About 9 years ago, my good friend, Will Blaine asked me to pray for him every Monday. He was the children's pastor at our church then and I was more than eager to to do that. I checked up with him every week to see what was going on and since we were together often as we worked in church, I could usually pray very intentionally for the things he needed--though I would ask anyway. To help me remember, I've used the online application Echo Prayer for about 7 years now. I schedule reminders like his throughout the week at consistent times and pray when I get the text or e-mail. In fact, I pray every time I see it so sometimes that means I get to pray about it multiple times during the week. As long as I have had some personal time with my Father and Friend for the two of us each morning, He provides the power to pray for those on my list as a part of my everyday routines.
This year, my friend Miki, challenged me to pray more intentionally and with more accountability for those in my church, family and circle of influence, in ways that are similar to how George Mueller prayed. George Mueller would list all of the things he needed God to provide for His work in a ledger and update the ledger, detailing the answers God sent, whether they were large or small. Rather than having FBC/O come up daily at lunchtime, I rescheduled them to early morning and broke it down into each of the major ministries in the church. This was scattered in with various pastors and ministers that are close to my heart. Each day as the reminder comes, I forward the request to that person to ask if there's anything specific they need. I ask them frequently what they would like to see God do and how would they know when He had? That keeps the requests specific and gives us the chance to praise Him when He answers--and He does. I try to keep a spreadsheet of how God has answered the prayers we've asked. What a joy!
This morning, I got a response back from one of our youth pastors regarding the in-town summer missions trip that the youth department is leading. He asked that the kids get a heart for always being on mission rather than just going on a mission trip. What a great request!!! The verse that immediately came to mind was:
"14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for."--I John 5:14-15
Now, I'm not only excited to see what is going to happen with them during the mission trip but excited to see what God will be doing with them over their lives because of it. That is a prayer request I will delight in laying before the Father over and over!!!