Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Prayer Screensavers

It’s time to clean up my Prayer Screensaver file again. This past month I have lost four of my friends and family who have gone home to be with the Lord whose faces have been on my prayer screensaver. 
What is a Prayer Screensaver?  It is close-up photos of my friends that I am particularly praying for. Usually they get on my screensaver because they have asked me to pray for them over a particular and specific matter. I then pray for them in person and ask them if I can take their picture with my cell phone to put on my Prayer Screensaver.  When I return home I put their photo into a file and point my computer screensaver to that file. Whenever my computer keyboard is not used for three minutes my screensaver file kicks in bringing before me the individual faces of people I am praying for.  Their face is held on the screen for 5-8 seconds then it cycles to the next person. It is a wonderful way to remember people in prayer.

This all began a few years ago when my church family grew exponentially to over 500 people and I was having trouble remembering their names let alone remembering to pray for them. I began taking photos of people who meet me at the altar for prayer or those who come to me for counseling. I always tell them why I would like to take their photo and what I am going to do with it. I have yet to have anyone say, ‘no’ to being on my Prayer Screensaver.  I found that this helped me get to know my congregation better and carry them in my heart daily. When our flock reached 1,500 people I could still say I knew 90 percent of them by name, and most I knew something significant about their lives that I periodically prayed for.

The Apostle Paul must have had a prayer list like a screensaver in his brain. The often said to the people he wrote to, “I give thanks to God upon every remembrance of you, making mention of you in my prayers…”  (Ephesians 1:16)  This is more than simply praying over a list. Paul waited for the Holy Spirit to bring a person to his mind (his screensaver) and whenever they came to mind he would pray specific prayers for them. 

It has been amazing over the past five years to see how God orchestrates my screensaver to bring people’s faces to mind at the right time. Often one person’s face is randomly brought on to my screen over and over again. I take that as a cue that the Lord is calling on me to pray for them. So, I pause and lift them up before my Father in heaven. Often I will see those people later in the week and let them know that they were heavy on my heart on such a day and hours. It is amazing how often it is at that hour they were in some particular need.

Some people stay on my Prayer Screensaver for a year or until God answers their particular request. Others are then for only a month. About every six months I update my Prayer Screensaver with new and updated photos and new faces I am praying over. 

I keep files of people I have prayed for so I can pull them back into my screensaver whenever I sense God leading me to do so. I have files of my Brazilian friends, files of my immediate family, church families, individuals in crisis, sick people, close friends, and people who have shared very private personal prayer requests with me.

There are times in my devotions when I sit in my devotional chair away from my desk and pray for each person as their face appears on the screen until my heart is satisfied that I have carried their burden to the Lord.

Scripture References:

Ephesians 1:16 
I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

1 Thessalonians 1:2
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

Philemon 1:4 
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,