It's your church prayer list. So what?

Does your church have a prayer list?  What am I saying?  Of course your church does.  Your church prays, and prays together.

Is your prayer list helpful?  Do people from your church take time to read the names of the people on the list, or just pray for the list?  Have you ever prayed, "Lord, here's my list" and trusted that God "knows their names and situations"?  Oh, me neither.

But I have heard of others that do that.  First off, in and of itself, that is not a bad thing, necessarily.  Those are a lot of names to fill such a small space.  Whoever prints that lists tries to get the most bang for their bulletin buck.  No wonder they are printed in the smallest size.  Holy-pot-luck-brownie-points to your church if you do not italicize your list just to save room.  Only heathens would do something like that--probably Methodists.  Still, who could remember everything everyone is going through.  Oh, I know some people who can!  But that is a sermon by itself.

Let's be real.  The prayer list is kind of long.  However, it is your church and your church's prayer concerns.  So, you should be using it.  Excuse me while I remove a log from my eye real quick.


I even suspected that people from our church did not fully utilize our prayer list. Methodists!  The list kept growing and growing.  Apparently, our "Lord, hear our prayer" was not loud enough.  Okay, maybe it was that people stopped paying attention to the list.  Now, I have seen prayer lists printed on flyers.  Not the kind of flyers that get stuffed into hymnals or recycled with the bulletins.  No, those are for the church garage sale announcements.  I'm talking about the kind of flyers people always want to keep until next Sunday.  I have also seen them in the bulletin.  Usually, the names are in the back, right next to the announcements.  It is a good thing people always pay attention to the announcements.  Whew!  Now they will definitely see the prayer list.

Our church did all that, too.  Until last week.  First, I updated the list myself, deleting names I knew could be taken off without the threat of holy terror.  I know we can always use more prayer, but you know have valuable bulletin space is!  Then I moved the prayer list's position in the bulletin.  Before, I thought, it was pretty close to the worship action.  You could see it if you have the bulletin open, and everyone wants to make sure they catch everything in the bulletin.  Not quite.

So, I made the list part of the order of worship.  Right under the heading Prayers of the Church is the, guess what, prayers of the church.  And?  After the worship service I had eight names given to me to take off the list.  See?  Sometimes we just have to help people pay attention.  You can view the bulletin here.

How can you help your church pay better attention to what matters?

Lord, hear our prayer.

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