One of the blessings that God gives us is relationships with others. As we have finished the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, we have had a focus on relationships whether it was those who attended our holiday parties, gathered around our tables, or mailed us a Christmas card. Our families have been blessed and made better by those who God has placed in our circles.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul encouraged him to make prayer a priority: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1 ESV). God has given us a circle of people who our family can support through prayer. As we begin a new year, here are some ways your family can become more intentional to pray for those people God has placed in your circles:
Building a Prayer Needs List for Your Circle. Many times, we find ourselves in conversations where items for prayer come up. If we were in a small group at church, we would likely put them on a prayer list, but in everyday life, it is easy for us to pass them by. Next time someone tells you about their relative having surgery, their spouse losing a job, or their stressed-out schedule, take a minute to write that prayer request on a note in your phone. This note can be your ever-growing prayer list for your circle. When you see the person, you can encourage them by checking in on the need and tell them that you have been praying.
Christmas Card Prayers. Instead of throwing away or filing your Christmas cards, come up with a place to display one Christmas card a week. Spend some time intentionally that week praying for the family who sent the Christmas card. The next week move to the next Christmas card for the display for prayer.
Praying for People God Has Brought Across Your Path. Every day we see and interact with different people who God brings along our path. When your family gathers around the dinner table, take a few minutes to think over the day, remember who God brought across your path, and pray for them.
Through prayer, our families can bring others before God seeking Him to work in the circles of people, He has blessed us with. We can be both a blessing and an encouragement to our circles.
-Dr. Ben Birdsong
Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham
Writer and Speaker