There have been many posts and comments about Paul Miller’s book A Praying Life. I, too, have enjoyed the book and found some great wisdom and application for my life from its pages. One idea Miller gives is to use cards instead of lists for prayer. Miller suggests a large list could intimidate us, whereas a card is more manageable. I decided to try it out for myself and, a few weeks ago, I made prayer cards for myself and my family and friends.
I know we’re all still getting to know each other here so I will tell you something about me: I don’t like boring. And I really, really like color. Miller suggests using 3×5 cards to list your needs, along with a verse for each subject or person. This makes perfect sense but that just seemed a little too boring for me. I looked for index cards with color or fun images but couldn’t find anything in a store I loved. Then I realized I already had what I needed at home–paint swatches from leftover craft projects! They’re not as boring as white index cards and they are the perfect size for listing prayers. Plus, the color draws me in from across the room and reminds me to pray.
Let’s back up a step. What exactly do you do with a prayer card? Well, the basic idea from Miller is this: you put down the basics of your requests. These are the guidelines Miller gives in his book (paraphrased by me):
1. List the topic of the card on the top.
2. Start each card with a verse that relates to the situation or person and what you hope God will do. This can be a verse you use to pray over the person or just a reminder of God’s promises to us. For example, I created a card related to my job here at The Crossing. The verse is Colossians 3:23-24. Maybe a visual will help:
3. Keep it short-use phrases to make your point. You should be able to easily pick it up and pray based on what you’ve written down. These should be fairly generic so you don’t have to change them all the time. That being said, I don’t hesitate to modify Miller’s system and add specifics in certain instances. After all, these are my cards!
The great thing about this system is you can truly make a card for anything and anyone.
*One for each of your kids, or in my case, future kid.
*One for your husband or wife.
*One for your church.
*One for you job.
*One for missions you want to support
*One for your small group or Bible study members
It allows a quick glimpse of your prayer needs so you can pray on the fly. You don’t need to pray for each card each time. I wanted my cards to be easy to transport so I punched a hole in them and tied them with a pretty ribbon. I need the aesthetics!
So, head to your nearest paint department today and grab some paint chips to repurpose. Unless you are a minimalist who likes index cards. That’s fine too. The bottom line: get praying.
1 Thes 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”