I keep a small prayer booklet on my desk. Each day I like to list a few folks that I want to pray for because they are going through something big or because I thought of them or because they are in the news or because I miss them or because they have played an important role in my life. The first person that I list each day is my daughter. It really is an automatic for me to pray over her and requires absolutely no thought or scratching of my head. However, one of the reasons that I started my prayer book was specifically to get into a mode where I purposefully and intentionally think beyond myself. I feel it important to regularly recognize others and lift them up in prayer.
I have found that most days it is easy for me to list a couple of folks whose names have alighted upon my mind. However, I have also noticed that when I am going through a funk, a bit of melancholia, or when something is bothering me, that I really struggle to find names to include on my list. It seems like I am so taken with me and my issues that I develop a sort of spiritual writer's block. Try as I might to think of someone, anyone to list, my mind is a barren wasteland. I have zoomed in upon myself to such a degree that it seems nothing else is able to enter my field of view. However, instead of heaping further coals upon my head by beating myself up, I have been trying to lift my myopia up in prayer. I ask humbly for the Lord to open my eyes and my heart and to use me.
... in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)