The Bible makes it very clear; we are to pray for one another. And it does not matter whether we are standing, kneeling, bowing, or on our face before God, we are called to pray for the needs of others. We can pray before meals, in the morning, in the evening, by ourselves or in a group. We can pray in a public service or in “secret prayer.” Our prayers can involve fasting, be intermixed with musical worship or accompany our offerings. They can extend over days of worship (Nehemiah 1) or be brief and to the point like the two sentences Elijah spoke on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18).
But it is clear that we are commanded to pray for one another. Ephesians 6:18 declares “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Over the years, like most Christians, I have used a myriad of “systems,” lists, and “techniques” in order to have an effective intercessory prayer life. I have employed notebooks, electronic devices, cards inserted into my Bible and a ton of other means to stay current with all the opportunities to pray for others. I have used color coded post-it-notes, wall mounted charts and self directed email reminders. And they have all helped me.
But recently I have been taking advantage of some “location” reminders. Maybe this “tickler system” might work for you too.
As I drive to work, I have taken note of where my co-workers live. If I am passing by their neighborhood, they get prayed for. As I sit on the bike at the gym, I remember the day in that building when a friend shared how her unborn grandbaby has been diagnosed with a terrible disease. So now every time I pedal, I pray for that family. As I drive by a church property, I pray for that pastor or maybe the youth pastor. When I pass a doctor’s office, any doctor’s office, I remember my friends who are nurses and pray for them.
I am using the location, the businesses nearby, the signs and symbols all around me to relate to friends, colleagues and other groups of people I want to remember in prayer. The license plates of the car in front of me help too. I have a new game of making names or initials out of the first three letters and then praying for the people whose name just “came up.”
Of course it is always appropriate to have and use a formalized prayer list. I am just suggesting that “down time” like driving in the car or working out in the gym can be very productive prayer time too.
So this week as you drive along, maybe you’ll see a car with “SLW” in the license plate and remember to pray for me, I sure would appreciate it!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel