(Thanks Stacy for this gratitude idea. I adore you.)
A few years ago, I stood in ugly conviction of the well meant but inaccurate rote response that we often make. "I'll be praying for your." or "You're in my prayers." How many times did I say it and not do it?
Unintentional as it may be, it was untruthful. I like offering prayers for others, but if I can't remember there is a need, how can I pray. For me, this was before the modern idea of a "War Room". I do like the post it note option for prayer journals, too. Or, a note in my Bible.
For me.. the best solution has been "Prayer Triggers".
What is a prayer trigger? I assign items or even colors that call my heart to pray for someone or something specific. For example, pink things can be a reminder to pray for the many battling breast cancer. For a friend and her son, it is a carousel horse and lemonade. For another, "mermaid" is the trigger.
For a niece and nephew praying for adoption, it is a picture of a precious soul that needs a safe forever home. A prayer trigger can be anything we assign. No rules.
One of my sweet sisters in Christ, Nola, still gets junk mail at our office. She once taught in our building. Every time I throw a piece of junk mail away with her name on it... I whisper a prayer for her and give thanks fro her life and light. She is an encourager in my world.
Prayers don't have to be long. In fact, I find that in these times, they are more of a constant conversation to the Lord, allowing his spirit to lead. It is better to do this than fret and worry.
We can't fill our minds with anxiety when we are giving thanks. We can't think two things at once.
Never stop ing. -1 Thessalonians 5:17
"Pray without ceasing is another translation."
I find that the time spent in prayer keeps me focused on what is important. When I get wrapped up in what is irritating or frustrating, I an not bringing Him glory. I have so much room for improvement.
I love the rest of this passage. It is instructional. Perhaps, it is a good verse for a week we are heading into all kinds of family situations.
"Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." -1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
Relationships can be challenging. Mixed personalities. But all are children of the Living God who calls us to be his children.
I love Thanksgiving! It is the gratitude holiday that is full of family and friends. What is not to love? I love that my brother and sister-in-law offer their home to host with great hospitality. I look forward to kitchen time with my girls...nieces and now a daughter of my own. Fellowship with family and friends who are like family. It is good to catch up. It is good to hear details about the lives of loved one's. Many who have been prayed for over the year. It is a reminder of his faithfulness.
God hears our prayers, but we have to remember to pray them.
Today...I am grateful for prayer triggers.