As you can see from the picture, I don't have a real sophisticated system for prayer reminders. I put up post-its, tape emails to the sill, and write notes or make check marks.
I suppose I could just keep track of prayer requests on my computer. I do at times. But there is value in identifying a physical place to pray.
- My attitude changes when I drop to my knees. I was studying Daniel recently for a sermon. It struck me how earnestly Daniel prayed. I left my books and dropped to my knees to pray for the flock. The physical movement was helpful in softening my heart.
- It paints a picture to share with others. It's one thing to say to a friend, "I'll pray for you." It's another to say, "I got down on my knees at my window and prayed." There is a place, of course, for secret prayers. But there are times when people need to know exactly where we are praying for them and it encourages them we really are praying if we can be concrete.
- It keeps me away from the distraction of my computer. I have to admit that there are times when I forget to mute my computer - - and get distracted. But most of the time, I can find quiet moments without any electronic distractions. I just need to do it more.
- It reminds me to look out on a place I love. Flannery O'Connor famously said, "Somewhere is better than anywhere," and when I kneel, and glance at the window in the process of doing so, I am reminded again of our place.
- It reminds me to thank God for answered prayer. The reason that some of the post-its are covered in the above picture is that the request has been answered. I will eventually take them down, but for now, it is good to see prayer requests covered up.
- It is often as I kneel to pray that the Holy Spirit brings truth into crystal clear focus. I can think of so many occasions when I was preparing to preach a funeral, or so very concerned for someone in our church, that I got down on my knees to pray and the Spirit brought to mind the right truth to share in the right way. It's not a matter of special revelation, but rather of the gentle promptings of the Spirit. Let's get down on our knees and pray more often, "Open my eyes so I may behold wonderful things in your Word."
Chris Brauns is the Pastor of The Red Brick Church and the author of Unpacking Forgiveness and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search. You can follow him on Twitter at ChrisBrauns.