Tag Archives: prayer

Looking for a Good Prayer App

by admin

There is a buzzphrase that has been shuffling around the internets since the advent of the iPhone – “There’s an app for that.”  And with half a million apps out there, it’s mostly true.

But not when it comes to prayer.  There are some online, but not as many options for apps.

I have been looking for a good prayer manager app since I got a smartphone – my old Motorola Milestone – now almost 3 years.  I’ve graduated to a Samsung Galaxy S2 (and loving it). Haven’t found one yet.

Oh sure, there are tons of Islamic prayer times apps.  There are even a few prayer apps that allow you to mark them down, and check them off as they are answered. But not the robust tools that I can envision off the top of my head.

Because confession time: I suck at remembering to pray.  I work at it all the time but I’d love to have some help.

If you’re an app dev, here’s my wish list:

  1. checkbox “todo” lists for prayers, a way to mark them “done” or “not done” (answered or unanswered)
  2. multiple lists for different purposes – church prayers, small group prayers, ministry prayers, prayers for community/government – not static categories, but customizable as I am sure everyone would group them differently
  3. the ability to schedule prayer times or days for each list and have them sent to you or have the app automatically open to the scheduled list
  4. the reminders to pray keep coming until the item is marked “answered”
  5. the ability to share prayer requests with other users or even email requests to people who don’t use the app, with an incorporated link to let the download the app
  6. (getting really crazy now) the ability to create a shared prayer list for ministry teams or small groups that is updatable by anyone in the list

Who’s up for the challenge?  Any app developers want to make some money off Christians?  I’d pay at least a couple bucks for this if it had all these features.  Make sure you make an iOS and Android version please.

Finding the Time for Prayer

by admin

In my previous post, I talked about how I was inspired by the monastic pattern of daily life to pursue a new pattern of prayer and devotional time in my own life.  I managed to find the space in between my work, my care for my family, and my ministry to spend over 2 hours a day in prayer, devotions, and meditation on God’s Word.  Here’s how.

I was always overwhelmed by other “more spiritual” people than I who pray for an hour, two hours a day.  I didn’t know how they did it.  Watch for my next post on how I found the time.  Then I took a spreadsheet, broke my day down into 15 minute segments, and began to slot in what I wanted to do, in terms of devotions.  It quickly became clear that I had so much time in the day… so much wasted time every day.  I was just squandering my time on things like meaningless TV watching, aimless internet surfing, or useless Facebook games.  My kids, not realizing what they have, come to me and tell me they are bored – I find myself not admitting I am bored – instead just tuning out the world and engaging in completely wasteful activities, that too often actually led me into temptation of more sins.  What does that old saying mean, “Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings”?  I think I figured it out.

When I actually began to create real structure in my day I found I had so much more time than I had thought.  I encourage anyone to sit down for a minute and take an inventory of how you spend your average day.  Or as you go one day, keep a sheet of paper and write down roughly how much time you spend on everything you do.  Try to account for every minute, or at least every 15 minutes.  You will be astounded how much time you have.

The secret to having more hours in the day is knowing where your time goes and being able to stick to a schedule.  Good luck: I used to think it was impossible too but I know it’s possible now.

A New Pattern of Prayer

by admin

Inspired by the life of monks, who I recently watched in the BBC reality series, “The Monastery“, I began to investigate the cycle of services they live under.  They Pray “The Hours” and their services follow a cycle called “The Daily Office“.  A lot of what they pray and do strikes me as overly formulaic, but there is something to be said for a structured prayer life that leaves room for really engage spiritually – to seek with your very soul a moment with the Lord and have Him be that glass of living water that refreshes you in ways that drink never can.  There are precious few moments where I have felt that, but I can tell you that several have been in the past two days.

I am a pretty unstructured guy.  I like spontaniety.  I like discovering, flying by the seat of my pants, and happening upon random things.  However, in terms of growing and learning, the truth is God made us to learn best in a rhythm, a pattern, with discipline and consistency – things that I am not horribly good at.  In looking to deepen my walk with God, I decided to take it upon myself to create my own “Hours” to add rhythm to my day.  To make my relationship with God more central.  So for the past two days I have been beginning my day in prayer and devotions, taking 30 minutes at noon, and another 45 minutes before bed.  In that time I have been praying through the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23 and Psalm 117, working on memorizing new Scripture, and reading out of four books that I need to read as well as working on reading through the Bible in a year.  One a traditional devotional, one a pastoral book, one on missional life, and one from antiquity.  As a pastor of a newly forming church, I have determined that I cannot rest in where I am.  God needs me to be growing, stretching, and putting His purposes in my heart.  I can’t lead the way He wants me to unless I am doing this.

The rest is good, but I want to focus specifically on the prayer time.  As I mentioned above, I have struggled with feeling really close to God as I pray.  There have been relatively few times when I have just been feeling His presence in a real way.  But it has already happened several times.  How?  I point to the preparation that comes from praying through the passages of the Bible.  Before I even begin to pray for myself, I am just praying through the Lord’s Prayer.  And then at lunch, I pray through Psalm 23.  Finally, in the evening, I pray through Psalm 117 before I turn to other things.  The preparation of my heart through meditating on the words of Scripture is doing wonders for my state of mind.  The luxury of not having to search for words, but to just let the words I have long ago learned pour out of my heart, it just wipes my mind of worries and cares, and gives me a chance to come to God centered on Him.  I can’t recommend it enough.

You might have been shocked by the numbers I put up there for the time I am setting aside.  I was always overwhelmed by other “more spiritual” people than I who pray for an hour, two hours a day.  I didn’t know how they did it.  Watch for my next post on how I found the time.

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