We live in a technologically rich (and distracting) culture. Most of us have smart phones, tablets, laptops and all the accessories to go along with them. We can check email, send a text, upload a photo, or update our status almost anywhere and anytime. This is a great resource, but it can also be very distracting and time consuming. Despite all our modern conveniences many of us struggle to fit everything in that we’re required to do for our job and family much less spend quality time with God regularly.
So here are ten ways you can use your smart phone or tablet to bring you closer to God and to pray more often.
1. Take five minutes to be inspired by a devotional/Bible reading app
Only got a few minutes? Download an app for daily bible verses, quotes and prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you, open the app and see how today’s bite-size bits of inspiration relate to your life. Make the prayer your own and share your own thoughts with God after reading.
2. Capture God moments with your camera
God is on the move and speaking in so many ways we may not expect. Set yourself the challenge to be on the lookout for things, sounds, places and people that help you think about or talk to God today. Take a photo or video and keep a digital journal of what God is saying and how you’re connecting.
3. Don’t go it alone – Share your prayer requests
Got something you really need God to help with? Why not get your friends to pray with you. Find two people to whom you can send and receive private messages. When a need arises send a photo/text of what you need prayer for instantly through an app like Snapchat. Make sure you pray for God’s help as you press send and add your amen to their requests in return. (Don’t have Snapchat? There are other means of sending private messages too – you could DM on Twitter, message on Facebook or just text)
4. Playlists that plug you in
Got a regular walk or commute? Create a playlist to plug you in to God. Download theworship tunes that stir you and connect you to Jesus and what he cares about. You could even create different playlists for chilled, meditative moods and wake-me-up-now worship journeys.
5. Use social media to help you pray for others
Fancy shaking up whom you pray for? Why not open up a social media app or site and pray for the first person in your home feed. Ask Jesus to give you an encouraging comment to leave them after you’ve prayed.
6. Use a news application to pray for the world
Ever find praying for the world daunting? Download a news app and choose one news story with your first tea/coffee/smoothie of the day. If you find it hard to start praying imagine what the best possible outcome of the situation could be and ask Jesus to intervene. Keep it simple, specific and pray,“your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
7. Take the plunge – turn off your phone!
Silence can be scary but there’s nothing like silence and space to help you relax, clear your mind and connect with God. If you find it hard try finding a quiet place and turning off your phone as a sign that you’re switching off from the world and switching on to God for just two minutes a day. As those two minutes get easier (and start to feel quicker!) try increasing the amount of time you give your attention to God. You may even want to fast from those distracting apps on your phone for a time.
8. Use the alarm to remind you to pray
Your phone’s alarm doesn’t have to be exclusively used for waking you in the morning. Try setting it to go off at certain times of the day to remind you to take the time to pray. You may have different ways that you pray throughout the day. In the morning you might pray out of thanksgiving and adoration. In the evening it might be confession and repentance. It is always great to have a reminder to do what’s most important in the midst of the busyness of life.
9. Download an encouraging book
This idea may be best used on a tablet, but if your eyesight is still strong you can read an ebook on your smart phone. Download a Christian book that will challenge and encourage you. Read a chapter while riding the train into work or just before you go to bed at night.
10. Use your phone to call someone
I know this may be a novel idea, but your phone actually works quite well as a….well, phone. Stop texting, Facebooking, or Tweeting and actually TALK to someone. I know it is controversial, but not long ago that was our main means of communication! Take five minutes to call someone you know just to say “I love you and I’m thinking about you”. Ask them if there is anything that you can pray for them about and pray for them over the phone. Personal and direct human to human communication can be powerful.
Edited from Kenmore Baptist Church: KBC Life, June 2014