There is no doubt in my mind that God intends us to intercede for others—Christians and non-Christians. How do we intercede most effectively?
For many Christians, carrying a mental list of people for whom they need to be interceding works well. This never really worked for me as I would invariably forget people and their specific prayer requests. Over time, God has shown me how to keep my prayer life organized and how best to honor Him with it.
When someone asks me to pray for a particular request, I write it down in my spiritual journal and tell the person how long I will pray. If it is a short-term request, I will typically put it on an index card that I keep in the front cover pocket of my journal. I pray for requests on that index card everyday. Names of people and requests come and go on that card on a regular basis. This little card helps me to remain faithful to my commitments to intercede.
Often I will receive prayer requests from people that are long term in nature or are ongoing to some extent. In other cases, God may prompt me to pray for someone or something on a long-term basis. In these cases, I put the person’s name and the prayer request on one or more of the seven pages in the prayer journal section of my spiritual journal. I may feel led to pray once a week or several times a week or somewhere in between.
–Adapted from The Path toward Passion (Nine Disciplines that Connect Your Heart to God’s) by Dean Trune.
Father, You have given Your people so much creativity! Thank You for opportunities to pray for others, and to take seriously the importance of interceding on behalf of others. Allow me to honor people enough to keep track of their requests and to pray regularly and specifically for their needs.
Praise your God, who is the giver of all good gifts (Mt. 7:11). Thank him for his promise to give you “whatever you wish” (Jn. 15:7) if you remain in him. Confess times when you have failed to thank God for his many spiritual and temporal gifts to you. Commit yourself to imitating God’s generosity as you give to others and to God. Ask him to help you freely give as you have freely received (Mt. 10:8).
Pray that parents of small children will give of their time to their children while they are young. Ask that family time will be viewed as a sacred trust and not as a burden.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend