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Praying for Others

Today’s Reflection

WE ARE NOT MEANT to travel through life alone. We are meant to encourage one another, to pray for one another, and to love one another. When we hear of someone facing a particular struggle, we often respond by saying, “You’ll be in my prayers.” But how often do we remember to hold this person in our prayers? We so easily say those well-meaning words only to let the action fall through the cracks and disappear into the busyness of life.

I have found the process of coloring the intercessory prayer mandala to be an especially helpful way to hold myself accountable to praying intentionally for others. Contemplative coloring provides much needed focus for my frequently scattered heart and mind. The intercessory prayer mandala includes small interior circles in which I can write the names of those for whom I’m praying. As I color, I hold each person in my heart and mind. In this way, I offer my undivided, prayerful attention as a gift to those I hold in prayer.

– Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Praying with Mandalas

From pages 48-49 of Praying with Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What helps you focus when you pray for others? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow.
Genesis 21:20, NRSV

This Week: pray for compassion. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Thomas More (June 22).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jill June 19, 2017, 5:34 am

    Last week while at the beach, I took time each day while sitting in my beach chair to focus on the waves. With my eyes closed – at the sound of each breaking wave – I mentally mentioned a name of a person I was holding in prayer. It was like rapid fire prayer, compared to my usual intercessory prayer. I had never done this before, but after the first day – I returned to it each subsequent day. I am not sure how I can replicate this while at home.
    Father, thank You for Your surrounding, abounding love.
    Father’s Day lunch and afternoon was very enjoyable. We sure seem to laugh a lot – so good for the soul. These times with the five of us – you never know when it will be the last time. My sister’s birthday is in 2 weeks – and we have plans to gather for that – the five of us. Each time must be embraced.

  • robert moeller June 19, 2017, 6:01 am

    Jill’s comment about not knowing when a get together will be the last reminded me of the 17th, the day Mom passed away, the day Daryl, Anneliese’s son, was born, and a former holiday celebrating the unification of Germany. Yesterday I remembered my Dad and grandfathers. I’m 70 now, closer to the end than the beginning. Thankfully, I’m doing well, my ankle is recovering. Expecting more joys to come.

    Staying focused while praying is a task. The mandala tries to help with this. I’m concerned that the coloring might be a distraction. I do need to do better about praying for others. Being held accountable will be a new focus of the congregation I belong to. Staying on the straight and narrow is a life long task.

    Compassion – sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
    “the victims should be treated with compassion”
    synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance,
    kindness, humanity, charity
    “have you no compassion for a fellow human being?”

    Biblical compassion – Search Results
    It might be different than what you’ve heard before. It’s so much more than simply feelings of empathy or care. Based on the Latin roots of the word, the meaning of compassion is to “suffer with.” … The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others, then take action to help.

    I found these simple definitions helpful.

    Prayers of thanks for a new week, a new day. Thankful for the UR where we share our hearts, minds, and souls with the Lord and each other. Peace be with you.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 19, 2017, 6:51 am

    I have a prayer journal and a fixed time to pray for others. Of course i also pray throughout the day. May God bless all intercessors!

  • Betsy June 19, 2017, 7:36 am

    I like the praying with the tides, Jill. As I begin my beach vacation this week, I’ll give that a try. My morning time is still my quiet time to reflect and lift up others in prayer. That is when my mind is at it’s clearest and I feel close to God.

  • Julie June 19, 2017, 7:45 am

    I enjoy coloring but have never used it as a method of prayer. I believe it would be very helpful. Coloring requires very little thought and is very therapeutic and calming. I havefound that by haviing a set time each day to pray I am able to maintain my prayer life and include all
    for whom I am praying.
    Still battling knee pain – was doing better and for some reason have experienced a set back which is very frustrating.
    Prayers for Erich as he returns to his new job and prayers for Robert’s ankle.
    Prayers and Blessings for all our special UR community.

  • Edy June 19, 2017, 10:36 am

    I pray using The Circle of Prayer. It is a huge drawn circle that names are added as the need arises. Iam part of a ladies prayer group called ” The daughters of the King” wehave a box in the narthex of our church where the congregation writes down their prayer requests. This is kept very confidential as we as daughters took a vow to pray for needs of others and strict confidentiality is abided by. On the circle ( in my home where only I can see) I privately pray while writing down the names of others in my circle. I also color scripture cards which also helps me focus on others and Lectio Davina contemplative prayer on my I pad. I hope these ideas help all of us not forget how important prayer is.

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