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On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

Prayer for Senior Moments

Here’s some prayer relief for Baby Boomer forgetfulness.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good for you. If you ever have those moments when you reach for a name or word that’s right there on the tip of your tongue only to find that when you try to say it your brain has gone blank, welcome to the club. Time and again I turn to my poor wife and give her clues, like in a game of charades, to help me come up with that name or word that should be so obvious.

At the same time, I keep reading these studies that show you can improve your brain power and expand your memory well into your 90s. How would I ever be able to do that; when would I have the time? Then it came to me: Use your prayer time.

Here’s what I tried. I had a Post-it note with the list of people I’ve promised to pray for. Instead of just looking at it and reading it, what if I closed my eyes and tried to reconstruct it? It would be both good for my memory and good for my prayer life.

“I won’t be able to remember all these names,” I thought. At first I didn’t. I’d have to go back and check the list, recovering a name. But I’ve found with time that my memory gets better, and each new name I add is a chance to both expand my spiritual horizons and jog my mind.

Yes, I still stumble over names and draw a blank sometimes. Call it a senior moment. Call it aging. I also call it an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.