At our Create in Me retreat, one of the subthemes was invitation, specifically, miracle as invitation. We looked for ways to work invitation into our retreat.
We always have a campfire/talent show the last night, and there's a price of admission, which is usually something created during the retreat and often worn. One year we did hats, one year ears, and one year we had costumes.
This year, people created magnets, with invitations to prayer. So, I'd create one for myself that said, "You are invited to pray for Kristin, that she have extra patience." Or whatever I'd like a prayer for. We had a paper decorating drop in station, with all sorts of embellishments and peel and stick magnets.
At the start of the Saturday night program, we dropped the invitations in baskets. At the end, we each took one that wasn't our own. The idea is to put them on our refrigerators so that we remember to pray.
It's been amazingly effective. We often offer prayers as we say grace before the meals that we eat in our kitchen. I pray in the morning while putting the dishes away as I wait for the coffee to brew. When I'm out, even if I can't remember the specific prayers, I remember the look of the invitation, and I pray for those who made the invitations that are on my fridge and for all others who need prayers for issues they face.
It's been so effective that I've wondered about other applications. The other night, when our pastor asked Church Council members how we could transform ourselves into a community that prays more, I thought about this exercise. Could we do this on a weekly basis? I'm more likely to remember to pray for you if I have a fridge magnet reminding me. I feel somewhat bad about admitting this, but there it is. I suspect I'm not the only one.
I have a vision of baskets or bags of art materials that we give out as people enter church. They could create the magnets as the service progresses or there could be a separate time. The ushers could collect prayer invitations with the offering. The baskets of prayer invitation magnets could be in the back for people to take with them so that we remember to pray for each other through the coming week.
I like this idea too, for individual prayer. I like the idea of creating illustrated prayer lists and attaching them someplace prominent. I like the visual reminder to pray. I like the idea of keeping them as a record. I like the idea of going back periodically and seeing all the ways that God has answered my prayers.