The sixth step in Matthew Kelley’s prayer process is remembering Others: “Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.” I believe most people have a litany of names, remembering people to pray with and for many reasons whether health, job, life issues or just remembering people in gratitude. When we are focused more on others, we keep our lives in perspective. Life is not all about me and is not all about you. It is about being in relationship to grow in love of the Lord and be open to the Lord’s love and mercy for us.
Who is on your prayer list? Who is the first person you lift up in prayer? Who is the last person you lift up in prayer? I start with my family, my brothers and sister and their families, remember friends who have asked for prayer. Bringing their issue or concern to God at the beginning of the day is the way I often start my daily prayer. There is no lack of issues or personal concerns among all the people I know including parishioners and all the people you think of in your daily lives that enter into my prayer.
Besides praying for health concerns, praying for job availability and personal concerns where are the prayers of gratitude for people who are a blessing to us? Who are the people who receive us “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health”, who are willing to listen to us, support us, so that we can be the better version of ourselves? There is the essential petitionary prayer and there are the other forms of prayer to God, praise, thanksgiving, contrition, adoration and more.
So may our daily prayer include these characteristics: Gratitude, Awareness, Significant Moments, Peace, Freedom, and remembering Others. And then we can gather all of those thoughts together and pray the Our Father. This is one process for daily prayer. Fundamentally, it is out of gratitude that we can respond to the Lord, serve Christ, and make a difference in our world. It is a steward’s way of living.
Blessings, Father Larry Hendel