I’ve tried so many ways of practicing intercession over the years. I’ll use one method for a while, then struggle to keep up with it for whatever reason. Prayer lists become a “phone book” method of just running my eyes down the page, giving little attention to each individual name. Prayer journals taper off when I don’t have time (or energy) to write in them. Prayer apps just lead to distraction when other notifications pop up. And unstructured prayer times (i.e., mentioning whoever comes to mind) usually leads to praying for the same 2-3 people every single time . . . not that it doesn’t benefit them, but it doesn’t help the other dozen people who don’t get mentioned.
I finally got fed up with hit-or-miss intercession, and started trying to put my creativity to good use. How could I create a “prayer list” that would be a joy to use — and keep me faithful to pray for each individual person/request with focus and fervency?
- requires little energy to use (i.e., no writing)
- does not use a phone or computer
- easy to add or subtract names
- and not so structured that it’s a pain to make
I started thinking about flash cards — how they fit in the palm of your hand, you can read them while you’re walking or riding in the car, and it’s easy to shuffle cards around or add more information on pre-existing cards if needed.
I finally came up with this prayer card ring idea. I’m sure it’s not original to me, but this particular version came completely out of my own brain. 🙂
What I like about it:
- easy (and fun) to make and use
- keeps me focused on one card at a time, so I’m not tempted to rush through the entire list
- fits in the palm of my hand, and is convenient for traveling
- super easy to add, subtract, or re-organize cards at any time
- doesn’t require any extra forethought/energy to use
I find it very helpful to grab these when I go for a walk, and spend my time praying through a few cards at a time. Having only one name per card helps me really focus on that particular person, and I can limit myself to whatever I have time for that day — without losing my place for the next time!
Interested in making your own? It’s easy and fun . . . and super customizable!
How to Make An Intercession Ring
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own prayer card ring:
- multi-colored cardstock (or heavy construction paper)
- pen & pencil
- single hole punch
- metal book ring (like this one)
First, pick your colors. You can do the entire ring one color, match colors to different categories, alternate through a rainbow of colors, or be entirely random with what you pick. I chose the last option, because I have a huge supply of cardstock already on hand — and I don’t want to feel like I “have” to use certain colors if I make a mistake or want to add a card later on. But you choose whatever you prefer.
Second, measure and cut. I wanted space to list family members and ongoing requests, but still wanted them small enough to slip in a purse or hold while I’m walking, so I made mine about 2.5″ x 4″. That also let me cut about six cards from an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. Use your ruler and pencil to mark the measurements, then cut along those lines. Bonus tip: set aside one of those pieces to make a pattern for cutting future cards.
Third, add category dividers. If you want to. Again, it’s entirely up to you! I chose one color of paper to use as “dividers” and wrote out category labels like: marriage, family members, salvation and spiritual growth, churches and pastors, missionaries, and friends. Need some suggestions? Check this post for some helpful ideas.
Fourth, start listing names. On the front of the cards, I wrote out family names (if applicable) or locations (for churches or mission fields). I left the backs blank to write down particular requests in the future. Make them as fancy or as simple as you want — but don’t stress about filling them out completely. Simply listing the names is enough to help you get started. You can always jot down requests as you pray later on, or set aside an hour sometime during the week to finish doing that.
Fifth, hole-punch and combine. I used the ring off an old set of flashcards, but you could adjust this to whatever you have on hand. Use ribbon or yarn. Bend a paperclip in a (rough) circle. Use an old bracelet that you never wear. Whatever you want! Just keep it simple, and make sure you can easily flip between cards and add more later on.
Find a place to keep your intercession cards out, if possible, so you’ll see them throughout the day. I like to keep mine flipped open on my dresser, so I can glance at them while I’m getting dressed or when I walk past during the day. That not only provides a visual reminder to pray for those on your list, but more practically, it also helps keep your place and lets you focus on just one name (or card) at a time.
Do you plan to make a set of intercession cards? I’d love to see how they come out!