“I pray for you every time I take out the trash!” My mom’s comment to my husband, Jon, seemed strange, so he asked her to explain. “You showed me how to put fresh trash bags at the bottom of the trash can, so they’re easy to grab when it’s time to take out the trash. Because you shared this tip with me, I pray for you every time I see those folded bags at the bottom of the can. It’s my 'Prayer Hook' for you!” And so the idea was birthed...—something tangible that reminds us to pray for those we love.
When my kids were little, I remember deciding that I would wake up before them to have my time with Jesus. I also remember sitting down with my hot coffee and Bible for my first sip and time in the Word when I would hear the pitter-patter of feet...that, which signaled my time alone was over. Some days with littles, I remember just praying out loud while I pushed the stroller in my neighborhood or reading a Bible story to my kids and thinking, “this is going to have to do for my devotions, too.” We can put so much pressure on ourselves and feel guilty for lack of margin to have intentional time with Jesus, can’t we? Yet, our relationship with our Heavenly Father can be natural, fluent, and sweet throughout our busy days.
Enter the prayer hook - - a simple reminder to pray. The trash bags in the bottom of the can reminded my mom to pray for my husband. Some prayer hooks for you might look like this: Choose a mug for your (much needed) coffee that a friend gave you. As you fill your cup, pray for your friend, asking the Lord to bless her and draw her to Himself. When you’re choosing a shirt to put on, you choose one your husband gave you for Christmas (you may have picked it out!). You can pray for the Lord to bring joy and intimacy to your marriage. When you walk outside, you glance at a stepping stone, your kids made as a gift for Mother’s Day. You pray for those children, thanking Jesus for the gift of being their mother, and ask Him for the grace and wisdom to parent them in a way that will show them Jesus!
My house is empty now... —it’s just my husband and me. These prayer hooks are still precious... I turn the lamps on every morning that sit on a table under my kids’ senior pictures. I pray for each of my children by name, asking the Lord to work in their hearts and to protect them. I see a bottle of orange juice and pray for Isaac or a bottle of apple juice and pray for Luke. Seeing a special piece of artwork on my counter reminds me to pray for the one who gave it to me. I even have lipgloss in my purse that reminds me to pray for a sweet friend. These simple reminders fill our days with prayer. We may even want to send a note or text to someone who comes to mind with a prayer hook.
Today, take time to pay attention to things you touch throughout the day and see who the Lord brings to mind. Maybe it will be a photo on your dresser, a towel in your kitchen drawer, a special pair of earrings, or a special blanket.
I pray you find joy in the simple things -, like taking out the trash - as they remind you to bring someone special to Jesus!
*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*
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Written by Missy Schrader
Missy Schrader has been married to her husband, Jon, for 26 years. They have three grown children. Missy loves connecting with young mommies and kids of all ages.