I’ve written in other posts about my liturgy of morning prayer (Resource for a Rhythm of Prayer for example). Some have asked me to share about how I arrange the way I pray for others. There are a lot of people in my family and in my ministry who matter to me and for whom who I want to pray. But I don’t feel I can pray for everyone daily.
The reason I call this contemplative intercession is that I’m seeking to pray for others from a posture of listening to God rather than making demands of God.
So I’ve got a binder with eight sections. Most of the pages are divided up so I pray for a few each day of the week. In some cases, the pages are divided up over two weeks. Those sections are:
- Personal: places of personal hunger for healing, core scriptures, my rule of life, elements of vision and mission from over the years.
- Family: praying for Gem, Sean, Bryan and Christopher, as well as for my extended family. I have a page of key scriptures I’ve been praying for my sons, their future brides and in-laws for years.
- The Leadership Institute and inner circle: staff, board and key leaders, our church small group, core families with whom we do life together, “protégés” who’ve gone into vocational ministry and our financial partners.
- Key ministries and churches: emerging new ministry expressions related to the Institute, and the extended staff of some key churches/ministries I work with.
- Spiritual direction: I pray for those with whom I meet regularly in person, over the phone or via internet video in spiritual direction.
- Institute training groups: I pray regularly for our “emerging associates”, attenders of our weekend retreats, all past and current participants in our Journey training (23 generations so far), and focusing on action steps current participants are working on between retreats.
- God’s wider work in the world: key ministry leaders, government leaders (national, state and local), all the nations (over the course of a month), for friends who have yet to discover the unfailing love of Christ, and for friends who are engaged in ministry in other nations.
- Current schedule: I end by praying my day’s appointments and my to do list.
I have a two-week cycle. Some pages are divided up into five sections that I pray for every Monday through Friday. Others are divided into twelve sections that I pray for over the course of two weeks, Monday through Saturday. There is a fairly small group that I pray for daily. I take a break from focused intercession on Sunday.
This is how God has led me in arranging my bringing others with me into His presence. It’s been more life-giving to see intercession in the context of relationship with God, rather than as a burdensome task I do for God. And I find that a lot of my prayers are expressions of gratitude for the grace of God in each one’s life.