Don Cobb
February 18, 2013
A prayer list? What's that?
By Don Cobb

Having been introduced to God "as we understood Him" nearly 22 years ago (but who's counting? Oh yea, obviously *I* am), and particularly since my one-on-one with Jesus just prior to my youngest being born nearly 15 years ago, I can't tell you how many times I've used the phrase, and always sincerely so: "I will pray for you." Hundreds, more like thousands of times, those words came out of my mouth whenever someone I care about, or someone who I care about cares about, needed or wanted prayer about circumstances in their life.

Some have been easier to remember than others, like my friend Manuel's Mom, who indeed experienced a miraculously successful recovery I'm told. But so many prayer requests and prayer intentions have fallen by the mental wayside amidst the mental clutter of now 57 years of a mind just chock-full of memories and valuable information, dontcha' know. How many times have I run back into someone, and only then remembered "I'm supposed to be praying for them!" (Rhetorical question, really ;-) ) So what is a self-appointed Prayer Warrior like myself supposed to do?!?

The answer is simple. I finally figured it out and it only took years to find this solution: I made a prayer list. Done. How quickly that list has grown long, in such a very short time as I've committed to adding everyone to my prayer list, whenever prayer is in order. No longer do I say "I'll pray for you about this" but rather "I'll put you on my Prayer List." And it's working. Thanks to texting, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I always have time – when I hear those words come out of my mouth once again – to text myself that which needs to go onto my prayer list. Now I never forget to pray for folks. Never. Seriously, do you know how good it feels to make that statement, knowing that it's true?

So many beneficial things have come about as a result of committing my prayers to paper, not the least of which is that I get to take them OFF of my Prayer List when I get the report that "They've been healed!" or "God took care of that for us!" or the any-number-of praise reports I get about answered prayers. I do not remove anyone from my prayer list, however, but only remove the reference to their particular malady. I keep them on my list in order to continue praying for them, for abundance, for good fortune, for financial security and for eyes and ears to see and hear the Lord's leadings and prompts.

Not only do I get to hear more praise reports about answered prayer and what God is doing in other people's lives, but I am now able to check back in with people because I've seen their name and their concern on my Prayer List for days or weeks or months. I'm very well aware of virtually everyone for whom I intended to pray, which wasn't the case before I began committing prayer requests to paper. It is awesome (yes, awesome) to be able to check back with those who have been sick or who had what appeared to be temporary concerns, to ask them "How is THAT going now?" This Prayer List has increased my awareness about the needs of those I care about, and has increased my prayer life, as well.

I don't believe that I'm the only person who is hearing more praise reports than I used to, nor am I the only one who is privy to more stories of encouragement than before. I say that with assurance, because I am sharing some of these incredible success stories and answered prayer with others. How could I not? Of course I only do so with my friends' permission. It's never okay to share someone's medical problems or family problems with others unless one has permission to do so.

But even that aspect alone, that I'm hearing about what God is doing is all of my friends' lives, is more than worth the time and effort it's taken to put this prayer list together. My own faith has been rocketed exponentially onto a whole, other level as I hear again and again about prayers being answered, or how God uses other people in order to answer someone else's prayers.

While hearing that someone's prayers are being answered is in and of itself a truly amazing and a major faith builder, but hearing how the Lord answers prayer after prayer, in sometimes the most extraordinary and unexpected ways – THOSE are oftentimes simply mindblowing and eyerolling miracles that I would not have gotten to hear about if the Lord hadn't put this prayer list idea in my head.

I Recovered.net ~ I own and manage a website at http://iRecovered.net, designed and intended to share folks personal testimonies about how Life was, what happened when God intervened on their behalf and saved them from themselves and their addictions, and how their life is today, living a clean and sober lifestyle. I've invited many of my friends to submit their personal testimonies there so that I can share them with the world and perhaps reach others who are still trapped in their addictions, in the hope that they might be encouraged to try 12 Step recovery, or maybe just reading what Jesus has done for others might lead them to get on their knees and ask for similar interventions.

But so far, only one friend has submitted their testimony. (John N.'s testimony can be found at http://irecovered.net/john-n-santa-rosa-ca/) If you have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body through the Biblical-based 12 Steps (the 12 Steps were culled from the Bible by the founders of the original 12 Step group), overcoming addictions of any kind, please email me your testimony or post it in the group at http://irecovered.net/forum/ and I will see to it the world gets a chance to hear your story. Please follow this simple format: (1) How it was. (2) What happened. (3) How is your life today?

For those who are still trapped in their addictions, reading your story of recovery may be the thing that prompts a still-hopeless addict or alcoholic to get with the program, seek a sponsor and work the steps, so that they have a recovery story of their own one day.

God bless you until then...

© Don Cobb

 

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Don Cobb

Don Cobb, RAS is an addiction recovery professional and serves as Executive Director for North Bay Recovery Services in Sonoma County, CA. Don recently published a book entitled 12 Steps: NOT For Dummies... (more)

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