Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 27, 2015
The Prayer List
I have had a love/hate relationship with prayer lists, over the past several decades. Currently, I am helped by lists, and I readily use them. But I can remember times that I was burdened by them, even to the point where I felt practically sinful when I missed the time I had set aside to pray with my prayer list. (Not good, believe me!)
It got so bad, I would get the really strong impression that the Enemy would be there, ready to pounce on me and bash me upside the head with a big two by four. Oh, and the two by four had the words “Prayer List” scrawled across it in dark, messy printing, all capitals.
I finally figured out this was not beneficial and nurturing to my walk with God, and my continuing relationship in prayer. Or, with prayer. Or, something like that.
Believe me, this area of prayer—and especially prayer lists—is something my spiritual director and I periodically revisit. So, yes. I am aware of my love/hate relationship, and I am talking with several mature believers about it, from time to time.
I bring up the topic of the The List because our trusty guide in prayer, Rev. Howell, brings it up today, too. He is in favor of lists. (I am, too. For the most part, and for the majority of people interested in prayer.)
Sometimes when people tell me about prayer requests, I feel helpless, terribly sad, or grieving inside. And yes, I wonder sometimes what my measly prayers to God would ever accomplish, given such overwhelming odds against. It is in these sad situations that I wholeheartedly agree with Rev. Howell. Prayer is love. 
Moreover, as I tell people who request prayer from me and our church’s prayer chain, prayer is also encouragement, comfort and support. When I am alone in my grief, or pain, or suffering, that alone-ness can be fearful, anxious, even hopeless. But when I share my requests with others, they and their prayers can come alongside of me, encouraging me. I can gain comfort, just knowing that others are thinking about me and my request. And, I can feel supported by others, and most importantly, by God.
Thank You, God, for the love, encouragement, comfort and support that comes in prayer.
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Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.
(also published at www.matterofprayer.net
 James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, (Nashville, TN, Abingdon Press: 2003), 85.