This post is part of PrayerMate Amnesty Week. Yesterday we entered some people we want to pray for regularly.
Throughout PrayerMate Amnesty Week I’ve been referring to the book that first taught me how to pray, “A Call to Spiritual Reformation” by Don Carson. Carson begins the book with some fantastically practical wisdom on the business of getting on and praying. Among other things he says “Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray.”
“What we actually do reflects our highest priorities. That means we can proclaim our commitment to prayer until the cows come home, but unless we actually pray, our actions disown our words.”
Cuts straight to the heart, doesn’t it? I often need this rebuke – after all, there’s no point being the developer of a prayer app if you don’t also get on and use it yourself!
He also says this, which is perhaps a helpful warning against dipping in and out of a prayer session too quickly:
“Pray until you pray. That is Puritan advice. It does not simply mean that persistence should mark much of our praying– though admittedly that is a point the Scriptures repeatedly make.. What they meant is that Christians should pray long enough and honestly enough, at a single session, to get past the feeling of formalism and unreality that attends not a little praying.. “If we ‘pray until we pray,’ eventually we come to delight in God’s presence, to rest in his love, to cherish his will.”
Today’s task is both the easiest and the hardest – the easiest because there’s not much to it, the hardest because it’s where the spiritual battle rages in our heart. Today we’re going to get on and pray.
When you first open up PrayerMate, you should be presented with an “Overview” page, listing the subjects you’ll be praying for today. Swipe this to the left to reveal the first item, then it’s over to you to do the praying. After you’ve prayed for each topic, just carry on swiping to the left to reveal the next item. Each time you swipe past a subject, PrayerMate will mark it as “prayed”, so that next time you ask for a new set of cards it will give you something fresh to pray for instead.
Once you have prayed for your final card, you’ll get a few extra screens – a “blessing”, the feedback page (with links to leave a review of the app, or to send me an email) and the “new session” page. You should be taken to this final page each time you open the app now for the rest of the day. From here you have two choices: go back to the start to pray for the same subjects over again, or tap the praying hands to request a completely new set of cards.
Extra credit: Editing as you go
For bonus points, you can try adding details to one of your cards as you pray. When you are looking at a card that you want to add some notes on (e.g. specific prayer requests they’ve given you, or notes on answers to these prayers) press the pencil icon in the top right corner of the card. From here you can add notes or change the name of the subject. You can also tap the list name to move it to a different list, or you can tap the circle to add a photo. Each subject also has a cog button to access “Subject settings” where you can change the scheduling rules or priority (e.g. if you want to make it appear more or less often, or only on certain days of the week).