Electronic Help for Prayer
Here’s a common but unfortunate scenario that happens often among followers of Jesus: person A asks person B to pray for her, and person B agrees, all the while knowing that she will probably forget to do this. Most of us have been both person A and person B at some time. There is so much information swirling out there that it seems impossible to manage it all, no matter how good our intentions. Knowing this, many people choose to pray with people on the spot, which is a good practice anyway.
What can we do, though, if we want to commit to something that will recur repeatedly in the future? There are two basic options. First, we can simply spend a lot of time in a context that will remind us to do whatever we want to do. In order to remember to pray, then, we can increase the amount of time we spend with the person we want to pray for, especially increasing the amount of time we pray with that person. This is ideal because it is a relational solution to a relational problem.
Sometimes it isn’t practical to spend more time praying with a person, though, or we may want to demonstrate concern for that person by remembering to pray for them when they are not in our presence. This brings up the second option for following through on a recurring task: we associate that task with a trigger — some event or action that will remind us to do the task. This might mean praying for someone every time they text or every time we leave the house. Electronic reminders can also provide a trigger. One challenge with this option, however, is that it is difficult to create lots of unique triggers, and also difficult to organize multiple requests from multiple people.
Last May we told you about the Fighter Verses App, a tool that I’ve found useful for memorizing Scripture. There are good apps to help with prayer as well, as they can provide electronic reminders from within an easily organized system. One such app, which a good friend in Central Asia recommended, is Mobile Knee. I tried to get this app, but since it’s just for Android, I did some digging and found PrayerMate (for both Android and iOS), which is dynamite. PrayerMate gives the user the ability to create prayer categories and requests, as well as pray through certain prayer “feeds,” like that from the well-known 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World. One also can easily associate a Scripture passage with certain requests, in order to have a biblical template for prayer. The app even connects with the user’s contacts to facilitate texting or emailing a person to let them know you prayed.
If you’re struggling with the logistics of prayer, try Mobile Knee or PrayerMate and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
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Beau Stanley and his wife, Stacey, both grew up in the Columbus area and have been part of Grace Polaris Church for most of their lives. Beau joined the Grace staff in 2007 after theology studies in the Chicago area and in Phoenix (Phoenix Seminary). Prior to that, he studied commerce (University of Virginia) and worked in the financial industry, including a role as an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York City. Beau is a fitness enthusiast and also enjoys music and learning about diverse topics. Beau and Stacey have two young boys.