Some months back I ran across a blog postdiscussing the benefit of a prayer app. My reaction was probably the same as yours, “Really? Now we need an app to pray?!” I pictured an air-headed millennial loading up his prayer list, hitting play, and leaving his phone on while he binge-watches the latest Netflix Original confident that his prayer life is “totally lit, bro.” 

But after considering the virtues of a prayer app I’ve begun to see this as a very powerful way to harness technology for the Kingdom, while actually filling a need that I desperately had in my personal spiritual development! Let me set the table here for a moment:

Up until a couple of months back my prayer time was typical of many I suppose. When I went to prayer, I would work through my immediate family, my own personal needs, and perhaps a list of church members or our church’s prayer list. On occasion I may structure this after the Model Prayer given by Christ, in attempts to be more orderly and deliberate in my focus. 

The nervous twitches would come when I wanted to add a name to my prayer list. I would consider other friends in ministry that I wanted to pray regularly for, more distant family members that I wanted to hold up to the Lord, lost folks that I didn’t want to neglect, and so on. 

And what happens if I happen to leave someone out?! (Insert Wilhelm Screamhere please…)

This prayer list could be extended to the point that my “sweet hour of prayer” was neither sweet nor an hour, because of the guilt associated with not getting through my list, and the time required to do it justice! 
Surely, with all of the technology out there, someone would come up with an effective solution to maintain a good prayer list! I don’t know if I ever seriously thought that, but when I ran across Tim Challies’ article about the PrayerMateapp, it was as if the Shekinah glory shone, and all was clear! 

If this is a familiar struggle, I’d encourage you to check out this option. It’s a free app, very simple in it’s approach, and does it’s simple job well.

I’ll not reinvent the wheel here, and if you are interested in exploring this solution I’d encourage you to check out this article.

Here’s how his approach works for me:

All of my prayer needs go into several categories starting with my personal character needs and extending through my wife, children, extended family, church, friends, unsaved, missions, etc. 

When I go to pray, I have the app set to bring up a total number of items I can pray for based on the time I have to pray. It will automatically fill from my different lists. Some lists I have manually limited to only one per day.

For example, I have several things I pray through for each child, but only one per child per day comes up when I go to pray. That list cycles through so I have something fresh to pray for each day. Other lists, like my list of members and visitors of my church, fill in as many as the robot decides. 

The app allows me to make notes under each prayer item. So when I’m talking with a person who is already on my prayer list, and they mention a specific need in their life, I can add it right then under their name. The next time their name pops up in prayer, I will have specific intel to intercede for them effectively.

This solution has done for me what I always hoped a prayer list would do: It lets me go to prayer and pray! I don’t have this burden of guilt that I’m not praying for this person that I said I’d pray for. I can dwell on each item I dopray for without my mind jumping ahead trying to remember who I’d forgotten. 

The setup is a bit tedious, especially at first. It does allow you to create from a list which was a big time saver. I was able to export a list of church folks from our church database, copy that into a note file, open it on my phone, and copy and paste into PrayerMate. The daily use of the app is incredibly simple however, and after a couple of months of use I plan on using this daily in the foreseeable future. 

This week I’ve been enjoying morning devotions with Todd Bell, a pastor in Maine. He’s been going through the Lord’s Model Prayer in his morning Facebook Live stream. Prayer is such a critical aspect of our Christian life! It is our life’s connection to the Father, and if we let our prayer life die out, it is not long before spiritual malnutrition will certainly begin to take effect on our life. Whether you use a paper list or a digital one, be sure to cultivate an effective prayer life that will produce fruit that remains.