Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The How of Intercession

In my last blog, I promised to tell you about the method that I use to determine the appropriate Scriptures for a person on my prayer list. For several years now I have been doing what I call “praying the Scriptures.” What I mean by that is that I read the Bible as I pray. I read each sentence and if I feel that sentence is particularly appropriate for the person I am praying for, I will note the Scripture reference beside the date. Sometimes I will have the opportunity to share these Scriptures with the person for whom I have prayed. When I do so, it is an encouragement to them. I keep these lists and I hope one day to be able to share verses with many more people for whom I have prayed.

These various lists make up the contents of the right pocket of my lap desk. On the left side, I keep other material. When I have finished praying for those listed on my intensive care and request lists and my day of the week lists, I then open a book from the left pocket, where I have a three-day rotation list of requests. Thee are people who I have been praying for a long time. Some have ongoing health concerns. Some are those I mentor spiritually. Others are close friends, whom I want to support in their spiritual journey by my prayers.

Tucked inside this book is also a list that I consult daily with three sections. The first is a group of young adults from Africa that I had the privilege of mentoring when I met with them at the African School o Youth Leadership in 2006. I remember one of the four of them each day by name. Another of the lists includes current spiritual leaders (pastors or corps officers as we call them in The Salvation Army) of the congregation that Glen and I attend. I pray for them in rotation with the leaders that preceded them,. I also pray for the leaders of the congregation that Glen and I were part of before we left Toronto to move back to Montreal. I feel that it is important to uphold those in spiritual leadership. The final list tucked inside the book is one that includes family members by name. They are also remembered every day.

With this list, my daily prayer requests conclude. However, I have also incorporated into this time a practice of Scripture memorization. I use a book that lists verses of Scripture appropriate for different situations. I repeat a number of these verses daily and write out one verse every day, to try and not only commit them to memory but also think how to put them into practice in my life. As I get older, I find it harder to commit things to memory, so I rely on constant repetition to try and get these thoughts imbedded in my mind.

Finally, I have been trying to learn Spanish, as my current ministry has given me the opportunity to travel to Latin America and I want to be able to communicate with those I meet. I finish my prayer time by reading a devotional from the Spanish version of Our Daily Bread and the appropriate Scripture portion from my Spanish Bible.

I have outlined the activities that constitute my time of intercession. In my next blog, I will walk you through some of the requests, so you can get an idea of the content. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

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