SET THE ALARM!
The Shabbat candles had been lit, the glasses of wine had been poured and two loaves of freshly baked Challah bread sat warmly under the Shabbat cloth in the center of the table. Then the cell phone began to buzz in the middle of the Shabbat prayer. We were seated around the table at the beginning of a lovely Shabbat meal of succulent lamb and roasted potatoes at the home of Colin and Nancy Campbell.
I quickly arose and searched through Cindy's purse to find the cell phone, turning it off while explaining that we set the alarm to remember to pray for our family every night.
Over the years we found that distance from our now grown children who live in other states, and the busyness of our daily schedules had allowed us to slip into overlooking a significant privilege that we are afforded as parents. Prayer. We would on occasion find ourselves in prayer for them and their families... but usually in response to a specific request.
One day a friend told us how he would set an alarm on his cell phone and that it reminded him to pray for his family at a designated time...every day! We decided to try it.
Regardless of where we might travel or what other distractions arise along the way... the cell phone alarm is a faithful reminder of the tremendous power of designated, intentional prayer. Whether we pray at that exact moment or after our dinner or engagement... it is a helpful alert. The alarm first rings on Cindy's phone and then seconds later it rings on mine and we can enter in, whether we are together or separate, to a meaningful release of intercession and thanksgiving to God for our children.
As we began to act upon this opportunity we found that our hearts and minds recall the thoughts of the day that we had toward our loved ones. It has been easy to cover a number of areas in prayer as well as focus on whatever they are going through in a season of time.
We often find ourselves praying for God's presence to draw them to Himself, that our children and their children would be full of a desire for truth and God's love, that God's protection and provision will overshadow them.
Of course, there is no need to limit prayer to the immediate children. We have found that as we get started we also pray for our parents, siblings, nephews and nieces and others.
To have this divine interruption during the day has helped us become committed and more consistent in calling on God for His grace during these times of upheaval and transition.
May we encourage you to take advantage of a simple tool? If you don't know how to set your cell phone alarm...your service provider will assist you. Believe me, it is worth the effort and will enhance your passion for this discipline.
JERRY AND CINDY BRYANT
Nashville, Tennessee, USA