• "...to bring good news to the poor... proclaim release to the captives... let the oppressed go free..."
  • (Luke 4:18-19)

    Mobile Contemplation

    By Rev. Sandra Hasenauer, associate execute director


    All too often our cell phones and tablets take a lot of heat for being distractions, pulling us away from peace, quiet, and connections. However, they can be also be powerful tools for prayer! There are many apps out there to help our prayer time—just search “Christian prayer” in your app store to find all the options. I’ll lift up just three options here.

    Calm is an app for secular meditation, but the beautiful scenery and nature sounds make an excellent background for your times of prayer. With a pair of headphones, you could easily block out noise around you and have some quiet time with God. Calm is available for Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch) or Android/Google. It’s also available as a website at www.calm.com. The app and website are free. In-app purchases allow you to have additional guided meditations and a timer. The website version also open possibilities for group use: just project the nature scene and sound effects during a time of prayer together.

    Two Christian-prayer-specific apps are PrayerMate and Echo Prayer. Both are also available for iOS or Android/Google, and both are free. With one of these apps on your phone, when you hear a prayer request in church or you say to a friend, “I’ll pray for you,” you can quickly add it to your prayer list in the app. Both apps also include the ability to add reminder alarms.

    In PrayerMate, for each prayer session the app gives you a selection of your prayer subjects to pray through. The app comes with a few prayer topics pre-loaded but it’s very easy to add your own, delete or edit others, and so forth. Prayer requests are organized into lists or categories. Again, a few lists are pre-loaded but it’s easy to edit, delete, or add your own lists. When you begin a prayer session, you simply swipe the screen to go through your prayer list. This app also has prayer feeds you can subscribe to, and you’ll find instructions (a bit buried) for how your congregation could create its own feed through the app for a fee.

    Echo has a much more minimalist, clean interface; there are no category lists, just prayer requests. However, Echo does have the option of being able to note when a prayer is answered. Adding prayer requests is very simple and intuitive. In settings, you can determine how long a prayer session you would like to have and how long you want to pray for each item on your list. It will then cycle through the items on your list until your time is finished, vibrating or playing a tone as it changes to the next item. The next time you pray, it’ll begin with prayer items you haven’t already seen yet.

    Consider using an app like this to help you keep track of prayer requests and to help focus your own time with God.


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