Four Ways to Remember to Pray for People
It’s one of the most pervasive Christian lies: “I’ll pray for you.” Sure, some of us remember, but many of us do not. I’m certain most of us have good intentions. Then we forget.
Perhaps the word “lie” is too strong for any one instance. But if we consistently tell people we’ll pray and never do, then we’re lying. I’m guilty of this lie, likely more than I realize. In the moment, my intentions are good. I want to assure the person. I want them to know I care. Then I forget. I’ve done it more than once.
Prayer is a critical spiritual discipline. Forgetting to pray demonstrates a lack of discipline, like the person who thinks about exercise but never follows through. A good thought without an action plan is unproductive. Even worse, when you forget to pray, you’re not only putting a damper on your own spiritual life, you’re potentially doing the same for someone else.
In the last couple of years, I started looking for ways to remember to pray for people. Below are four methods that help me.
- Pray right then. This one is simple. Stop what you’re doing and pray for the person. Rather than promising to pray later, pray with them in the moment. By praying with someone in the moment, you are demonstrating both the person and prayer are a priority to you. In most cases, it doesn’t take long—five minutes. I doubt you will regret taking the extra time.
- Google Keep. This app is available on your smart phone. It’s a simple tool that manages tasks, lists, and reminders. When I promise to pray for someone, I don’t always have a pen and pad. But I always have my phone. Google Keep helps me record people’s names and requests. I can then set a reminder on the note to help me remember when to pray for them. The reminder becomes a notification on my phone. I don’t break my promise nearly as often now.
- Journaling. Most days, I write something in a journal. My jotting is scattered—a thought about something I read in the Bible or an idea I want to sketch out. However, I also write lists of names as I pray. Since it’s a hard copy I keep with my Bible, I often flip back to previous pages and pray through names I wrote down a few days or weeks prior.
- Scheduling time on the calendar. You make time for what is important. In my life, what is important goes on the calendar. I schedule my weeks in thirty-minute increments on Google calendar. It’s a great tool that connects your computer to your smartphone (and also links with Google Keep). Google calendar is a robust tool with several capabilities, but what I like about it is the ability to write notes in each event. So, I can schedule “prayer” for thirty minutes and write several names in the notes section.
I was convicted about telling people I would pray, meaning to follow through, but then forgetting. I made too many promises I didn’t keep, so I started creating a system in my life to remember to pray. After using each of these four methods, I’m praying more and with a clearer focus. What are some methods you use to remember to pray for others?