Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My prayer list

Folks, I don't pray nearly enough, if there is such a thing as praying "enough."

Personally, when I think of all the things I have to pray for, I feel overwhelmed. How in the world am I supposed to pray for everything? And whenever I hear people say "I pray every day for..." I start wondering how I am supposed to know which things I should pray for every day. Because, obviously, I can't pray for everything every day.

I am trying to work this out. I figure God will clue me in if I keep watching for His leading. But, anyway, that is what I am thinking.

Some of the things that I think I should pray for every day would include:
1. My family, individually and specifically.
2. That God would send laborers into the harvest. I heard someone refer to this as the only prayer request Jesus ever made, so I figure it is pretty significant.
3. And, I am sure if I were someone like Beth Moore, I could come up with a nice sentence to tie up the heart of my relationship with God and my need to continually rely upon him as a prayer request, then present it to anyone who asked, all wrapped up in a pretty red bow. But I'm not Beth Moore. So the best I can offer there is a run on sentence and some overused symbolism.

As for the myriad other things to pray for, I thought I might get the spiral bound index cards, as Heather once suggested, and put requests on it. I used to do something like this, but I assigned each card to one day of the week. Unfortunately, most of the Saturday requests were never prayed for, because I almost always missed a day and fell behind because I was trying to catch up.

But, with the new system, I thought I would just put requests on the cards and leave it out, kinda like a roladex. When I see it, I pray for whatever is there, then flip to the next one for next time. If a request gets answered, I can write the date it was answered on the card, then add a new request in place of the old one.

If I am REALLY crazy, I could even put requests on one side of the page, and scripture on the other. Then I will be reading scripture and praying all day long... or at least every time I happen by the stack of cards.

So, I am going to try it. And here are some of the requests I am going to put into my new system.

Kim's miscarriage (again) and possible molar pregnancy.

Leslie's move.

Minnie's seizures and Jake's sanity.

A little girl recovering from some major surgery.

Addie's In-Laws who have moved to the other side of the globe.

Emma Kate and Brad and their new church. (Scroll down to #3.)

Laura Ingalls Sarah and her baby girl.

My friend Elisabeth and her family, who are moving away this summer.

The locked out workers at AK Steel.

Lost folks. Specific ones.

And I would like to pray for our country. But this topic is also very overwhelming when trying to determine what to pray for.

These are just a few of the many I am sure I will come up with over the next few weeks. You got one you want to add? I'm taking requests.

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Blogger Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I try to remember that its good I pray at all - and that He's going to run the world whether we pray or not, but I miss the blessing of being part of what He does if I dont pray - so here's what I do, imperfectly - Monday, pray for my husband, Tuesday, for my first daughter, her marriage, her kids, their needs, etc. Wednesday, second daughter and ditto to all above on first daughter, Thursday, son, ditto to daughter items, Friday our church and its leaders, our family, Saturday the sick, the struggling, the unsaved (who arent in our family and already prayed for) and Sunday - praise that He listens Mon-Sat and all the other 99 gazillion ways he blesses us. It's not perfect, but our kids and family seem to like knowing we concentrate on them one specific day. They are covered all the other days through more general prayers - care, safekeeping, etc. And if God puts somebody on my heart, right then, I pray, right then!

Thu May 25, 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger aggiejenn said...

This is a great plan. I also like Bev's idea. I used to be so bad about telling people I'd pray for them and then not doing it, so now if I tell someone in person or in blogworld I'll pray for them, I try to stop right then and do it. I'm going to use your index card idea for memorizing scripture, too.

Thu May 25, 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Aggie - that's what I do too. I stop right then and pray. :)

I do write things down too. So that I can remember to pray again later. Whoever came up with sticky notes, note cards and sticky note cards are geniuses!

Thu May 25, 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

I think the "pray without ceasing" doesn't mean that you stop and bow your head and say an official prayer all the time. A lot of it is just talking with God about anything and everything as you are walking down the hall, going to bathroom, making dinner or disciplining a child. (Okay, especially when disciplining a child.)

For the record, I do think it is important to have quiet prayer times and writing them down is a great way to remember to do it. I love this rolodex idea, too. Then you can remember to look for the answers in time and to praise God for them.

And I have finally started the "stop and pray" thing. I wish I was smart enough to do that earlier so that I would have avoided the guilt over saying I would pray for someone and then forgetting to do it and then praying as an afterthought. (Can you tell I've had a problem with this?)

Thanks for the great post today, Pezmama. I really needed it.

Thu May 25, 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Laura, aka Sarah, appreciates your prayers;)

Thu May 25, 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Minnie said...

Thanks for the prayers (and the link love). And don't be so hard on yourself...I'm in the same boat with being overwhelmed with how many people I have to pray for. I love the index card idea...I'll have to try that out.

Thu May 25, 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Cup-a-Joe said...

If you don't mind, I have a few thoughts on the praying thing...

If you are anything like me you probably have a set idea of what prayer looks like. Also, if you are like me, your idea was informed by modern American views involving a "prayer closet" where you sequester yourself like an old fashioned phone booth.

There is an old Jewish saying, "there is a blessing for everything!" Notice the word "blessing." Most Jewish prayers actually begin "Blessed are You, Lord our God, king of the universe!"
(of course they say that in Hebrew)

It seems that there really is a blessing for everything. From waking up in the morning, to bathroom functions (yes, that's right, you bless the Lord for the ability to use the bathroom).

From the Hebraic perspective, it seems that prayer is less about some sort of laundry list of needs, but it is about an attitude of continual thanks for all that the Lord has given us already.

From the American consumer perspective, we are most concerned with what we do not already have.

Just a thought.

Thu Jun 01, 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

I try to pray for people whom I am resenting and/or having a difficult time forgiving. Unfortunately, sometimes this is a rather substantial list. But this process really helps soften my heart. In this regard, I find myself praying for our President nearly every day.

Thu Mar 22, 09:59:00 AM  

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