Jumpstarting Sluggish Prayers – Guilt Free A to Z
Key Bible Verse: I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. – 1 Timothy 2:1
Bonus Reading: Daniel 9:1-19
Have you ever created a massive prayer list and then broken it down for each day of the week? If you have, you’ve probably discovered that this approach works well—at producing a whole lof of guilt!
The first day you miss your prayer time, you decide to double up the next day so that no name gets skipped. But this requires that tomorrow you pray for a boatload of people. Eventually, you’ll let dropped days stay dropped—and then feel guilty about all those people for whom you failed to pray.
Let me offer you a guilt-free approach. I keep an A to Z list of friends on one page, front and back, in a notebook I use to record my daily insights from Scripture. I stick a little Post-it note under the person’s name I last prayed for.
Some days I have the time to pray for five or six people. Other days I’m in a hurry and may get to only one or two names. And occasionally I miss interceding for others altogether. I just pick up where I left off and continue down my list. It may take a few weeks to cover everyone, but there’s a steady thoroughness to this approach that gives me a sense of deep satisfaction.
—James Nicodem in Prayer Coach
My Response: Without increasing guilt, how might I improve my own intercessory prayer times?
Thought to Apply: Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men!—Phillips Brooks (American clergyman & author)
Adapted from Prayer Coach (Crossway, 2008)