My problem is intercession. When my loved ones aren’t going through some heartache, I tend to forget to pray for them altogether. Of course, I don’t want them to experience grieve so that I will pray, but I can’t seem to stay motivated in prayer. I tend to pray the same things for them a few times and then the repetition allows boredom to set in. How can I keep intercession for my loved ones fresh?
Signed, Ashamed of Distraction
In order to keep diligent in intercession, you need to have several options available. We quickly become slothful when our prayers are on auto pilot. Instead, combine a dash of habit with a large dose of freshness.
Here are three alternatives that I have used. When one begins to be a bit stale, begin another the next day as you pray. I find it helpful to have a list of people or situations in mind. These may be written, memorized or even visual. A visual listing can be photographs around the room, snapshots in your Bible, or even in a folder on your phone.
Praying through God’s Promises
To begin praying this way, you will need a listing of God’s promises. Then, simply go down your list, matching a name to one of His promises.
For instance, if you read Isaiah 26:3 (“The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee”), then you might pray, “Lord fix _______’s mind on You today, so they can know peace.”
You can secure a listing of God’s promises:
In pocket book form (I like this one).
Pray the Epistles
Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are all excellent sources of prayer material. With Bible open to Ephesians 1, simply begin reading and when you discover a spiritual package that you could pick up for someone, match that gift with a need on your list.
When I read, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3), I ask that my daughter might know those spiritual blessings already prepared for her. Simple as that. Then, I continue reading and praying.
Once your listing in completed for the day, bookmark your verse to begin there tomorrow. Don’t worry about skipping over verses. The Father is directing your thoughts and He knows what you need to pray for whom.
This is approached the opposite of the other two. Instead of reading a verse and praying it over your name, you take the name before the Father and ask that He put a scripture into your thoughts to pray. Don’t get bogged down trying to remember whole verses. Scripture fragments are totally acceptable. After all, the Father is giving you the truth that He knows is most needed.
If you like, you can have a notebook handy during this type of prayer. Jot down the partial verse so that later in the day you can actually take the time to look it up. Yet, unless directed otherwise by the Lord, this isn’t the time for you to have every verse located. This is a time to breathe your intercession before Him. (Satan can use this urge to keep you from prayer).
I know that you will discover many other ways to intercede before the Lord. Please share those with me.
I love you.
Grace and peace, your mentor