From February 18 – April 7, 2018 I had the honor to pray for almost 200 people every day. Names were given to me by readers of The UnCommon Journey and friends who receive the Homestead House Ministries newsletter.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Most of the names were from people I know personally. A few I’ve never met.
Names came from close friends and long-time acquaintances as well as people we’ve only recently met.
Names were submitted from folks living in: California, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, and even London, Ontario Canada and London of the UK.
Sometimes I knew the need or situation that prompted the request. Often I did not.
Some needs were family situations like estranged or “wayward” children. Some requests focused on personal or family decisions. A few were personal struggles – spiritual and/or physical.
I kept these needs in mind as I brought these names to God. The names were listed on a 81/2 x 11 sheet of paper because I have such a poor memory and wanted to make sure every name was mentioned every day. Of course, when I say name I mean person. (I have the gift of forgetting (no joke) which makes the list necessary. I need to write about this special gift sometime.)
Along with asking God’s mercy on every person, I prayed this prayer for every person:
O God, our Heavenly Father, who lovest mankind and art most merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon thy servants (here I would mention your names) for whom I humbly pray thee, and commend to thy gracious care and protection. Be thou, O God, their guide and guardian in all their endeavors, lead them in the path of thy truth and draw them nearer to thee, that they may lead a godly and righteous life in they love and fear; doing thy will in in all things. Give them grace that they may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout and charitable. Defend them against the assaults of the enemy, and grant them wisdom and strength to resist all temptation and corruption of this life; and direct them in the way of salvation, through the merits of the Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
The prayer might not mention the specific need of the person, yet it focuses on the essentials like walking in truth, living a godly and righteous life; the need for grace, protection from evil, to resist temptation, and live the way of salvation. These are “big picture” items that, if realized, would meet the more specific need.
For 50 days, I prayed like this for every person. That’s not a statement of pride or piety. It’s a statement of commitment and tenacity. I told you that I’d pray for the people you mentioned to me and I was able to keep my word.
In actuality, I was simply joining with the Trinity and the saints gone before us who pray for these people at all times.
Also, I was joining you as you prayed.
I have no special magic formula that produces answers. God’s work in each of these lives is ongoing. I was trying to participate in that work.
Thank you to all who submitted names. I found an ascetic pleasure and reverent tenderheartedness by joining you in your prayers.
Let’s do this together again during Lent of 2019.
If you’d like to share anything from this experience, please do so below.
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! Thanks be to God for all things!