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Sticky Notes

Posted by Family Ministries on with 2 Comments

This season as I have been reflecting on Lent and the time of preparation for Easter, I was struck by a passage of scripture that has always stung a bit. It is when Jesus goes to Gethsemane with Peter, James and John for the specific purpose of praying for what Jesus is about to endure on the cross. In Matthew 26:36-46 the story unfolds of Jesus’ desire for his disciples to join him in prayer. According to The Message, Jesus told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” That’s pretty simple and straight-forward: You stay; I’ll pray.  Jesus continues, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.” All they really had to do was stay awake and keep Jesus company; to watch and pray.

So what happens? Yep, they fall asleep. Granted the hour was late and they did just have a big meal, but this is Jesus and he is seeking the comfort and company of his closest companions. He wanted them to join him in this time of deep prayer and suffering before the cross. And not once, twice, but three times Jesus returns to find his friends fast asleep. And then he says those words that sting like a slap on my face although in my mind Jesus doesn’t angrily yell but rather softly entreats: “Could you not watch with me one hour?” Ouch. Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? (The Message.)

So this is where the rub is; this is where it stings. I know that Jesus wants me to pray; I know that I should commit myself to prayer. But when it comes down to it, do I just agree to go along with Jesus like the disciples but fail to follow through? Do I fall asleep in my duties, in my privilege to pray? Sadly, yes. Too many times my heart and intentions have been right but my follow through fails. Like the disciples I can have my excuses, but is that really what I want to give Jesus? Excuses?

So I have adopted a practice that has helped me tremendously with my follow through in prayer. It’s not new or particularly original but it works for me. It’s sticky notes. Throughout the day I am in contact with many people and often I am prompted to say to them that I will be praying for them. So to keep my words from just being lip service, I write down their name on a sticky note that I keep in the space between my phone and computer at work. I don’t write anything else except their name.

Throughout the workday I repeatedly see the names on my sticky note and I have learned to stop, to slow down and to pray right then. It may not be for an hour, but it is frequent and sincere. And the more often I see their name, the more often I pray for them. And now when I am away from that desk, I will have a mental image of all of the names on that note and I will continue to lift them up.

 I still battle like the disciples, with having a spirit that is willing and flesh that is weak. Or as The Message puts it: “There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire” Mt. 26:41. I don’t want to be that lazy old dog, comfortable in my spot and oblivious to the needs of others. So I’m going to hang on to my sticky notes practice of prayer. Sticky notes may not be fancy, but for me they are a tangible way of reminding me to stick to my promise to pray.

Susan Mitchell
Family Ministries Coordinator



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Julie Brown March 24, 2017 6:35pm

What a great reminder! Thank you Susan.

Ruth March 25, 2017 8:17am

Love this idea, Susan! Thank you for sharing.