Do you ever say that to someone and then promptly forget to utter a prayer for them? Worse yet, in a few days they say, “Thanks for your prayers…this is an update.” Gulp. You intended to pray, but your busy life and work distracted you.
There is a tool out there that manages our work (and personal life.) A calendar. So why not utilize it for your prayer life too?
Here are some ideas for how to use a tool such as Google calendar to keep better track of items you wish to pray about.
- Create a separate calendar. One thing I like about Google calendar is that you can create separate calendars for specific needs (i.e. menu planning, professional commitments, etc.) and layer the calendars for a full view as you wish. Color coding these layers is even better.
- Enter most requests on this calendar as “all day” events. This places the requests/topics at the top of your calendar. When you add in your other calendars, prayer items remain at the top.
- When appropriate, set an appointment for prayer before a particular event. For example, if you know a friend has an interview at 2:00 on a Tuesday, you can set an appointment for yourself to pray at 1:30. (You could also just note it as an all day appointment with the time, i.e. Sheila’s interview: 2:00.)
- Create recurring requests for items that you will pray about regularly. For example, you could have a daily prayer for a spouse, child, or other family member. Earlier this year, I set up specific requests based on Scriptures for my husband and son (I used sources such as what you can find searching “30 days of praying for your spouse/child.”) I used enough entries to create 90 days of Scripture prayers, setting each one up to recur every three months on the 1st, 2nd, etc.
- Utilize the “notes” section for more details. For example, I added the actual Scripture verses so they can prompt my prayer.
- Sprinkle in other recurring items. For example, if you’d like to pray for particular friends regularly, why not add them and have their name pop up every so many days? Or if you know of a specific concern that is ongoing (i.e. someone in the military, a couple having marriage troubles, a chronic health concern) you can use the recurring feature to remind you of that item on a regular basis. Bonus: you may be surprised how the timing of that prayer can be just right for them. Sometimes you may decide to let them know you prayed for them today and it is amazing how that encourages at just the right time!
- Set up a routine for reviewing your requests. I have Google calendar on my phone, and also have it sync with my Samsung calendar app. Many mornings, I start the day with some Bible and general reading in bed before I get up. In the Samsung app and my Google Now cards, I get an readable list of my calendar items for the day…a prayer list already in place.
- Be reminded throughout the day. If you keep Google calendar nearby (ie on your phone or desktop or sync it with something like Outlook) you’ll see these prayer items reside on the top of your calendar throughout the day. This is a nice prompter for those conversational or quick “breath” prayers.
You may be busy, but you can still pray. With a strategic process for remembering requests, you too can stay connected with the Lord on behalf of others even while juggling a busy schedule.