How to Pray for an Hour a Day- Dr. Mike Johnston
Dr. Mike Johnston
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4).
I’m preparing this tract for my evangelist, pastor and teacher students to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us (2 Thessalonians 3:9). As I write this tract, I’m asking the Lord for a group of His choice faithful men who will not only read it but will sense the prompting of the Holy Spirit to join me as watchmen on the wall every morning. And while my hope is for all to participate, I’m realist enough to admit that most won’t. The devil will tell them this road is too difficult, too confining, and too time-consuming, and that they can do just fine by praying less and working more. Hear me friend! If that reflects your thinking, I urge you please- with all due respect- to find employment in the secular world. Frankly, after thirty years of ministry I can tell you with every confidence that any ministry operating outside of prayer and the ministry of the Word is headed for shipwreck.
I use a praise and prayer list to help me remember
- There is much to be thankful, praise, and pray for. I don’t want to miss offering them to our Precious Lord
- Base your life, ministry, and all of your prayers on the Word of God and you’ll operate in the Will of God.
- Present yourself as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2, and keep your mind (heart) pure (Phil. 4:8)
- Remembering the details requires that you adopt a recall “system” that works for you
- Write your praise notes and requests on a card, or
- Get a spiral prayer notebook, or do as I have done,
- Memorize them using a system of recall I’ll discuss momentarily [you will notice that I use a lot of alliteration which helps me remember key areas of intercessory focus]
I begin early- 4:00-5:00 am AND I pray for at least an hour every day!
- I’m always up early- 7 days a week- between 4 and 5 am. Lingering in bed longer squanders my time with Jesus! He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster (Proverbs 18:9)
- I make coffee while praying, praising my Lord, confessing my sin, and giving God thanks for Who He is and all He has done
- I get to my office where I walk, talk, listen, praise, confess, listen, talk, listen, sit, talk, praise, confess
- Prayer is foremost on my mind and even after my hour+ of morning prayer, I am in the attitude of prayer day and night (1 Thess. 5:17)! At mid day the Lord may remind me of something that I stop to pray for. While driving my truck (which now has no radio) I’m praying. If I get up in the middle of the night, I’m praising and praying. In fact, I’m praying as I type this for you!! Pray, pray, pray- always!!
The following can be arranged according to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. Be flexible and willing to change as He directs your thinking (Phil. 4:8).
Include confession, thanksgiving, worship, and praise. Let Him know you love Him!
Confession: And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession (Dan 9:4). Thank You for dying on the cross and shedding Your precious blood for me and my family Lord. Please be merciful to me a sinner. I love You Lord Jesus!! Please forgive me Lord for . . .
Thanksgiving and praise: Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name (Psalms 100:4)
I praise and worship You, Lord Jesus. Thank You and bless You for Your love, joy, peace . . . [I quote Gal. 5:22-23 to Him]. Praise You for Your Providence, protection, provisions, promises and purposes. Praise You Lord that Thou art gracious, kind, loving, merciful, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, immutable, and transcendent, holy, righteous, perfect, glorious, true, and just. Praise You for Heaven and Hell.
I praise and worship You, Lord Jesus. Thank You and bless You for my family, and our faith, faithfulness, favor, forgiveness, finances, and our future in Heaven with You. Thank You Father for selecting me, Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me, and thank You Holy Spirit for sealing me- and my family. Praise You for all that Thou has done and all that Thou art doing- in my life, my family, friends, and around the world. Thank You for loving us, and caring for us, for Your so great salvation and forgiveness Lord. Thank You for our holiness, health, home, our finances, our food, heat, shelter, clothing, our vehicles [detail your thankfulness].
I pray for an hour or more every morning- then continue throughout the day
Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day (1 Kings 8:28).
For each of the following [and I name as many as possible] I ask the Lord for their salvation, sanctification, service, safety, and spiritual sensitivity. That Thou might draw, drive, or drag them to Christ. That Thou might give each of these a hunger and thirst for Thy Word, Thy righteousness, and Thyself.
IMPORTANT: Be Scriptural! Base your prayers on the Word of God and you’ll be praying in the Will of God! Be sensitive! The Holy Spirit will burden you to pray for specific things not be on your list.
FAMILY: [this is an exact sampling and includes much of the exact language typical in my praying] I pray for my family; our faith, faithfulness, and favor, forgiveness, finances and future.
I pray for my wife: Thank You Lord for Ann; for our love for You, each other, and our family. Thank You for the favor Thou hast shown to us and the way Thou has provided for us all these years. I pray that Thou might continue to bless our home, holiness, healing; for traveling mercies . . .
[Even if not included in write-up below, whenever I pray for family and friends, I ask God to draw, drive, or drag them to Christ. I include a prayer for their salvation, sanctification, service, safety, and spiritual sensitivity asking the Lord to give them a hunger and thirst for His Word, His Righteousness, and Himself].
I pray for our children: I pray for children, grand children, brothers and their wives and children all by name; asking the Lord for their salvation, sanctification, service, safety, and spiritual sensitivity. I pray for their mates, their friends, and their family’s salvation. [We learned long ago that who our children hung around with would influence their decisions- so we have made it a habit to pray for their friends’ salvation, too]
I pray for moms, dads, grandparents: ours were saved and are in Heaven now.
I pray for uncles, aunts, cousins and any distant or unknown relatives [I pray by first name for those I know and in a generality by last name for those I don’t know. This includes relatives with my last name, my wife’s maiden name, my mother’s maiden name, grandmother’s maiden name- it becomes quite extensive and yet God honors prayer so do it beloved]! Lord Jesus, please compel these souls to come to Thee.
FRIENDS: I have a list of friends and their children I pray daily for by name. I pray for a hunger for God and His Word; I name their children and pray for their salvation, sanctification, service, safety, and spiritual sensitivity and for their mates, friends, and their family’s salvation.
AMERICA: Pray for America to get back to the Bible, and the faith of our Founders; pray for a revival of righteousness and a hunger for holiness. Pray for the offices of the President, Vice President, Cabinet, Staff, Advisers, Legislators, Supreme Court Justices, and the Judicial System. Pray for local, state, and national leaders. Pray Christ-honoring men and women will be elected to office to enact and enforce Christ-honoring legislation. [IMPORTANT: this is vital to America’s future as a nation and in our role in world affairs. Our Holy God cannot- and will not- bless a nation filled with unrighteous leaders who are passing ordinances of the Amorites; ie abortion and sodomy laws- see Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18; 20] 
ISRAEL: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee (Psalms 122:6). I pray Lord for Thy people Israel, for the peace of Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Knesset, and the Jewish People. Pray that Thou might bless Israel to be a blessing. I pray for Jews to make aliyah to Israel (the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel). I pray for Thy providence, protection, provisions, promises, and purposes for Israel. Please give her protection and favor around the world. I pray for millions of Jews to come to Christ. [I have several ministries to Jews I pray for, asking God to bless and use them in evangelism, equipping, encouraging, and enabling ministries for Christ]. Support Israel and pray for Jews. God will bless you (Gen. 12:1-3).
ISLAMISTS: Lord I pray that those who are shackled to and blinded by Islam- especially terrorists and their leaders- that they will sense their emptiness and will repent and come to Christ. I pray for brothers Yosef, Rezza, and Walid [all were associated with terrorist organizations]; that Thou might bless them with Your Providence, protection, provisions, promises and purposes, and that Thou might give them souls for their labors.
PMI: I pray for Promise Ministries, the PMI Center for Biblical Studies, and Calvary Christian College and Seminary. Pray for your church, pastor, and the people to hunger for God! I pray for evangelism, equipping, encouraging, and enabling ministries to train evangelists, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-12). I ask Lord that I might be a wise and faithful steward over my relationships, resources, and responsibilities Thou hast given me. I ask for Thy Word, wisdom, will and words in all my research, reading, and writing projects. I pray for prisons, prisoners, and pastors, chapels, chaplains, and assistants, guards, wardens, workers, and administrators; for local, state, and national prison boards and parole boards. I pray for all of our letters, tracts, books, booklets, Bibles, and courses- that Thou might quicken the truths and convict the hearts of all who read our letters and literature and that Thou might give all of them a safe and clear passage through the post offices, mail carriers, and mail rooms to get them into the hands and the hearts of the men and women that need them; that Thou might change their lives so they can change their world.
I pray for all of our Students: Lord, Your Word says- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). I pray for past, present, and future students [approx 26,000] that Dad and I have ever influenced or ever will influence for Thee- that Thou might draw, drive, or drag them to Christ and to faithfulness to Thy Word, Thy righteousness, and Thyself and that they might be faithful to their studies, their promised support of PMI, and to the ministry for which Thou hast called them to. I pray for our all of our free world and fenced world students in our Foundations Studies, Biblical Studies, Ministry, Prophecy, Rel. Ed., Scofield, and Theology Studies. Please give me preachers, teachers, expositors, and scholars of Thy Holy Word.
I pray for all of our Supporters: Lord, Your Word says- Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38). [since we rely on tithes and offerings committed by students and others, I pray for specific amounts of money to meet our growing needs for Bibles, printing, postage, and much more]. Lord, please bless the gifts and the givers, those we support and those who support us.
I pray for all of our Soul Winners: Lord, Your Word says- He that winneth souls is wise . . . And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Proverbs 11:30; Daniel 12:3). I pray for souls, soul winners, disciples and disciplers; I ask You Lord to bless our PMI Associate Evangelists Lord with faith and faithfulness,  that Thou might give them wisdom to see divine appointments for Sharing Jesus, and that Thou might give them souls for their labors. [I’m asking God for 300 of these trained and licensed men]. I pray for the souls that have come to Christ over the past few years of PMI Associate Evangelist ministry: for the 411 in 2008, 1225 in 2009; 1373 in 2010; and for 2000 in 2011 (1785 thus far); and for a yet undisclosed number for years future.
OTHERS: I pray Jeff and Tammy at Good Shepherd’s Printing Service [they provide us with excellent service and support].  Thou might give them good paying jobs, good paying customers, and good faithful employees- to Jesus and bro Jeff. I also pray for the Fannin family. I pray for Oxford providing our Old Scofield Study Bibles, I pray for fundamentalism and fundamentalists around the world that are contending for the faith (Jude 1:3); etc.
I pray for other prison ministries: For the International Prison Ministry; the Network of Prison Ministries; for Coalition of Prison Evangelists (COPE). Thou might bless them according to Your will and Your Word.
I pray for our Ministry Associates: I pray for their ministries, mission, message, money, and manpower needed to help them evangelize equip and encourage millions around the world. I pray for Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe, Prophecy in the News (Gary Stearman); Southwest Radio Church (Noah Hutchings and Larry Spargimino); e-Sword [Bible study and research program I use]; Sword of the Lord (for Dr. Shelton Smith). I pray the same for creation apologist ministries: Answers in Genesis (Dr. Ken Ham); Creation Science Evangelism (the Hovind’s); and the Institute for Creation Research (the Morris family). Please bless them and give them souls Lord. I pray for my Alma mater (Bible college), the president of the school and every graduate- to be faithful in helping win the world to Christ.
I pray for prisoners, pastors, and people around the world that are serving or suffering for Thee Lord. That Thou might give them courage and comfort. [I’m currently praying for an incarcerated pastor to be released from Iranian prison whose only crime is converting to Christ]
I pray for End Times oriented ministries that I follow: Lord please bless these men with Issachar insights- Dr. John McTernan and Geoffrey Grider [authors, bloggers, and radio hosts], David Reagan, Donald Perkins, Grant Jeffrey, Hal Lindsey, Joel Rosenberg, Lion and Lamb, Mark Hitchcock, Mike Hoggard, Tim LaHaye, Tommy Ice, and a few more.
MISC: I pray for all other people, places, and things that the Holy Spirit lays on my heart.
I CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE DAY: Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I understand my responsibility to pray doesn’t end here. I remain in the spirit and in the attitude of prayer throughout the day, and as the Lord burdens my heart to pray for specific needs as they arise- I obey Him and bring them before Him.
MINISTRY OF THE WORD
I read through the Bible every year from cover to cover
Bible Study: I can’t tell you how important it is to know the Word of God. This is how you order your life, ministry, and prayers. After an extensive prayer time, I ask the Lord to Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Psalms 119:18). Lord, I ask Thee for 300 men totally committed to prayer and the ministry of the Word every morning, reading through the Bible every year.
- I read the Bible through from cover to cover at least one time every year. I use the PMI Thru the Bible in a Year schedule [you may request one from us].
- I read through Proverbs every month by reading the chapter corresponding to the date. Example, today is the 17th of the month, so I read Proverbs chapter 17. Tomorrow I’ll read chapter 18, etc.
- I often study another Book of the Bible, such as Ephesians (chapter per day for 6 days) repeated over a month or two along with my other daily reading. Then I choose another Book. [keep a pen and notepad close at hand for recording sermon seed ideas for tracts and booklets]
- I also study to teach from my Old Scofield Study Bible notes. My students and I love these studies for their doctrinal soundness. [Getting an Old Scofield is another of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made].
- SIDE NOTE: I also read several Christian books per year and I subscribe to and read the Sword of the Lord which is filled with sermons, fundamentalist news, and lots of useable material for my writing projects and prayer.
WILL YOU MAKE THIS LIFE-CHANGING COMMITMENT to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4)? If so, send me a note “I’m Committing To Prayer And To The Ministry Of The Word (ACTS 6:4)” as your opening sentence. I will then add your name to my growing list on the PMI website. However, let me be clear: I’m not looking for half-hearted decisions. I’m looking for whole-hearted disciples. More importantly, so is the Lord: When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee (Deuteronomy 23:21).
 Send for our tract called Amorite America
 These are men I have personally trained in evangelism using our Sharing Jesus course. If interested, please let me know. Once they’ve taken the course and have won a soul, we will issue them a License to Preach from PMI.
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