By Dan Vis
June 03, 2019
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:
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".
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!
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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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 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 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.
This is great information.
|Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 06/05/19|
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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