If I tell you that I’ll pray for you, I definitely will. I know that prayer works and plays an important role in healing broken bodies and hearts. Getting through our troubles is a lot easier when riding on the wings of prayer.
In addition to helping others, praying for those in need benefits us, as well. Through the process of praying for our loved ones, we get a break from our own worries. We send love and God’s blessings out into a troubled world. Every answered prayer eases the pain of all humanity. We gain peace with every quiet moment with the Lord. And most of all, the more time we spend in prayer, the closer we become to our benevolent God.
However, those prayer lists can become quite lengthy making it a challenge to pray each intention. Every day, I try to remember every family member, close friends, groups of people such as my parishioners, and causes such as peace. I use a variety of methods to cover everyone I want in prayer. Here are a few suggestions you may try for yourself.
- Praying straight through the list. Set a period of time during the day or before bed and using your own words or a short prayer remember each person, one at a time.
- Pause through a daily devotional to meditate on each person or cause. For example, if you are reading Scripture, take a moment before each verse and think of each intention.
- Focus on groups of intentions on specific days of the week. For example, on Sundays you might pray for your immediate family; Tuesdays, extended family; Wednesdays, friends; Thursdays, the sick; Fridays, those who are most difficult in your life; and Saturdays, special causes.
- Pray while exercising. Go through a workout routine while praying for each intention.
- Pray while working. Pause periodically during your work day to stretch and then ponder an intention. For example, at set time intervals say a little prayer for someone or something.
- Pray brief blessing. Say a blessing, such as the sign of the cross (In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit) or simply, May the Lord bless ___, before each intention.
- Remember someone with each daily activity. Say a prayer for an individual before brushing your teeth, making the bed, vacuuming a room, working at your desk, walking from one room to the next, and so on.
- Use a two-step prayer approach during devotions. At the beginning of the rosary or other devotion, remember all of your intentions as a whole. Then devote the entire rosary (or other devotion) to a particular individual.
- Pray while sacrificing. When an unpleasant activity needs to be completed, such as cleaning the bathroom or getting a medical test, meditate on your list and offer your discomfort in prayer for your intentions.
- Sing your prayers. Chanting or singing your prayers for each person on your list can be quite uplifting for you as well as remembering your intended prayer-receiver.
Whichever way you choose to pray, after each prayer session, don’t forget to thank God for listening to your requests and answering in God’s perfect way. God responds powerfully to our simple pleas, and a little thank you is the least we can do to show gratitude.
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Here are a few devotional books I’ve written. You might want to check them out: The Rosary Prayer by Prayer, Grieving with Mary, Young in the Spirit, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God, Fatima at 100. Fatima Today, and Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by the Message.