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A Good Place to Keep Your Prayers? In a Jar! | Guideposts
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A Good Place to Keep Your Prayers? In a Jar!

During the Advent season, here’s a way to enliven and encourage your prayer life.

Prayers in a jar
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Prayer is a powerful force for good. At Guideposts, we believe in the strength of prayer to bring comfort, hope, and healing. Your generous donation today will help us continue to share the power of prayer with those in need. Together, through prayer and support, we can make a difference.

There are a thousand ways to pray—at least. Some people kneel at their bedside to pray; some pray as they walk. Others pray with beads. Some even pray by texting on their cellphones

One more way to pray is with a “prayer jar.” And it can be especially meaningful during a significant season such as Advent. 

Any jar can be turned into a prayer jar. A mason jar, for example, or an old coffee canister. Some people decorate their prayer jar, an exercise that can itself be turned into an act of prayer. But whatever you use, there are numerous ways a prayer jar can encourage and enliven prayer for you. Let me suggest one way that can make the coming month a special blessing.

Once you’ve chosen a jar, gather the paper or card stock on which you’ll write your prayers. You might cut one-inch-by-six-inch strips of paper or use 3×5 note cards. The blank backs of business cards also work well.

Place the jar in a prominent place, where you’ll see it often (such as a kitchen table or bedroom nightstand). Keep the writing items next to it (or in a separate jar) so you can add prayers at any time.

Once that’s done, you’re ready to pray. When a hurting family member comes to mind, jot her name down on the paper or card, perhaps add a few words of entreaty (such as “help her, she’s so lonely”), and place it in the jar. When a friend calls with news of a health problem, add him to the jar. When you’re tempted to worry about a financial matter, write it down and place your request in the jar.

You might also add blessings and praises to the prayer jar as the days go by: a “thank you, God” for an unusually tasty meal or a visit from a niece or nephew or a simple expression of happiness (“my new glasses are in!”).

After you’ve filled your prayer jar with requests and praises, it can be a wonderful celebration to empty it, reviewing and recalling all that God has done in answer to your prayers. You might make that review time a Christmas Eve (or day-after-Christmas) exercise or incorporate it into your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day celebration. You might even find it so fun and helpful that you continue to use it—and maybe expand on it—in the coming year.

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