Daily Prayer List
We all have many things in our lives that we like to pray for. A list of intentions floats around in each of our minds and it changes constantly. New intentions are added, fulfilled intentions are subtracted, and all along the way, we're hopefully putting our trust in God and not in ourselves. This is very much a living list and it reflects our most closely held relationships and needs.
Each morning, when I'm disciplined enough to rise at 5am, I start my day with prayer. I roll out of bed, go downstairs and get the coffee brewing. While it brews, I check in with Twitter and Instagram to see what I missed overnight. When the coffee is hot and ready, I meander into our family room where I take a seat at our breakfast nook. I open my prayer with the sign of the cross and then I form my list of intentions for the day. The first cogent thoughts of mine each day are the intentions that are on my heart.
Our daily intentions should be ever on our mind and being constantly lifted up in prayer. Having a list can be helpful in that it keeps you very aware of those for whom you need to pray and for those things that you need help with. By having a list that you revisit daily, you can remain centered and ensure that those for whom you promised to pray get prayed for!
Pray for your intentions at the beginning of the day and the end of the day. Prayer should be conversational and it should be honest. You don't have to put on a front with God, you can simply express how you truly feel. Along with bookending your day with prayer, offer up small sacrifices during the day. When challenges arise or difficult situations, you don't have to pause to consider for whom or for what to offer your sacrifice. Your list is ready to go and ready to be prayed for.
Don't forget to be thankful. Most of us screw this up. Like a young child on Christmas morning, we open the present that we really wanted and get completely consumed in the celebration, forgetting to express thanks to the person who gave it to us. Prayers will be answered, many in a very big and impactful way. Remember to be thankful, even if an intention isn't answered, before you remove it from your list. Sometimes we ask for things that, unbeknownst to us, would be quite harmful in our lives. That means that when a prayer isn't answered, it too is cause for giving thanks. You may not have gotten the job that you wanted, but you couldn't see how it would consume you and push your marriage to the brink of collapse.
By maintaining a daily prayer list, even if only in your mind, you can more consistently pray for the intentions in your life. Adding and subtracting as needed will ensure that what needs to be prayed for gets prayed for. Above all else, you'll have a starting point for a habit of regular prayer, an essential element in the life of any saint!