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Ann Farabee: I’ll pray for you

I’ll pray for you. I hear and say those words often.

But, do I always remember to pray for those that I said those words to? I certainly intend to. Sometimes, I realize later that I failed to follow through on my promise.

Here are some things that I have learned that help me be more consistent in my prayer life:

• Pray right then and there. Jonah 2:1 says that Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly! That makes it pretty clear that we can pray anywhere! Anytime! Right then and there! My pastor from my early Christian years, Garland Faw, challenged the congregation one Sunday that if we saw each other anywhere that week, we should stop right then and there — and pray together. Yes, in public. As I walked in the grocery store the next day, I remember hoping I didn’t see anyone from my church. But… of course I did. After we smiled and said “Hello,” we grabbed hands and began to whisper a prayer for each other. What a life changing blessing that was!

Now, if someone approaches me and asks for prayer, I often am reminded of that day, and I say, “I will put you on my prayer list, but — can we just pray right now, too?” And we do.

Pray when the request comes or when a need arises — right then and there.

• Write it down. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing. That means to stay in an attitude of prayer — keeping our minds stayed on God. So… it helps me to stay focused by writing my requests down. (If you do this, adding the date and specific need is a bonus, because it is awesome to record when prayers are answered.) Sometimes, it may just be a scribbled note in my pocket, a longer list in my prayer journal, or a list on my phone. My latest venture is a typed list I can fit on one sheet that is easily accessible wherever I am.

Highly intelligent people, like my husband, have a prayer list that they have memorized. He has the 60 members of our Sunday school class memorized by their first names and prays through that list each day as he takes a morning walk. He may not know it, but this is what I call an effective use of mnemonics, including the concept of chunking, imagery, and association.

• One day = 24 hours. I used to say I didn’t have enough time in my day to fervently pray, but a friend pointed out that we all have the same 24 hours. So, I learned that I must prioritize daily prayer time. It is our avenue to communication with God. Yes, with God! That is truly amazing that we can touch the heart of God through our prayers. We need to not only think of a tithe — a tenth — as relating to our finances, but it also relates to our daily walk with Christ. Of course, we should always have an attitude of worship, but do we intentionally give God a tenth of our day? That would be two hours 24 minutes of our time. Prayer, along with praise, reading our Bibles, and serving our family and others, are some ways to make sure that happens.

• Can pray anywhere, anytime. We do not need to wait for the magical ‘quiet time’ moment in our day, where we have an uninterrupted 30 minutes. (It is probably not going to show up.)

Prayer is our spiritual lifeline! So, let’s make a prayer time plan.

Sometimes at the end of the day, I fall into bed and realize that my prayer life that day was ‘weak’ to say the least. But God knows my heart. So… on some of those nights, I have been known to pray, “Lord, be with all those on my prayer list.” Because… I know that God has my prayer list memorized!

One last thing. Yes, you — my readers — are on my prayer list. I would love for you to put me on yours.

Let me know how your prayer life goes at annfarabee@gmail.com

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