It's OK to have priorities in prayer. You aren't going to be able to pray about everything in the world every time you pray. You have to decide what things deserve to be prayed about every single day, and what things you will pray for less frequently -- maybe once or twice each week.
After a while, you will identify things that should go at the top of your prayer list, and things that are lower priority items. Arrange your notes so that if your time is limited, you will at least pray for the people and things that are most important every single day. Then, as often as you possibly can, pray for EVERYTHING in your notes, even the lowest priority things. You should be able to do that several times each week.
When I do not have enough time to pray all my prayers, I pray for those that have highest priority first. I will never stop praying as diligently as I am able. I am absolutely committed to make intercession for everyone who is near and dear to me. Remember Samuel. His conviction about his responsibility as an intercessor ran deep in his soul, and as a result, he changed his world.
I think I feel Samuel's sentiments exactly. God forbid that I should sin against Him by failing to pray for those that I am responsible to pray for! I want to -- I must -- faithfully fulfill this responsibility. I want to daily, faithfully, present these people to Him in earnest and expectant prayer.
Your prayer life will go through seasons. Things that you feel great urgency for today will eventually be relieved. Some things will cease to be a prayer priority after a while. God will answer many of your prayers, and you will no longer need to pray about them. Other situations will change, and you will no longer want to pray as you did about them.
Meanwhile, some of your lowest priorities will move up the list and become more important, possibly urgent. This is a natural course. Respect it. Adjust your prayers and your prayer notes accordingly.
From time to time, reorganize your notes. You may have to rewrite them or at least edit them, if they are in a computer document. This is a WORTHWHILE expenditure of time. Don't consider this a drudgery or try to avoid it. If you want to maintain your effectiveness as an intercessor, you have to continually adjust your priorities. If you are still praying with a three-month-old prayer list, you are not being effective.
I am expecting to see Jesus face-to-face some day, and when I do, I want to have everyone I love right there with me. I already know that if I don't earnestly pray for them between now and then, it just isn't going to happen. Your loved ones aren't going to be saved without a battle.
I have heard a lot of people say that there will be no tears in heaven. They use that idea to console themselves that they won't even remember all the loved ones that didn't make it. Surely, heaven would not be so free of sorrow if we were mindful of all our loved ones who went to hell.
But, I am not so sure that there won't be any tears in heaven. I've looked pretty diligently through the scriptures, and I don't find that statement in the Bible. What I have found is that God will wipe all tears from our eyes.
That's a big difference. There WILL be tears in heaven, but God will wipe them from our eyes. So, why will there be tears in heaven? Maybe, just maybe, there will be a moment of silence when we all reflect on those who foolishly squandered their opportunity to be saved. You don't have to fall out with me if you don't agree with that statement, but my point is that I feel we are far too unconcerned about making intercessory prayers for our loved ones.
I know this for a fact. I don't want any of my children in hell. I don't want any of my grandchildren in hell. I don't know how I could bear the thought that I brought somebody into the world, then didn't give them the support I could have given to see to it that they made heaven their eternal home.
If you have lost children, I don't mean to be harsh. God knows you are probably suffering enough to see them neglecting God. And I do realize that ultimately, every man is going to have to give account for himself before God. The reality is that we can't MAKE anybody get saved, including our own children. But we can surely pray our hearts out for them in the hopes that God will find a way to talk sense to them before it's too late.
If I didn't think God could do miracles like that, I WOULDN'T PRAY! The very fact that I do pray for people is a vote of confidence that God is not only able, but also willing to do what I ask of Him.
Set your priorities. Group all your prayer notes by priorities. You should have one group of things on your prayer list that you pray for every single day.
You can do a LOT of praying in 30-45 minutes if you pray with notes. It is NOT impossible or even impractical to pray for hundreds of people every single day, if you set your mind to it. Somewhere along the line, you just have to get it into your belief system that you really are capable of becoming a major intercessor and a true prayer warrior -- the kind that gets things done with God! Never say never. You can do it.
You may have three or four or five categories of priorities. You may have five or ten pages of notes that you pray through every day. You may have another five or ten pages that you pray through every other day. Then you may have another group of notes that you pray through once a week, or even once a month.
No matter how you organize your prayers, you will become a much more effective prayer warrior just because of the effort. You don't have to do it my way. I don't have to do it somebody else's way. Just make up your mind you are going to the next level with your praying, and you will.