Thursday, January 1, 2009

Prayer Jar

My parents were here for the holiday and during their stay we talked a little bit about prayer. I'm not sure how it came up, but they said they knew someone who uses a prayer jar. They write the name/concern down on a piece of paper and then put it into a jar. Then each day when they pray, they pull out a few of the names/concerns and pray for those specifically.

It is meant to help you be mindful of the prayer concerns, rather than praying just for those who come to mind. Today I started to use the 2009 Prayer Calendar (Thank you Jack and Peg) and started my prayer jar. I took note cards and cut them up into strips to write on. I easily wrote down 50+ names concerns. It was exciting actually. I liked coming up with names and thinking of areas of their lives I might pray for. A couple of times I thought, "oh yeah, I used to pray for K & G all the time during their first year of marriage, it would be good to keep doing that" or something of the sort.

I think I will keep two jars, one for "those prayed for" and the other with the rest of the concerns and then just keep switching them until 1 jar is empty and then go the other direction.

All of this is linked to praying more. I pray regularly throughout the day and with people all the time, but still think I should pray more. As the fruits of the ministries around here have increased, I have seen signs of "critters" trying to get in the way. I've become more convinced that I need to more tightly clothe my ministries in prayer so they can not be foiled.

I've also been known for awhile as a "prayer warrior". I enjoy praying for people. It comes easily and naturally (though I think I had to work/practice to get that kind of fluidity). The phrase, "(s)he who has been faithful with a little will be entrusted with more" has been in my head a lot on this issue. Sometimes we ask for greater abilities--musical, physical, interpersonal, whatever, but we haven't actually been faithful with the small measure of gift we have already received. We somehow think that if we had more ability we would do more with it. But realistically, if we don't do much with a little bit, why would we do more with more? So, I've thought, "Have I really been faithful with my inclination for prayer?" Yes I use it, but honestly, I don't think I have been in the measure I should have been. So, it's time to step it up and be faithful with my little so I can grow more and more in prayer.

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