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Help a Pastor Out

I’ve never been much of a person with a routine. The only things I do with any regularity are eating and sleeping. I wrote shortly after I moved into this new appointment that I am really learning to pray. I write that sheepishly because I am a pastor and I took a class in seminary called “The Life of Prayer”. Oops. I guess learned less than I thought I did.

I feel fortunate that for the first time in my life I cannot exist without prayer. It’s what I’ve been praying for all along when I actually remembered to pray. I’ve been aiding myself using a devotional book by Dennis Kinlaw and I’ve been going through Maxie Dunnam’s The Workbook of Living Prayer. Both have been wonderful and refreshing. As I continue to mature in prayer, one question keeps standing out to me and I’m interested to hear from others on this topic: How do you pray for others?

I ask for prayer requests on Sunday morning. I get three to five when I get to the office on Monday mornings. There’s usually a bit of information and I’ll pray for the person and situation. I’m not sure how long this takes – probably only seconds – but I’m beginning to let my feelings of guilt and inadequacy sneak in and say, “That’s not good enough. It took them longer to write that out than it did for you to pray.” I’m considering the idea of typing the names and requests into a document to use in the mornings and I’d like to hear from those who use prayer lists.

  • Do you start anew every week, removing names and adding new ones?
  • Do you have people who are on your list consistently (spouse, children, others)?
  • What do you pray for when you come to each name?

I’m really interested to hear what others have to say and please know that I’m not asking for advice exclusively from other pastors. I’d be willing to wager that the strong prayers of this world aren’t pastors, but maybe that’s a post for another time.

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