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Remembrance Praying
By Dan Vis
June 03, 2019
Comments: 44

Since our focus this month is on prayer, I thought I would pull out a quick post from the archives describing a special kind of prayer you might enjoy trying. Think of it as a bonus to this month's featured class: Prayer Secrets!

Believers are always looking for ways to deepen their prayer life. And while a prayer journal is one powerful way to do that, you don't always have your prayer journal with you during the day. If your goal is in fact to "pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17Pray without ceasing.), you may want to consider trying the technique I share in today's reading. It's a great way to help you cultivate those little spare moments you have through the day, and invest more of them in prayer.

It is especially valuable if you have a prayer request with special urgency and importance. The duration can be for a single day or can run longer, but it works best if you only focus on one request at a time.

It's a simple idea, actually, but it works. I first got this idea when reading some of the many prayers recorded by Paul in Scripture:

Philippians 1:3
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

I Thessalonians 1:2-3
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

II Timothy 1:3
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

It's easy to skim over these verses, and others like them. But if you look at them more carefully, it becomes clear Paul was hinting at one of his secrets to staying in a state of constant prayer. I like to call it "remembrance praying".

“Remembrance praying was one of Paul's secrets to staying in a constant state of prayer.”

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Let's say you have a close friend who is going through a delicate surgery on a specific date. You decide to use remembrance praying that day, to pray for your friend. In other words, you make a personal commitment to pray for that friend every time they come to your mind on that specific day. It doesn't have to be a long prayer, depending on your situation--you just pause a few moments to talk to God about their need.

Because it is both an urgent and important request, you are likely to think of them often. So you pray the pre-op process goes well. That God would calm their nerves. During the actual procedure, you pray repeatedly for the doctor and other medical staff--that everything would go smoothly. You pray there are no complications. Later you begin praying for the recovery period. That they heal quickly, and regain their strength. You pray the surgery proves a complete success.

Something strange happens when you commit to praying for someone at every "remembrance". They start coming to mind a lot. In fact, the more you pray for them, the more you find yourself thinking of them. If you stick with it, you will probably find yourself conversing with God about them all day long. If you get side tracked by some project for a while, your friend comes right back to mind as soon as that project is finished.

I'm not sure there's a verse to support this, but I personally think the Holy Spirit enjoys prompting us to pray. John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. makes it clear He is able to bring things to our remembrance at will, so there's no reason to think He can't bring our friend to our mind multiple times during the day. It certainly has been true in my experience!

“The Holy Spirit to able to bring things to our remembrance at will, including special prayer requests we need to focus on.”

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Of course, our requests don't have to be limited to prayers for someone facing a medical crisis. We can commit an entire week of special focused prayer, to plead with God for the salvation of a child that has wandered from Christ. You can dedicate time to praying over some decision you are facing. Or perhaps to pray about some particular character quality you want to cultivate in your life. Completion of some major project is another good topic for remembrance prayer. The possibilities are endless.

The principles are simple. Pick a single topic that is both urgent and important. Commit a specific period of time to pray for that request. During that period, you use every flash of that subject into your memory as a trigger to pray. The more you pray, the more you think about that subject, which triggers even more prayer.

It's a powerful tool. Why not try it today? Pick some topic--perhaps sparked by something in your devotions--and give that subject focused prayer all through the day. It takes a bit of effort, some discipline, a smattering of concentration. But with a little practice, you may just find yourself praying more through the day than you ever thought possible.

It seems to have worked for the apostle Paul. It can work for you...


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Comments

So what do you think of this approach? Have you ever tried anything like this before? What might happen if we were more intentional about praying this way? Share feedback or questions in the comments below...

Posted by Dan Vis on 06/15/19
Wow! That's a nice response Esther! :) It can be rather eye-opening if you give it a good try. The key is to use this technique consistently though.
Posted by Esther on 06/14/19
This is exhilarating. I’ve never thought of anything like this before. This is quite helpful and easier for me. This method will certainly help me to remember to pray continuously throughout the day. Thanks, for posting this!
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/14/19
Yes, I think we all do this in certain circumstances and to some extent Chidinma. Good point. Of course the more intentional and systematic we are, the better! :)
Posted by Chidinma Jenny Ukoh on 06/14/19
I just realised it's something I've always been doing. It helps me especially when I upset with someone for doing wrong and each time the person comes to mind and I'm a little sad or feeling bad towards that person, the Spirit of God reminds me that God's grace is sufficient and that instead of working up myself unnecessarily, I could just pray for the person for God is able to win their hearts. So this has gotten me into the habit of remembrance prayer. Praise God!
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/09/19
That seems to be exactly what happens when we try this approach Lillian! We are brought "closer to God and to the person we are praying for". Good observation!
Posted by Lillian E. Cepeda on 06/09/19

It is a privilege to come boldly before God's Throne with our petitions. Hebrews 4:16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
It is also a blessing for us to constantly pray for others as well as for our spiritual life. I had the opportunity to pray for a friend without ceasing. I truly believe that this kind of prayer would bring us closer to God and to the person we are praying for.

This is great information.

Posted by Dan Vis on 06/05/19

Another nice idea John! Every little bit helps. I guess that also means you change it often--to focus on different people at different times. A good password practice, assuming you can remember which one you have currently!

I really appreciated your comments Valerie. Seems the more we prayer, the more aware we become of the spiritual realm, and the more that prompts us to pray. A good cycle for sure! Thanks for reminding us of God's constant, encircling protecting presence. A spiritual reality we should be more aware of for sure. :)

Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 06/05/19
Dan,
I find that I am focusing more on praying throughout the day because the Holy Spirit is not only bringing to mind someone to pray for but also, I am increasingly more aware of how the Lord keeps me safe from dangers seen and unseen. This knowledge then makes me ask for His presence and protection by His Holy Spirit. I also love talking to our Father and His Son, my Savior, about anything and everything so bringing to Them my prayer concerns is a privilege and pleasure.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 06/05/19
John,
I like your idea. I have made certain Scripture texts as my password. I use the first few letters and number to focus on a particular idea.
Posted by John Gilmore on 06/05/19
This post reminds me of another prayer trigger I've used -- my password at work. Since I must enter it many times daily, I've chosen it to include the name of someone on my long-term prayer list. I aim to pray briefly for that person every time I log in, and mostly the trigger works. I know God is working!
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/04/19
Love your enthusiasm Phillippa! Prayer is definitely a journey. Glad if we can add a little something to your journey. :)
Posted by Phillippa Turner on 06/04/19
This is good information. I know that my prayer 🙏 life needed a reboot.
This prayer journey is the answer. I have prayed focused and intentional prayers all the time.
However, this “prayer of remembrance “ adds another dimension. Anticipating
an awesome 👏 journey.
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/04/19

I like that word "intentionality" Carlos. That's really what this simple technique is about. Choosing one prayer request and being intentional about focusing on that through the day. Great post. And love your testimony of how powerful prayer has become to you! Thanks for sharing...

You are very welcome Patricia! You used another good word I like: focus. :)

Posted by Patricia Jones on 06/03/19
Like several others, I have done this some, but more sporadically with whoever/whatever happens to come to mind throughout the day. I like the focus of this. Thanks Pastor Dan.
Posted by Carlos McFarlane on 06/03/19
I noticed the intentionality in the prayer practice of Jesus and the Apostle Paul and I began to try it and my life has not been the same since. Talking to God every opportunity I get throughout the day and night has become a habit I can't live without. I'm reminded of Enoch; he must have done the same thing, no doubt. May the name of Jesus be praised.
Posted by Dan Vis on 06/03/19

So true Ann! And when we are intentional about praying for something specific like this, it happens far more often. God is good.

Definitely a problem Diane when a lot of people are asking for prayer. One of my solutions is to offer to pray with them on the spot. If I really want to commit to sustained prayer, I'll try to jot down a note and add them to my prayer journal. But to really pray for someone specific, with real focus, this is a great approach.

What a wonderful testimony JoAnn! That is a great example of a way to use this kind of prayer. I should add a note along these lines to the reading. Thanks for affirming how powerful this approach can be!

Posted by JoAnn Moon on 06/03/19
I am going to try this today! I have experienced this kind of prayer before. I have asked God before to show me areas in my life that I needed to surrender to him. All day long he showed me things that I would never have realized without the Holy Spirit prompting. I know it was God showing me because I wasn’t discouraged, I was thankful to be able to hand over my faults and sin to God.
Posted by Diane Teale on 06/03/19
I am really excited about this kind of prayer! There are so many possibilities. So often I say to someone, "I'll pray for you" and the list gets so long. Praying for one situation or person at a time with special attention through the day sounds great! I know the Holy Spirit brings things to my mind so this will bring a more focused prayer. Thanks!
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 06/03/19
I do find that the Holy Spirit prompts me to pray. At times, seeming out of the 'blue,' a person will come to mind or a situation and I am impressed to pray for that issue/person. Occasionally I will have forgotten something or someone and I will be impressed to act or pray. God is good!
Posted by Qing Ling on 09/08/18
Yup sounds like a plan Dan :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/07/18

Well, that's a good idea too Qing, and it goes right along with verses like Psalms 1:2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night., Joshua 1:8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.. And you know I advocate meditation. :)

Actually, you can combine the two. Memorize a verse specific for the person you are doing remembrance praying for, and pray the verse back on their behalf everytime they come to mind. How about that?

Posted by Qing Ling on 09/07/18
Dan When I read the first few lines... I thought for sure you would bring up scripture memorisation as the prompt for prayer. e.g. when doing bible reading in the morning and selecting a verse to memorise for the day, then converting that bible verse into a prayer request, so that throughout the day, we meditate on it, memorise it, and pray it to God all at the same time!
I do like what you have shared instead also. definitely provides a good project/application for those verses on praying on every remembrance...
Adds extra impact to my already daily/constant conversation with God throughout my day. Thanks for the encouragement to get more intentional/focussed with content of daily conversations with God :)
definitely worth applying.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/23/18

You are very welcome Sharon Hamilton . I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing! :)

I think you will find there's a real benefit to being extra intentional Lesley. The topic you determine to pray about keeps coming to mind all through the day. Kind of cool how it works! Glad you'll give it a try. :)

Posted by Ronda Bernard on 08/23/18
Thank you Valerie for inviting me to this class! I have a lot to learn! Looking forward to being more focused on my prayer life! Thank you too Dan!
Posted by Lesley Noakes on 08/23/18
Have prayed in situations like this before but perhaps I haven't been specific enough through the day but have prayed in general terms. Will try this out sounds a better way.
Posted by Sharon Hamilton on 08/22/18
Great idea Dan.I thank God that you are constantly allowing God to use you and your team for the advancement of Service and enlargement of His Kingdom.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/22/18
Glad you like this Verona! Anything we can do to keep our thoughts turned in the right direction is a good idea!
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 08/22/18
So true, Verona. It keeps one focused on the issue involved, and focused on praying for it.
Posted by Verona Edwards on 08/21/18
I believe this is an awesome idea it helps to keep my mind and thoughts in tuned to the Father
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/21/18

Agreed Carole. I think detailed prayer requests (like we talk about in Prayer Secrets) are very helpful. The suggestions in this reading are more a way to supplement your prayer journal with little spare moments of prayer throughout the day.

You are welcome Fiona. Glad you found this helpful. :)

Welcome Ronda! So excited to have you here. Say thank you for us to your friend for sharing with you. :) If you are interested in memorization, we have a great FREE class called the Crash Course you might want to try. It will help get you off to a good start.

There's really a lot of resources on our site. Don't be overwhelmed. Take your time and just work on one or two things at a time. If you have questions or need help, use the Help Hotline at any time.

Posted by Ronda Bernard on 08/21/18
A good friend sent me this invite I pray that it is what I need in my life. I've been a Christian all my life but I've never been good at memorizing or remembering scriptures to share with others someone will ask a question that I'm not able to answer many times it's like I know part of the answer but not well enough to be grounded I only know what I grew up with. for me the Bible is very hard to understand some verses where others pick it up quickly.. I've always been a slow learner but willing to learn more. thank you in advance for this site, I just want a better prayer life and closer walk with Jesus! my desire has always been many ups and downs through the years I need to get off the fence so to speak.. time is short Jesus is coming ..I need to be serious... and share Jesus with others. And be a better Witness. God bless
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 08/21/18
What a lovely suggestion, Dan. Thank you.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 08/20/18
I appreciate this reading today.
When I pray for people, I need to detail the prayer request.
When I do, I feel I have covered all things. I have peace of mind, that all will be taken care of.
Always knowing, we must pray in accordance to His will.
Blessings,
Carole
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/20/18
You are very welcome Martha. Glad to hear you are willing to give this a try! All the best in your experiment... :)
Posted by Martha on 08/20/18
Thank you so much for this class. I had a experience before. I'd like to practices today. May God bless you all.    
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/20/18
Joyce, I noticed you signed up for Prayer Secrets! I think you will enjoy it and glean some good insights. :)
Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 08/20/18
I've been working on this - praying without ceasing - and these points are helpful. I have seen (or maybe just noticed) a lot more answers to prayer than I did previously. Nothing big, just little things, but I am looking forward to seeing something big answered. I would like to be more goal oriented in prayer as well. I'll be taking the class to see if I can grow more in prayer.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/20/18

Glad to hear this was helpful to many of you. I think we do this instinctively as Christians now and then, but being more intentional about it brings a whole new level to the experience. Very powerful!

And appreciate the testimonies Berith and Deanna. :)

Yes of course Mary Alice, you are welcome to share these basic principles. And please point people to our site if you think they might find it helpful. Here are some basic sharing guidelines that might clarify how our resources can be used.

And super glad to hear you have a use for this info already Marsha! Music to my ears...

Posted by Mary Alice Holz on 08/20/18
Thank you, Dan for this Monday Memo. I do pray for people/things as they come to mind, but setting this as a specific goal is a new and intriguing idea. And I had never associated it with Paul's comments. I would like to use this as a devotional in the morning with my volunteers at our Community Service Center. Most are Christians of various churches in town and I think this would be great to share. Hope this is Ok to do.
Posted by Marsha on 08/20/18
Great approach, I hadn’t thought of praying this way before. I have a situation in mind for this today, thank you!!!!
Posted by Kelly McCarthy on 08/20/18
I actually already do this to some extent but never thought of it or connected to Paul's statements about remembering others in prayer. Intriguing thoughts!
Posted by Stuart Clarke on 08/20/18
I like the idea
Posted by Deanna Dekle on 08/20/18
Yes I can say that this is true. I have had people say later that they noted the difference in their day also.
Posted by Berith Bermejo on 08/20/18
I have tried it intentionally a couple of times, and the person or thing does come to mind more frequently. I should do this more often. Thank you for this bonus!

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