From Prayer Lists to Prayer Boxes

I have never been a list person. I have friends who delight in lists. I make to-do lists only out of a desperate attempt to stay organised and not forget important things. And I have to admit there is a certain satisfaction in crossing things off that list that have actually been accomplished.

But I still don’t like lists.

However, there is an extensive and, at times, growing list of people and situations that sit heavily in my heart. And I do pray for them but it tends to be sporadic.

In the mornings I typically use this fantastic little book called Celtic Daily Prayer and the Morning Prayer it provides, which gives a space of time to “pray for others”. So you would think I would use that “pray for others” time to pray for those things sitting in my heart, right? The problem is, at that time of the morning, blurry-eyed and coffee not kicked in yet, my brain is blank. Correction – not blank exactly, but my thoughts seem to sleep walk of their own accord down a myriad of random corridors rather than focusing.
So I tried the prayer list thing and it worked – for a couple of weeks. Somehow the list caused me to feel overwhelmed by all that I wanted to pray for – especially at six-thirty in the morning!

Recently I had an idea. And it has worked! A prayer box. I took a wee gift box I had saved, wrote all my prayer topics on bits of paper, folded them up and dropped them in the box.
Each morning during the “Pray for others” bit of the Morning Prayer, I take out a bit of paper, unfold it and pray for what is written there. I pray for as many as I have time for, write down anything I feel God speaks to me about or for those people or situations and continue on with my morning. Amazing! Who knew a wee box and some scraps of paper could transform my morning prayer time!

Maybe you can relate? Do you struggle to pray consistently for the things and people you carry in your heart? Ask Holy Spirit for some inspiration and be open-minded as to what creative strategy He might want to give you. And learn from others. 24-7 Prayer is doing a blog series right now on ways of praying and 24-7 Prayer GB has been sharing some creative personal prayer time ideas on their Facebook and Instagram. Check these out – there just may be something that works for you!

Crystal Cryer originally hails from Oregon, but now claims Scotland as home. She is the National Coordinator for 24-7 Prayer Scotland. She is also a Networker for Prayer Spaces in Schools in Scotland and is part of the Discovery family in Dunbar, where she is based.