By Mary Byers
I have a confession to make: I'm not the best at remembering to pray for others. For years this has kept me from saying, "I'll pray for you," even if I planned to do so. I was afraid I'd forget and I didn't want to disappoint or be a hypocrite. Yet lately there's been plenty to pray about in my role as a leader, whether at work, home or in my volunteer activities. As the need for prayer has increased, my desire to make this a priority has grown. Maybe the strategies I've devised to help me remember to pray for my leadership team will be helpful as you lead yours.
Prayer walking/running. Any time I'm walking or running, I try to remember to start a conversation with God. Yesterday during a brisk jog, I prayed for two friends with cancer, a child's academic performance, two others who experienced the death of a family member, and the parent council I work with at church. I've also prayed my way through the grocery store and on a walk around the block recently.
In the car. For years I've practiced the art of starting each drive with 5 minutes of silence. I've trained myself not to reach for the radio knob or the ability to make calls hands-free. In the past I've used this time to clear my head. Now I'm using it to pray for those I lead with. The digital clock in my car makes it easy to track time. Often, I'm pleased to see that I've prayed for more than these 5 minutes.
12:34. A friend shared that she prays every time she sees 12:34 on any digital clock. When I adapted this practice, I assumed I'd mostly be praying during the day. Now that I have teens, however, I'm surprised how often I find myself praying in the wee hours of the morning.
Prior to meetings. Leading a team often requires hosting meetings or preparing agendas. Before I do either now I try to bow my head and quickly visualize and pray for those who will be in the meeting.
The above ideas aren't intended to replace regular prayer time. They are simply ideas to help busy leaders remember and embrace the power of prayer in all the leadership roles they hold (whether prayer comes easily or not!).
Mary Byers is the managing editor of FullFill and the author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations. She helps organizations remain both relevant and sustainable.