I had been looking for a way to pray more effectively for our family members. With 30+ members on each side of the family, our prayers became very vague regarding them. Something like, "And bless our family members where ever they might be." or "Please help our family with their individual needs." Good, but it could be so much better. Of course if a specific need was brought to our attention we would definitely include that in our prayers; but how many times was there a need that we didn't hear about, or how many times was there a private need that no one but the individual and the Lord knew about.
I went out that very day and bought some Popsicle sticks and wrote all of our family member's names on them. Now each night when we say family prayers, the person praying picks 2 names out of the can and we pray specifically for those people in all our prayers until then next night when 2 more names are drawn. Sometimes we don't know what we might be praying for and we still say a generic prayer like, "We ask thee for special blessings for ____." But, we are still mentioning these people by name, and we know that the Lord knows whose name needs to be drawn out on any given night. We have had the spirit confirm to us that specific people were drawn for specific purposes. In fact the first week we did it the same person was drawn 3 times, and that was even after Brady's through mixing job. We knew that this particular person needed extra prayers that week.
A side benefit from this practice is that the kids are figuring out who some of their older cousins are. Since they are on the young side in the Meyer family, they don't always remember who their older cousins are. They especially had trouble remembering who all Uncle Randy and Aunt Val Shipley's kids were. It was funny, for a while we seemed to be choosing a lot of those names. And inevitably, Kelsi would always ask, "Who's that?" Now we all know who they are, but the joke is, when we pick a Shipley name, "We have to ask, "Who's that?"
Also, don't read any dark or hidden meanings into the "green can" we use to house the sticks. When I was buying the Popsicle sticks at the dollar store, I was looking for a container to put them in. This green tea can was the perfect size and it was a cute, bright color. End of deep, hidden meaning.