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If you're like me, you welcome the opportunity to pray for people. But perhaps, also like me, you need a few built-in reminders to keep others' prayer requests at the front of your mind.
Whenever someone asks me to pray, I try to lift him or her up in prayer before I let them know that I'll be praying. That way, I know I've prayed for them at least once. But my heart really is to pray for them multiple times. And I've found three fairly easy ways to remember to pray for them over and over.
Create A Memory Hook Associated with A Specific Person
Little things often stick in my mind. I may not remember a movie plot a few weeks after seeing a film, but I often remember who gave me what for our wedding or which gift came from whom on my birthday or at Christmas time. Whenever I see an item whose giver I remember, I'm reminded to pray for them as I use the item.
Creating little memory hooks is an excellent way to pray for others. Even if you've lost touch or don't know whether or not someone needs prayer, this little method often brings to mind people at just the right time, and later I often find out that at the very time I was praying, they were in need of prayer. I love how the Lord works like that!
You may not recall things in quite the same way I do, but chances are good that you can come up with a similar system that works for your personality. Perhaps you remember birthdays and anniversaries well. What an opportunity to pray for people! Or maybe you can scroll down through your inbox and pray for a few of your correspondents. Laura Coppinger from Heavenly Homemakers recommends getting a mug to associate with each of your family members and then praying over each one as you enjoy your coffee or tea in the mornings.
It really doesn't matter what method you use as long as you choose something that's simple and easy for you to do.
Use Your Greeting Cards and Notes
I love both sending and receiving Christmas cards. It's a fun way to catch up with people I don't always hear from during the year, and as a bonus, I save the cards to use as prayer cards! Since many people use photocards these days, getting to see people's faces is a fantastic way to remember them in prayer.
Even though many people have long forgone sending out cards each year, you can start collecting those who still send cards and notes throughout the year (although Christmas cards are nice, any mailed note will do just fine). Keep them in a stack near your Bible (my Bible cover has a neat pocket where I keep mine) and pray for at least one sender a day. If you get a new card from the same person the following year, you can toss the previous card if needed and keep the new one so that your stack doesn't become too large.
Make A Prayer Card & Box
Last year, I read Paul Miller's "A Praying Life." While I didn't feel that this book was terribly deep and wished he'd used more Scripture reference instead of personal anecdotes, I did learn a lot from it. Near the end, Mr. Miller suggested creating 3x5 prayer cards for people, and I absolutely loved this idea!
For those who don't send cards and/or those people you want to write out more detailed requests, you can create your own prayer cards on 3x5s. This is a handy, inexpensive way to pray deeply and continuously for your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else whom the Lord lays on your heart.
Mr. Miller gives some tips for managing your prayer cards:
- Keep them together (you can get a plastic recipe box to house them)
- Keep them simple (often, Mr. Miller prays for the same requests for people throughout their lives)
- Keep a verse associated with each person so that you can pray Scripture over them
- Keep track of the Lord's work in people's lives (on the back, you can jot down evidence of spiritual growth or how the Lord answered some of your prayers)
I've recently begun to create my own prayer card box, and when I remember to pull it out and use it, it's been an amazing tool! I especially loved creating prayer cards for each of my spark plugs. Following the examples in A Praying Life, I chose a verse specific for each child to pray over them, a verse that would encourage spiritual growth and address a specific area in each of their lives where they tend to struggle. I'm working on doing this with the other cards I've created as well.
Praying for others is an important privilege that we as believers have. But just because we know it's a good, Biblical, and needed thing to do, that doesn't mean it's always easy for us to remember to do it. So, by creating memory hooks associated with specific people, using greeting cards and notes, and writing out prayer cards are three ways we can remind ourselves to pray for those around us!
Your turn: I'd love to know! How do you remember to pray? What things do you do to help yourself remember? Share with us in the comments!