:
Me. What adjustments do I need to make in my life in the areas of ministry, Bible study, service, prayer and obedience to what God is calling me to do? As a small group leader, I strive to be the example God would have me be for Him. I want to have His word hidden in my heart.
My husband. Besides my prayers for his salvation, I ask God specifically for ways I can and should be praying for my husband throughout the new year. I pray for God to show me how to be more loving towards him today than I was yesterday. I also pray to be the wife God honoring wife I am designed to be.
My children. My constant prayer is for their protection and a deepening faith, but I also want to be sensitive to what God is doing in their lives. Along with my own concerns, I ask God to show what areas I need to cover in prayer for the upcoming year. How can I be a God honoring mom to them?
Extended family. Who in your family needs special prayers for the coming year? This is a good time to make a list (not too long or you’ll be overwhelmed) of those who don’t believe, are struggling in their lives, or are ill.
Friends. How can I be praying and uplifting the special people in my life? Praying for them keeps me closer to them as well.
Missionary. Do you have a cause or missionary you support? Put it down and make a commitment to pray for them. (Include my pastor here too!)
World. Is there an area God is calling you to pray for on a larger scope? I’m committed to praying for President Elect Obama. (side note: 1/20/09 is the day set aside to cover our President in prayer.)
Finally, write it all down. (#8 & #9 haven't been changed from the original writer's words.) Assign a day of the week to each area (Monday for my immediate family, Tuesdays for extended family, etc.) Give each day a page and list who and what you’re praying for. Then leave space to write in updates during the year. This will help you reassess the following year as well.
Also jot down any promises God gives you in these areas so that you can go back and read them when you find yourself discouraged or off track. You’ll be amazed how much strength you can draw from these reminders that God is personally involved in every aspect of our lives.