True confession time. I am extra stinky at systematically (i.e. daily, frequently, ever!) praying for stuff.
And I hate that about myself. Really.
Every month I receive a heap of postcards, newsletters with prayer lists, prayer reminder cards, etc. from many of the ministries and missionaries we support. Not to mention all the things my sweet friends e-mail or tell me about! I keep all these prayer requests and when I sit down to pray over them, I am immediately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them and wig out. I freely admit to having the perseverance and attention span of a two-year-old. Not praying over things just isn’t an option, but what to do? Eureka! A great idea hit me last week.
Instead of keeping all these requests in one daunting pile, now I use each of them as bookmarks – in magazines and books I’m reading, Bible studies I’m working through, and even cookbooks I’m currently using. Now, whenever I open that book or magazine I take a few minutes to pray over that person or ministry. Instead of feeling guilty and overwhelmed by a prayer list I never get through, now my list is in bite-sized, manageable pieces that I pray over throughout the day. Obviously this isn’t how I would handle an urgent prayer request, and no, I’m also not saying this method passes for a daily quiet time!
However, I do suppose this method is one way to apply what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions and with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”