I am aware that many of you have an aversion to writing out prayer lists. And I understand that this may not be your best way of praying on a regular basis. But I want to suggest using prayer lists to stretch your prayer life. You may want to do this as a temporary experiment. Choose a certain period of time, say a day, a week or a month. Then ask God to lead you to people you should pray for each day for the time allotted.1. Stretch the selflessness of your prayers.
When I make formal prayer requests I include people that are hard for me to pray for. I put people on my list who I believe are wrong, or some who sin in ways that offend me most. I put people on my prayer list that I am having trouble forgiving or loving. I pray daily for these hard-to-love people stretching the compassion and faithfulness of my prayer life.2. Stretch the time of your praying.
When I start listing people I need to pray for, my list grows quickly. It takes time to pray for all these people and needs. And spending more time in direct communion with God is good for me. This may be the most difficult part of such an exercise. To have more time for prayer you may have to rise earlier in the morning. You may need to spend your lunch hour in prayer. You will have to skip TV shows and other time consuming activities.3. Stretch the purpose of your prayers.
By making prayer lists you will stretch your prayers beyond your own personal needs, interests and concerns. This kind of prayer presses you to pray for greater things in the purpose and plans of God.4. Stretch the faith of your prayers.
I find that praying beyond my comfort zone stretches my faith in what God is able and willing to do when I pray.