Act 36: Habit asked us: What generous action from the last 35 days do you want to make a habit?  Two generous actions have become a habit from the past two years of participating in 40acts.

A generous action from the first year I participated in 40acts is still a habit of mine.

Three years, there was an Act to be generous in prayer. (I think there is a prayer Act each year.) I knew there was a hole in my prayer life.  I knew where my prayers were stingy.  I knew who I wasn’t praying for.

I had some aspects of prayer covered.  Prayers of gratitude are the bedrock of my relationship with God – even in tough times.  When I’m struggling, I pray.  I will belt out my laments to God. When I know of a situation that is devastating or difficult, I take it to Jesus.  If someone is suffering, I hold them in the light of God’s countenance.

But, praying for people – people I love and care about – on a regular basis?  I never found a way to do that.  If you were doing reasonably well, I wasn’t praying for you. If you were confronting the ordinary challenges, triumphs, and hurts of everyday life, I was thinking about you, talking with you, but I wasn’t lifting up your joys and sorrows in prayer with any regularity.

I tried.  I read about the systems other people – and other pastors – used to pray for people regularly.  I created lists and started cards files and set up photos.  Sorry.  If you were doing reasonably well – confronting the ordinary challenges, triumphs, and hurts of everyday life – I wasn’t praying for you very often.

In the devotional on generous prayer that year, there was a link to PrayerMate.  I tried it and – let me tell you – you are prayed for!

I tossed everyone I wanted to be praying for into the app  – my family and friends, members of this congregation and others I have served.  PrayerMate brings you each up into my consciousness for prayer in a rotation I don’t have to worry about.  I don’t have to spend time figuring out which person “really needs it now”.  I don’t feel overwhelmed because it only gives me a few names at a time.  If I miss a day (or three),  there’s no judgment; I pick up where I left off.

Don’t say technology never does any good for humanity.  I am so grateful to be praying for those I am closest to, on a daily basis, because every day I love you and care about you and want God’s will to be done in your life.

Early this year, PrayerMate and/or my phone crashed in a way that made me lose all the names I had entered and the prayers that I had written for each of you.  But, it didn’t matter.  God had heard the prayers.  And, re-entering each of your names, I got to prayer for you all over again.

This reminds me, I need to pray for Andy Geers today.  He’s the developer of PrayerMate.