Earlier this year, I led a study for our ladies that our entire church participated in called "A Praying Life." This book by Paul Miller helped break the legalism that often surrounds prayer. I am guilty of that legalism at times. Maybe more accurately, I thrive on some kind of structure to be consistent. (See my lined up Coke Zero cans in my fridge for confirmation.) That study has helped me pray "differently" and not feel guilty about it. No, I'm not standing on my head to pray or doing some strange ritual, but I'm changing it up to be more authentic and to develop a stronger relationship with God...which is really the ultimate goal of prayer.
I'm always striving to find new ways to pray. (No, speaking in tongues does not count.) I have begun taking one day a week to pray for my small group at church. I am in a Sunday morning Bible study with a slew of sweet ladies. We would tell the world that we all aren't where we'd thought we'd be at this point in life, but we bless the Lord no matter our circumstances. So I spend one day praying over the weekly prayer requests we get via email. It keeps me connected to my small group and their needs and praises top of my mind. Another day I pray for various groups in my life that are important - close friends, church leaders, government leaders. And, I have certain days where I pray for certain people - days I pray for specific ministry folks that I've committed to support weekly in prayer. All of this keeps my prayer life fresh.
I am starting a new prayer method this week that I developed simply by reading my social media. Like many, I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks. With the accessibility on my phone, I can quickly catch up on the go at any time of the day. Though I try to limit my intake of all that information, I've realized I could put some of it to profitable use. Of all the social networks, Facebook is the one where I'm *really* connected to people I know. And, it's also where the majority of the people I know share their requests, praises, and more than "I just had a Starbucks" statuses. This week, I've decided to work in one day where I simply take my Facebook feed and pray through it. That could take days, I know, so I'll have to limit it to my normal prayer time. But, each person that posts - no matter the content - needs prayer. I have friends who are atheists. I can pray for their salvation. I have friends who I don't see regularly, but can pray for them just the same. It's a whole new view on my Facebook feed...and gives me a fresh method of prayer once a week.
If you're my Facebook friend, know that your posts aren't for nothing. You may just end up on my prayer list at the very moment you need a prayer to be lifted.