This past week as I was writing a prayer in “A Diary of Private Prayer” by John Baillie, I had the sense that I just pray way too much about myself and my own needs. For the next week my prayer journaling in the morning and the evening will only be for others. I have just been at this for a couple of days, but I can feel it shifting some things within me.
I do pray a lot for other people, but I think what is different now is that by having a time where I am dedicated to praying exclusively for others I am greatly expanding my circle of prayer. I used to pray for anyone who readily came to mind as having a need. Now I find myself praying for those folks and then saying, “Okay who else needs prayer.” I stretch my heart to take in more needs around me. I am hoping this will move me to greater depths of compassion.
I foresee another benefit as well. How many times have you told someone, “I will keep you in my prayers” only to see them later and realize you never prayed for them. I have done that more times than I care to admit. Now they have a reserved seat in my prayer room. I have set up an appoint just for them. I anticipate fewer missed prayers for others.
Lastly, I try to do my prayer journal first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. I like the idea of beginning and ending my day with my mind on other people. It seems to bring a different spirit into how I go about my day. This practice also seems to be diminishing some anxieties or self fretting. I am not an anxious person necessarily, but you can’t fixate on things about you while praying for others. It’s just a much healthier way to live. I find my prayers for me decreasing. When I consider other people’s needs and challenges, I realize that frankly mine aren’t even worth noting. I have a pretty blessed life. I need to grow up, stop belly aching, and just be exceedingly grateful.
Blessings to you from The Practical Disciple
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