Let’s just face it: Life is Busy. There’s always something to do or a some place to be. If your family needs an easy idea on how to be consistent in praying for situations or people, try using a Prayer Jar.
As we are made aware of a need or situation, we write it down on half of an index card, fold it, and stick it in the jar. Then, throughout our day, we draw up to 4 cards and then take turns praying out loud over what’s been drawn. I don’t make everyone pray out loud, but do give the opportunity. We have found that during breakfast or right after, is the best time to do this. Some days we don’t get it done until lunchtime, but the great thing about this prayer jar is that it travels! You can make this work for any time in your day, whatever suits your unique family. *this post does contain affiliate links*
With all that demands our attention, it’s so important that we make the time to come before the throne of grace to receive help in time of need. Each week we become more and more aware of various situations or people that need God’s grace, his wisdom, his provision, his honor. As God’s people, we are commanded to pray for our leaders, the authorities over us, our enemies, one another, but most importantly, for His kingdom to come.
Here are two recent examples of how we’ve seen fruit of the Lord’s work in this:
-For 4 days in a row we drew the same family member’s name out of the jar. The kids all prayed relatively the same way, knowing a bit about the situation. Well, on the 4th day, he called home with some news that changed the course of his future just a bit. Our family had no specific idea as to why we kept getting his name at the time, but the Lord did. We may never know exactly how us interceding on his behalf prepared him for the news he received, but God directed our prayers accordingly. Once our kids heard this, we were able to point them to God’s sovereignty and encourage them to be consistent in praying for others.
-Another situation that same week was for a family that was moving here from several hundred miles up north. There were many moving parts, literally, to this move. When the convoy made it safely here, we were told about some of the troubles that they encountered along the way. There was great turbulence in the flight up there for the folks going to help this family, vehicle trouble on busy bridges, as well as extra expenses on the way down. Even though it wasn’t as smooth as everyone had liked, they made it! Once again, we may never fully know what storm was held back by the Lord’s hand or what person was placed in their path at just the right time, simply because God’s people came to him in faith.
Things to get you started:
-a (or even an old pickle jar or coffee can)
– cut in half (or slips of scrap paper)
-pen or pencil
Common situations you can add to your own jar:
*Our nation’s leadership (president, vice-president, governors, etc…)
*Headline news items
*Families in mourning
*Local community leaders and topics
*Missionaries to other countries
*Health care providers
We are finding that as our kids, (and us for that matter), bring a situation before the Lord, and then he allows us to see how he answered that prayer, it spurs us on to come to him more. It increases our faith in his promises. Sometimes we don’t ever see any fruit of our labors, but that too is okay. We are simply called to obey the command to pray, remembering that he is the one who does the work. All the while, trusting him with the results.
Using a Prayer Jar has been a simple, yet wonderful tool in our family to help cultivate a rich, consistent, God-honoring prayer life. We hope that you too will be encouraged to start a new family tradition.