Originally posted in http://www.aroundthetable.flemings.in/2014/07/my-rotating-audio-prayer-list.html. We thank Sharon for allowing us to re-post her excellent article.
When we were missionaries in Colombia my husband and I tried to take time each day to pray in-depth together. We both wanted to get some exercise, too, so we loaded our youngest into a stroller and walked around and around our neighbourhood, praying out loud with each other.
At one point he came down with mononucleosis and couldn’t walk with me for about a month, so I did our prayer walks alone–although I prayed silently. Stepping out of our gated community became synonymous with prayer for me and I would often find myself praying as I walked some where before I even realized I was praying. Oh to be like that always!
When we moved back to the states my husband started keeping office hours, so, if the weather cooperated, I could walk the mile to the office with him and then back praying by myself. But I found that whenever I was alone my mind would often wander and I would waste some of that precious time I could have spent in prayer.
That’s when I got the idea to make an audio prayer list. Besides, I had that old MP3 player that I didn’t use for anything! So I wrote down lists of people, places, and ministries that I wanted to pray for and recorded them in sections of 14 or 16 names. I would say the name and then pray silently for about 30 seconds and then say the next name.
This way when I went for my walk, I would listen. I knew I only had 30 seconds to pray for this topic before the next one would come, so I used those seconds well.
Since we have the privilege of travelling as part of our ministry, I believe I have the responsibility to pray for the places and people we meet along the way. So I have more things to pray for than I could get through in a 30 or even 45 minute walk. I wanted to pray for my family members every day, so I copied that list multiple times and interspersed it with the other lists.
Now every day I pray for my family first and then two other prayer lists. Because there are many lists now, my prayer list “rotates.” I don’t always pray for the same people on the same day of the week, but I get through most of the list in a week and pray for my family every day.
This “system” has worked well for me for several years now. I’m always looking for ways to improve my prayer life, so I don’t expect to stay with this forever. But perhaps it will help you whether you exercise or not while praying. I have a friend who listens to her prayer list when she drives!
Let me know the best way for you to pray!