In my turn-of-the year cleanup, I found an old yearbook. I smiled as I read down the very long list of my resolutions for that year. I guess I had high expectations of myself!

This past year, I decided to make only three resolutions: Be more loving and encouraging, finish a major writing project I was working on and start a new one, and keep a prayer list.

To be loving and to finish projects are ongoing goals to strive for, but the decision to keep a prayer list has been a milestone. The first day I wrote all the things that were weighing on my heart. The next morning, I realized I had forgotten to include several of my relatives, and the following day, I remembered some other situations that needed prayer.

As time went on, I began adding pending events, like a driving license renewal or a medical checkup, as well as specific requests for family, friends, and associates—all people who needed healing or comfort or better jobs or stronger faith, and on it went.

Following through with this resolution hasn’t turned out to be as difficult as I anticipated. As soon as I wake up, I pick up my list and pray a few words for each point. I write new ones that come to mind and cross out the ones that have been answered. It takes less than ten minutes.

It reminds me of a poster I gave to a friend with the words: “Prayer is not the least we can do, but the most.” She tacked it to the clipboard just outside her office. Every time I visit her, there it is, speaking to me.

I have always been an active person, and prayer has never been one of my strong points, but as time passes, I realize more than ever how powerful it is. When we pray, rather than putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves, we’re drawing from the greatest power there is, one that can transform lives, solve problems, and help us see things in a new light.