Have You Reached a Milestone? There’s a Prayer for That!

Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and more all can be acknowledged prayerfully.

Posted in , Feb 24, 2020

Milestone prayers

When meaningful events happen in our lives, we can acknowledge the occasion with prayer (and speak to future generations) with just a little effort and mindfulness.

When the people of Israel crossed the river Jordan (which parted for them, as the Red Sea had a generation earlier) and entered their “promised land,” God told Joshua, their leader, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight” (Joshua 4:2-3, NIV). 

So, they did just that, and that cairn of stones stood for generations, reminding those who saw it “that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord” (Joshua 4:7, NIV).

Perhaps we don’t mark such milestone moments the way that long-ago (and perhaps not-so-long-ago) people did. But maybe we should. 

What are the meaningful moments you can mark with a milestone prayer? Here are several suggestions: 

The next time a birthday is celebrated in your family, before the candles are blown out, take a moment for prayer (and maybe even place your hands on the birthday person’s head). In your prayer, give thanks for the preceding years and ask for specific blessings to visit that person in the coming year (you may even want to place one or more of the candles somewhere as a reminder of your prayer).

Occasions such as wedding anniversaries and job anniversaries are usually celebrated with a meal, maybe a card. But for you and those who are important to you? Why not mark the moment with prayer, perhaps also giving a symbolic memento to the celebrants? 

Sure, buy a gift for that high school or college graduate. But you might also (or instead) write a prayer, make a bookmark of your prayer, or find some other way to prayerfully bless the graduate and commemorate his or her accomplishment and commencement of a new phase in life.    

We get sick, and (we hope) get better, too. Whether the healing is miraculous or with the help of modern medicine (or some combination of the two), maybe it’s a good idea to prayerfully mark those moments of healing and recovery. Like an AA sobriety coin. Or a hospital bracelet. Or a pressed flower from a “get well” arrangement. Something that makes us pause and say, “We remember. Thank you.”

A friend of mine once courageously left a solid, well-paying career to accept a ministry position. At his ordination, I gave him five smooth stones I had selected (like those the boy David collected before facing Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:40). Each stone represented a prayer of mine for him and his ministry—for integrity, initiative, industry, investment and indomitability. I think he still has them; but either way, I’ve seen those prayers answered.

There’s no better way to mark your milestones than with prayer, and with symbols that will repeatedly prompt prayer. And it’s never too late to start.  

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