Confession: I struggle being consistent in intercession.
It’s easy enough to pray for my own needs, or my husband’s needs, because they’re right in front of me. But ask me to pray for a friend three states away, or a second-cousin-three-times-removed, or some family in South Africa — and I start off well with great intentions, but a few days later “out of sight, out of mind” kicks in and my prayers for them wane.
It can be hard to focus on the unseen things for very long. Even with prayer journals, and reminders, and all that — it’s hard to stay consistent. Tell me I’m not alone in that!
But what to do? How to improve?
How do you become more faithful in intercession — especially for those not living under the same roof?
I can think of a few suggestions:
- Pray about it — ask God to help you be more faithful, more passionate, about praying for others.
- Set reminders — on your phone, email, or any other program you use regularly.
- Use visuals — place prayer requests on index cards (or photos of people on your list) around your home/car where you’ll see them each day. Or leave your prayer journal out in an obvious spot, rather than putting it “away” each day.
- Seek accountability — find a prayer partner, and keep each other accountable to praying each day.
On that last note, I’ve been mulling over an idea…
God’s really been burdening me to grow in the discipline of intercession. I admit, I’ve struggled under the weight of it at times. It’s hard to pray fervently for very long. It takes so much emotional energy to pray empathetically and passionately for another’s trials.
But He works in such amazing ways through our prayers! No, He doesn’t need us — but He wants to use us. I’ve heard it said, “Without God, we cannot do anything. Without our prayers, God will not do anything.”
Perhaps that’s over-simplifying things, but it makes a great point. God wants us to intercede, so He can show the world His power through prayer. And He wants us to intercede, because it teaches us so many things — faithfulness, fervency, empathy, humility, obedience…
So how can we better encourage each other to more faithful intercession?
What about an online “prayer group” — where we can focus on praying for particular topics (missions, pastors, government, education, families, unsaved) and keep each other accountable to daily intercession?
I’m not talking about a “hangout” spot to share everyone’s troubles (although those could certainly be prayed for too). I’m thinking a group centered around Christians who are serious about pleading with God for men’s souls, people who are passionate (or wanting to be) about making heart-felt intercession for fellow believers.
A secret (private, invitation-only) Facebook group could be well-suited for that — a place where like-minded intercessors could benefit mutually from accountability, encouragement, and exhortation to intercede faithfully according to biblical principles.
We could share prayer lists, compare notes on staying consistent, and maybe even make weekly(ish) Skype dates to pray together as a group.
What do you think?
If you’re interested in being part of such a group (and believe me, the details aren’t set in stone yet — so I’d welcome your good ideas), send me a private message with your facebook username and I will add you to the group.