A few weeks ago, I participated in a “No Amen Challenge,” which has gotten me pondering on what specifically triggers me to start praying. I began looking around for my personal prayer prompts.
When I see starving children on television, a car crash during my commute, or difficult conversations occurring at a business, I am fleetingly triggered to begin praying. Frankly, as quickly as I pray for these items, I likely have forgotten the prayer prompt. I’ve moved onto the next occurrence of my day. If I’m reviewing prayer requests from my small group, friends, or family members, I have been guilty of pushing through the prayers without pausing to reflect on the requests and results.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB) states, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
This verse caused me to start thinking that the ceaseless prayer, coupled with the “No Amen Challenge,” added to prayer prompts, would likely result in more deliberate…and remembered prayer time.
The prayer prompts are a physical item that is attached to remembering a) to pray and b) what I prayed about. It becomes a mental association between prayer and an object.
For instance, I have a prayer board in my bathroom that has scraps of paper all over it with prayer requests from various people in my life. As a brush my teeth or curl my hair, I have time to review my daily requests. Initially, this began as a mechanism to “go through” the prayer request list. Now, I can visualize where the prayer request scrap of paper is on the board and pray individually for each throughout the day.
Another example that I recently watched Erin use was setting an alarm on her phone. Each time she heard the alarm, she was triggered to pray for a specific situation.
At home, I wanted to be more deliberate about praising God. As I watered the garden, I used the time to thank God for the availability of water. As I collected eggs from the chickens, I praised Him for providing food. As I drove down the driveway, I exalted the Lord for my employment that contributed to the purchase of our house.
I also wanted to find a method to pray more frequently over my family. In order to accomplish that, I took the mundane chore of laundry and began praying over the owner of each piece of clothing, as I folded.
In my office, I have a ring of multiple verses on index cards that I switch out every week. Each time that I read the verse of the week, I choose to pray the verse over a person or scenario associated with my workplace. As I pass the US flag display first thing in the morning, I specifically pray over our country and our elected leaders.
Each person’s prayer prompts will look different. Just in the last few weeks, some that I’ve noted included prayer boards, phone alarms, gardening, driving, laundry, index cards or US flags. It doesn’t matter what the prayer prompt looks like, rather what does matter is that it triggers the moment of prayer. This in turn, becomes prayer without ceasing in the “no amen challenge” and subsequently are prayers that are remembered.
I’ve even got a prayer prompt for Iron Porch…the blog, the dreams, the contributors and the readers. I’ll use it, as I pray that the visitors of the Iron Porch will have their own prayer lives strengthened through the use of prayer prompts.