One day during Lent, I prayed for these countries: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tokelau Islands, Tonga, Tuzalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna Islands. By the time Palm Sunday arrived, I’d prayed for all the nations of the world. The excellent prayer guide Seek God for the City ~ Prayers of Biblical Hope from WayMakers was the impetus for those entreaties.
Whether your Christian fellowship participates or does not in the Lenten season, the setting aside for time of repentance and renewal is biblical. Besides the nations of the world, the prayer guide targeted different groups of people in communities: health care workers, broken families, men, military personnel, the sick, the unemployed, prisoners and their families, the physically disabled, youth, mothers, arts and entertainment, the depressed, those in nursing homes and substance abusers of drugs and alcohol.
After the 40 days, I felt more akin, in tune, yoked to Christ because my pleas and praise were not limited to the minority of people I know, but for this world as a whole and in part.
The guide helped me pray more comprehensive prayers than ever before. And, the very reasonable price of $3.00 sent me back for another guide this year. Even though we are already into the 40 days of Lent, I encourage readers to purchase a prayer guide to pray any 40 days of the year. After you’ve prayed through it, place it by a December 2008 calendar page, a reminder to purchase one for 2009.
WayMakers offers other prayer tools at nominal fees of $2.00 a pamphlet: What Would Jesus Pray, Light from My House, Prompts for Prayerwalkers, Blessings and Open My City. At their Web site find free PDF files of the 2008 Seek God for the City for children and in Spanish.
Each prayer ended with “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” And, one of my favorite lines from a petition welcoming Christ, “And may your mercy amaze us even more than miracles.” I found the Lent prayer guide to be one of the most helpful prayer tools. But overriding any tool is the knowledge that God hears and heeds the sincere—from the simplest to the most organized prayer, poorly worded or eloquently stated.
Through prayers, you can usher God’s help into your community and the world. During the 40 days of prayer it was such a blessing to lay gratitude, needs and burdens at the feet of God who has the power to intervene in global problems. Today, my prayer guide suggests praying for the news media, the poor and those without a shepherd. As I pray, my hope is based on the mercy of his hearing.
Note: Do you plan to do anything special on your "extra" day next week, Leap Day? If so, let me know, please. I'm collecting your suggestions for next Friday's column. Thanks, Cathy.