Friday, April 30, 2010

Creating a Prayer List

Think about all the people you know who could use a prayer today. They may include:

• A family member who is ill

• A friend who is struggling

• An acquaintance who has lost a job

• An elderly neighbor who is lonely

• A co-worker who is grumpy

• A boss who is overbearing

• A stranger who looks overwhelmed

• A driver who appears angry

• A clerk, waitress, or doctor who seems exhausted

• An associate who is depressed

• A colleague who is struggling with an addiction

It is helpful to write down the names of each person who needs your prayers. You may want to jot down a special need that person may have beside his or her name. Then, when you are waiting for an appointment, spending a quiet moment at home, or spending a few minutes on hold on the phone,
you can pull out your list and pray for those people.

Right now my list includes:

• A son who struggles with a chronic illness

• A brother-in-law who is dying of cancer

• A close friend who is having surgery for uterine cancer

• A sister-in-law who has congestive heart failure

• A niece who is hospitalized with bipolar schizo-affective disorder

• A neighbor who is fighting colon cancer

• An elderly friend who is losing her vision and her hearing

• A single friend who has no close relatives who live nearby

• An acquaintance in an abusive marriage

• A son who recently joined the military

• A colleague whose has scoliosis of the spine and whose back is hurting

• A granddaughter who has severe asthma

• My husband who has recently had surgery

• A friend who just had her hip replaced

• A friend’s son who is an alcoholic

My list is much longer than this, but perhaps this gives us a few ideas for people you might include on your list. There are so many people who need and deserve our prayers. Recently, my husband asked our granddaughter to bless the food. Hailey, who is eight, not only blessed the food but prayed for those who are hungry and lonely, for those who do not have a home or warm clothes, for everyone who is sick or dying, and for all the people in the world who do not feel loved. I feel certain that God heard her sincere pray.

Imagine how the world would be transformed in people in every nation were praying for peace, living peacefully, and seeking for peaceful solutions to serious problems. Imagine how much smoother traffic would flow, families would function, and communities would operate if all of us were praying for one another and then allowing God to make us instruments of His peace.

When we write down a list of those for whom we are praying, we can remember who needs our prayers and then note when and how our prayers are answered. I have been praying or months for my brother-in-law, Ray, who has lung, liver, brain, and bone cancer. Although I realize he will not be cured, I knew He needed God’s comfort and blessings. Recently, his son-in-law was transferred to the small town where Ray lives. I know that this transfer that this exact time is not a coincidence but is an example of God’s tender timing.

Think of the many people that you know. Perhaps there is someone today who desperately needs your prayers. And, while you are making your list, don’t forget to put yourself on it. Each of us needs God’s protection, mercy, comfort, and compassion every moment of every day.

Prayer needs to include worship of God, thanks for His gifts, His goodness, and His mercy. God wants us to worship Him, and our prayers need to reflect our reverence and adoration of our loving Father. He wants us to ask for forgiveness in our prayers and to plead for strength to resist evil. Then, after we express our heartfelt gratitude for the many gifts He has given us, we can freely ask for those righteous desires of our heart. Paul’s counsel is so powerful: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”

© Carol Brown

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