How many times have you said, “Sure, I’ll pray for you,” when someone shares a prayer request with you, but then you forget about it?
Or perhaps you hear about a situation on the radio that you want to pray for, or you want to add a particular country to your prayer list. It’s easy for these random thoughts and requests to fall into the black hole in our minds.
Part of the problem is that we often think of these requests or someone shares them with us when we’re out and about in the midst of a busy day or maybe when we’re at church. We’re usually distracted by what we’re already doing, so it’s easy for the request to get lost in the multitude of other things that are already going on.
Well, I’ve stumbled upon a few ways to deal with this situation.
One solution is an idea my sister Mary shared with me. When she fears she may forget to pray as promised later because of all the distractions of the here and now, she stops and says, “Sure, I’ll pray for you. Let’s do it right now.” And then she stops and prays with the person right then, trusting that the Holy Spirit will bring that request to mind later when she needs to pray again.
Just lately, I’ve decided to try another tactic to capture these type of what I call “butterfly prayers” that flutter at me through my day. I decided to make a prayer board and hang it on the wall in my home office. I chose my office, because that is where I spend most of my time during the day. I’ve started carrying a small notebook in my purse, and as I hear of requests I need to remember, I write them in my notebook and then add my butterfly prayers to my board to help me remember them. What’s different about these prayers is that often times they’re for people or things not on my usual prayer lists–which makes me prone to forgetting them. And they’re often requests that are time sensitive; they need intensive prayer for a set amount of time. Well, now every time I glance at the board, I see them.
I’ve also added a few other things to the prayer board that I want to be reminded of frequently. Let’s look at a some ways to use this prayer board and brainstorm what you may want to add to it.
First of all, to make the board, I just purchased a bulletin board. You can stop there if you want and be ready to go, but I also covered mine with colorful paper. I added a few sparkly stickers to the top and purchased some fun tacks. That’s certainly not necessary, but it spiffs it up a bit. Then I hung it right where I would see it frequently. (Just a home improvement hint: my husband recommends using Velcro strips. They’re fast, forgiving, and don’t leave holes in the walls!) Now for a few ideas on how to use the board.
- Add those butterfly prayers that you need to pray for frequently.
- Hang your current scripture memory verse on the board.
- Put a picture of a missionary you’re praying for on the board.
- Put a picture of your sponsored child on the board.
- Are you praying for a certain country or geographic area of the world this week? Add that to your board.
- Choose a name of a persecuted Christian (see Open Doors ) to pray for each day/week and add that name to your prayer board.
- Don’t forget your pastor. I’m sure he or she would appreciate the additional prayers.
- Add any lesson/character trait you’re working on. For example, for the last two years I’ve attended a spiritual retreat. Each time I was at this retreat, the Lord has given me a one-word concept He wanted me to work on. The first year my word was joy. This year the word is focus. I’ve added that word to my board.
Be sure you change out the information on your board as you’re done praying for past requests and new ones come along. You may even want to change the decor on the board to match the seasons and spiritual holidays to help you focus on them as we celebrate them throughout the year.
These are just some ideas to get you started. I’m sure you can think of others, and I’d love it if you’d share those in the comments section below.
Enjoy your prayer board and …