The "Scrubbing Floors" Side of Prayer

I continue to feel like God is using Paul Miller’s book A Praying Life in significant ways in my spiritual journey at the top of this new year.

That’ true for a variety of reasons, one of which has to do with the balance of his approach between a kind of prayer-without-ceasing-lifestyle approach to intercession along side a disciplined-planned-scheduled approach to this all important spiritual discipline.

He uses a helpful analogy on p. 224 to make his point that both matter:

Remember, life is both holding hands and scrubbing floors. It is both being and doing. Prayer journals or prayer cards are on the “scrubbing floors” side of life. Praying like a child is on the “holding hands” side of life. We need both.

Last Sunday in my message I challenged us to apply Acts 20:32 by making some prayer cards for the most important people in our lives. I read one of the guidelines Miller gives for doing this effectively. Here is the entire list:

  1. The card functions like a prayer snapshot of a person’s life, so I use short phrases to describe what I want.
  2. When praying, I usually don’t linger over a card for more than a few seconds. I just pick out one or two key area and pray for them.
  3. I put the Word to work by writing a Scripture verse on the card that expresses my desire for that particular person or situation.
  4. The card doesn’t change much. Maybe once a year I will add another line. These are just the ongoing areas in a person’s life that I am praying for.
  5. I usually don’t write down answers. They are obvious to me since I see the card almost every day.
  6. I will sometimes date a prayer request by putting the month/year as in 08/07.

Before this week is out, how about doing some floor scrubbing of the most important kind by coming up with at least a couple of prayer cards for the most significant people in your life?

May we be doers of the word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:22).

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