March 16: "I'll keep you in my prayers" -- and I really will

I'm sitting down at the computer with few ideas this morning and a jam-packed day ahead of me (including an evening event -- watching middle schoolers put on the play "Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- which will either be fantastically wonderful or full of awkward moments), but wanting to slice, because today is MORE than half-way, and I don't want to lose my momentum!

Here's a personal bit about our family...

We have a small book (tiny -- maybe 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches), made of plain white paper and an orange cover, that we use to write down all of the people we say we'll pray for. So often, I see a post on Facebook or get a text from a friend, sharing difficult news -- a sick parent, a miscarriage, a challenge with a teenager's choices, a heartache. And sometimes, the prayer request is bigger -- for our nation, for families experiencing racism and police violence, for travelers. For many years, I just said "You're in my prayers." or "I'll keep you in my prayers." And I did. Usually. Sometimes. You know, good intentions and all...

But now, I've gotten in the habit of writing it down in the "prayer book" after I send the text, make the post, say the words. It's created a small but important ritual for our family... adding the names, and then reading the names every so often during dinner (the full book). It can be sad in a very personal way: a prayer for my father-in-law and his memory unit caregivers always brings an aching, as we lost him last December. There are also far-away sadnesses: a child of a friend who waited years for a lung transplant -- they received their miracle, but her frail body did not accept the lungs and this bright 20 year-old young woman died. It's been comforting to know that when I say "I'll keep you in my prayers" that I really will. Such a small phrase that I repeat pretty often (32 times, by count of our book in the past 15 months), and this book has stood the test of time, reminding us of the promise of our prayers.

I am finding, as I skim through it, that I often ask for help/healing/grace/peace but not as many prayers of gratitude. Perhaps I need to create another little book of celebration prayers... we're lucky to have much joy in our lives, too.


  1. What a wonderful idea! How many times we say that phrase, but forget to follow through. "And I did. Usually. Sometimes. You know, good intentions and all..." This line says it all. I'm going to "steal" your idea for my early morning prayer time. Thank you for your post!

  2. I love your prayer book. What a lovely way to follow through on a promise to keep someone in your prayers! Good luck at the play tonight. I've attended many middle school plays - hope this one is fantastically wonderful.


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