I have an aversion to “prayer lists”. I guess I always felt like I was facing a task when I picked up my list, and was always wanting to move on to the next name. I’m sure, of course, that this is in part due to an attitude problem on my part. But still. I enjoyed the feeling of freedom when I came to God without a “task list,” if you will. Not that that stopped me from trying to make lists and use them, but I never have been good at sticking with it. However, the fact that I may not… really, I know I am not keeping in mind even the people for whom I’ve said I would pray, has bothered my conscience considerably of late.
Lately I’ve hit upon something, really simple, which sure seems to work for me. I took a stack of index cards and began writing down names, one to a card. All the cards (plus several blanks) go in an envelope that can stay by my bed or go with me. If I tell someone I’ll pray for them, I can pull out a card and write down their name. I have also started writing down scriptures that I want to meditate on and adding them to my prayer envelope. Then I can pull it out at any time and start through my stack, pausing over each name. Sometimes I don’t get through the entire thing, but then I can just pick back up where I left off the next time I come to the Lord. And I’ve found pondering over scriptures mixed in with the requests is a wonderful time of fellowship with Him. Often, before I begin, I turn the cards over and mix them up. I know it sounds silly; but somehow it helps me come to each person fresh.
I know that it doesn’t really matter how you keep a list, or even if you keep a formal one at all. But I just thought I’d share something that has helped me to follow through in prayer, which is a matter in my life that has needed some tending to.