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My day is filled with work, cleaning house, tending to people's needs and my time is full. Then I read in 1 Thessalonians 5 to "pray continually" or as the King James Version says to "pray without ceasing" and I wonder how to obey that command.
I forget to pray sometimes. I want to pray for people I love, regarding hardships, asking for direction, and I want to obey Paul's instructions to us, but sometimes I just forget. Several years ago a woman in our community was diagnosed with very aggressive breast cancer and I committed to pray for her, but I was concerned I would forget. Then I remembered that I drive by her home every day on my way to work. I committed that each time I drove by her house I would pray for her. Her house has served as a reminder to pray, when I otherwise would have forgotten. Another friend asked me to pray for a specific situation, so I put a sticky note on my computer to remind me to pray for that situation. Then an ambulance passed by, and as I've made it a habit to do when I hear a siren, I prayed for all involved the rescue workers and those in trouble. Suddenly I realized that all of these things were reminders – simple little triggers that remind me throughout the day to pray for things that concern me and the ones I love.
A few years ago a friend taught me another means to help remember to pray for someone. When someone shares a prayer request with me, even if it's by e-mail or phone, I pause and pray with them at that moment. If it's by e-mail I write the prayer in the e-mail and send it back to them. I was drawn to this idea for two reasons. First, because I knew I wouldn't break my promise to pray by forgetting. Second, because the person hears the prayer and hopefully they are comforted and encouraged by knowing and hearing the prayer lifted up on their behalf.
I wish I didn't forget. I wish that remembering to pray was always my first response, not just my sometimes first response. I find these little reminders help me to move closer to praying continually. If, like me, you sometimes forget to pray for the things you want very much to remember to pray for, give these little reminders a try. You can use something you drive or walk by daily; a note on the 'frig, computer, or mirror; a sound; anything that triggers your mind and heart to go before God in prayer throughout the day can lead us to more and more consistently pray continually.
What has helped you to pray continually?
How do you remember to pray for specific requests?