A few weeks ago, I added another piece of paper to my already very busy cork board in my room. It was a simple piece of notebook paper with the words “Prayer List” written at the top (well actually, mine says Prayer Lisf, because my fingers did something stupid, and I’m too lazy to fix it). The reason I added this list is that a friend was going through a tough time, and I told her that I was praying for her.
But I wasn’t.
I prayed for her once and then forgot about it. The next time I ran into her, I suddenly remembered about my pledge to pray for her and I felt guilty. But what was I supposed to do? I have a life, too. It’s not like it’s easy to remember all of the things that go wrong in my own life, much less other people’s. Then I shook my head. I was making up excuses. I realized that if I wanted to be a better, and more honest, friend, I needed to come up with a way to remember prayer requests. So I made a list.
My prayer list is very simple. I have two columns, one labeled “Name” and the other labeled “Need.” This way, I can keep track of who I’m praying for and why I’m praying for them. Then, I put it on the board that I look at every day, multiple times a day (yeah, I’m a little obsessive about school). Now, I can’t help but remember who I need to pray for. I would suggest this for anyone who feels like they need to work on their praying.
In addition to helping me remember to pray, I found that the prayer list helped out in two other ways. First, it made me more conscious of the people I’m praying for. When you know someone is going through something, but they are all cheery and normal when you talk to them, it’s easy to forget that anything is wrong. But now that I am always seeing my list and praying for them, I make sure to check up on them; to get updates for my list. Now, it’s easier to keep up with my friends and make sure they’re alright, and to be there for them if they aren’t.
The second area the list assisted me in is just remembering to pray. I’ll be honest; I don’t pray nearly as often as I probably should. However, I can’t help but see the list on my cork board, so it’s not hard to remember to pray. Although I originally made the list just to keep tabs on my friends’ prayer requests, it has actually reminded me to talk to God about things that are important to me too.
What about you? Do you ever forget to pray for someone when they asked? How do you keep tabs on your friends’ requests?