My mom recently wrote to Brother Isaiah, a Franciscan music artist who has a beautiful, moving CD that she received for her birthday. She wanted to thank him for sharing his gift. In return, he wrote her a letter which he concluded with the following promise:
As the Lord reminds me, I will pray for you.
She and I were both impressed at this promise for prayer. Usually people simply promise to keep you in prayer, hold you up in prayer, remember you in prayer, etc. But let’s all be honest, how many people have we promised to pray for that we have unintentionally forgotten. How many times have I prayed “. . . and Lord, for everyone I’ve promised to pray for but can’t remember right now.” (I’ll give you a hint, more than once.) I always feel bad when I do this, even though I know the Lord knows exactly who they are. I still feel I’ve let them down in some way.
Many people use a prayer journal or list to help them keep track of the people they are praying for. This is a beautiful practice, just one that doesn’t personally work for me presently. Maybe someday. So what’s a girl to do?
And as the Lord reminds me, I will pray for you
This is perfect on many levels.
- It’s an honest promise I know I can keep.
- It doesn’t require a list to keep updated.
- Most importantly: it encourages me to be more attuned to the movements and promptings of the Holy Spirit throughout the day.
There is something wonderfully freeing about this perspective to intercessory prayer. When I sit down to pray I’m not feeling guilty about forgetting someone. Instead I pray for those persons I remember or find myself thinking a lot about and for the situations happening around me and the world.
Brother Isaiah’s simple promise reminds me of another monk, Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1614-1691) was a kitchen aide in the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Paris. In his simple, often mundane chores and daily duties, Brother Lawrence discovered a relationship of constant prayer and companionship with God. He said:
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
Brother Isaiah’s wisdom transitions beautifully to the philosophy of Brother Lawrence. Brother Isaiah encourages a greater awareness to the movements of the Holy Spirit. By attuning my heart to the promptings of the Spirit, I will be praying more frequently throughout the day (The Holy Spirit is always talking to us, there is always someone or something to pray for). If I am praying more frequently, I am in greater communication with God. Now, things that I might not have prayed about, I may be more likely to because I am creating a habit of prayer throughout my day, just like Brother Lawrence sought to discover.
What I am curious about is: How do you incorporate prayer into your day, particularly those petitions that have been asked of you?
Copyright 2017 Kate Taliaferro