Tag Archives: prayer

The Most Exciting Version of PrayerMate Yet

Today I am super thrilled to be able to announce PrayerMate 1.4 (Edit: now called 2.0) – a real whopper of a release.

For those who don’t know, PrayerMate is an app for iOS that gives you a little helping hand with your prayer life. You enter details of the people and issues you care about, and then every day it offers you a selection to pray for. They appear as a series of index cards that you can swipe between.

Here’s a run down of what’s new in version 1.4/2.0:

Native iPad Support

You asked for it and now PrayerMate supports it: it’s now a universal app that runs on iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. All of the same features but just a little bit bigger.


Dropbox Import/Export

You can now export your prayer points to a Dropbox account – keeping them safe as a backup in case anything goes wrong. You can then import those prayer points back later, or onto another device (e.g. your swanky new iPad that is now running PrayerMate!)

Just a few quick details: PrayerMate uses a folder in your Dropbox called “Apps/PrayerMate”. It exports in a format called “JSON”, but you could also pop plain text files in that folder (with a .txt extension) and it will allow you to import individual prayer points.


Another much asked-for feature is the ability to attach photos to each subject. You can pick them from any album on your device, and they’ll appear at the top of each card. They can be changed or removed at any time.

Whilst you’re praying, press and hold on a card to get a list of actions. One of these will be “Edit subject”, and you can then tap the “Photo” field to choose an image.


Better Archiving

It’s now much easier to archive prayer points whilst you’re praying without resetting your session. Press and hold on a card to bring up a list of actions, choose the “Archive” action, and the card will fade out, indicating that it has now been moved out of your active list of prayer points. You’ll still be able to find it by searching the archive, but in future it won’t be presented to you as something to pray for.

Tidied Up the Feedback Page

A number of people mentioned that they found it distracting to have all of the feedback/review buttons on the final slide (the one with the blessing). I’ve acted on this by separating them out into a separate page. I’ve also removed the buttons that nobody ever used, and added an extra button to sign up to the PrayerMate email newsletter (which you should join, by the way!)

Get It Here Now

Buy it on the app store this minute – a mere £1.99 ($2.99), a real bargain for so much functionality! It really is great to pray, I hope trust that this version of PrayerMate will continue helping people do so more and more.

Features Overview

  • Intuitive index card interface lets you swipe between the day’s topics
  • Set up your own personal categories and subjects to suit the way you pray
  • Subjects can be entered manually or directly from your address book contacts – no typing necessary!
  • Attach photos to prayer points
  • Import/Export via Dropbox
  • Prayer requests can be scheduled for a certain date or day of the week, or just let PrayerMate pick topics for you
  • Optional daily alarm clock to remind you to pray (iOS 4.0 upwards)
  • PIN code feature for added privacy
  • Built-in help system

Praying Through the Lord’s Prayer With PrayerMate

There are many different schemes people find helpful for organising their daily prayer times: perhaps you’ve heard of STOP: Sorry, Thankyou, Others, Please; or maybe you prefer ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. But at the end of the day, what could be a better way to pray than to use the prayer that Jesus himself taught us – the Lord’s prayer? As Luke 11:2-4 has it:

hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

This is a great outline for our prayer time, and it really helps line up our priorities with God’s priorities: notice how out of six lines, the full first half are focussed entirely on God, before it turns to us and our needs.

  1. Father – perhaps the most exciting line of the whole prayer, it begins with a reminder of who we’re praying to, and how we are to relate to him. He’s not some distant God begrudgingly listening to our prayers; we don’t have to try and twist his arm to make him grant our petitions. He’s our loving heavenly Father who delights to hear from his children – what a privilege it is to pray to him!
  2. Hallowed be your name – the whole purpose of our prayers and our lives is to bring glory to God’s name, to see him honoured and recognised for who he is. It’s a great rebuke to us when we’re caught up in our own little worlds with our own concerns – it’s not really about us at all. What a fantastic reminder to lift our eyes to the bigger reason behind it all.
  3. Your kingdom come – our greatest desire should be to see God’s rule established as people come to acknowledge him as their king and increasingly give their lives over to him. As we pray for his kingdom to come, we’re asking that he is honoured both in our own lives and in the lives of those around us.
  4. Give us each day our daily bread – as we ask God to provide our daily bread, we’re reminded that we depend on him for all our needs. It’s easy to take it for granted that there’ll be food on our table each day, but the truth is that without God sustaining us and protecting us day by day and even hour by hour, we’d have nothing. It’s only right that we should acknowledge this before God.
  5. Forgive us our sins – it’s vitally important in the battle against sin that we make a point of confessing our failings before God on a regular basis. Confession helps us to realign our radar – training our hearts to hate our sin instead of harbouring it and allowing it to take root. Jesus also encourages us to think about ways in which we need to forgive others, expressing our thankfulness for the way God has forgiven us.
  6. Lead us not into temptation – if we’re to have any hope in the battle against sin, we need God’s help. If God wasn’t working behind the scenes to keep us out of the way of temptation, who knows how much worse off we would be? It shames me to think of many examples of times when I’ve sinfully set my heart to do something I know I shouldn’t, only to be prevented from carrying out the act by God’s providential arrangement of circumstances. I imagine that there are many more examples of times when I’ve not even been aware of God working to lead me out of temptation’s way.

If you’re a user of my PrayerMate prayer app for the iPhone or iPod touch, you could easily set it up to help you shape your prayers around the Lord’s prayer each day. Here’s one way you might do it:

  1. Create a new “Lord’s Prayer” category – under the settings menu, hit “Add Category” and name it “The Lord’s Prayer”
  2. Show six items per session – under the settings page for your new category, set the “Items per session” slider to six, so that each day you will see each of the main elements of the prayer.
  3. Enter each line as a separate subject – you can now enter each line of the prayer as a separate subject under your new “Lord’s Prayer” category. So you would have one subject titled “Father”, perhaps with a few details to remind you what it’s all about, such as “Praise God that he allows us to call him Father. Thank him for the privilege of being his child.”; you would then have another subject titled “Hallowed be your name”, with the details outlining some of the implications of this; then another subject titled “Your kingdom come”, and so on.
  4. Make sure this categories will show up each day – if you want to prayer through all six lines of the prayer, you’ll need to make sure that either a) you’ve turned the global item limit OFF (under the ‘Advanced Settings’ page) so that every category always appears each day, or b) you’ve “pinned” your new “Lord’s Prayer” category, telling PrayerMate that you want it to prioritise items from this category, even if there are items you prayed for less recently in other categories.

You could just as easily set up PrayerMate to use the STOP or ACTS prayer schemes as well.


If you give this a try, do use the ‘feedback’ button within PrayerMate to let me know how you get on!


Why Jesus is My Hero #18 of 52

No, the title of this post doesn’t refer to an awful attempt at a free magazine from this week’s episode of the UK Apprentice. I’m referring to the fact that the Christian’s confidence in life isn’t built upon our own ability to improve and do better and impress God, but on being completely covered by Jesus’ righteousness – on the knowledge that through faith in Christ, when God looks at us, he doesn’t see our shoddy attempts with all our failings and weakness, instead he sees the perfect obedience and loving perfection of Jesus. We’re covered. Technically it’s what’s referred to as “imputed righteousness” – Jesus’ righteousness is transferred to our spiritual bank account.

One tiny example of this that I’m loving this week is thinking about Jesus’ prayer life. I’m utterly hopeless at praying – in fact, I’m utterly hopeless these days at anything that involves sitting down and concentrating for more than about 30 seconds. I just physically can’t do it – my mind is all over the place, anywhere except on God. Yet Jesus was famous for going off for all night prayer sessions, committing his life into God’s hands and seeking his wisdom for important decisions like choosing the twelve disciples.

It’s awesome to know that against my heavenly scorecard is that kind of perfectly committed prayer life. It’s also yet another reason why it’s so awesome that Jesus prays for us – to know that he’s perfectly dedicated in his prayers on our behalf, never distracted or giving up because he’s bored.

That’s why Jesus is my hero – I certainly need one!

Why It’s Such Good News to Have Jesus Praying For Us

Why Jesus is My Hero #16 of 52

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like a total failure as a Christian. My love for God seems so cold; my actions seem a million miles from how I know God would want me to be living; I care so little for other people and ultimately only seem interested in seeking my own comfort. Why on earth would God let me into his New Creation, and how am I going to keep going as a Christian until I get there?

Well, there’s a million different ways that the Bible gives us hope to keep trusting that God can get us there, but one in particular that has really encouraged me recently comes from Hebrews 7:23-25:

“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but [Jesus] holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. Consequently, he is able to save to the the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”

Jesus isn’t just lounging about by the Father’s side in heaven drinking pina colladas – he’s busy praying for us. Have you ever thought about that? Jesus prays for us! There really couldn’t anyone better for the job: Jesus never skips a day; he never gets tired or bored; he never oversleeps and decides to skip his quiet time because he doesn’t want to miss the bus. And he doesn’t need help from an iPhone app like PrayerMate to help him remember us – as great an app as it may be!

But best yet, nothing can stand in the way of his praying for us – not even death. You might have a real friend somewhere or an elderly relative who is faithfully praying away for you day by day – and what an encouragement it can be when that’s the case – but even they can’t pray for you forever. But Jesus has already conquered death – he’s risen from the dead never to die again – and so he always lives to make intercession for us. What an amazing reassurance!

Day by day Jesus stands before the Father in heaven and reminds him that he died for us. “Forgive Andy, Father – remember how I died for him. Forgive Sarah, too. And Jeremy.” Left to our own devices we might wonder how on earth we can hope to persevere until the end. But if we lift our eyes to this heavenly reality, we can have real assurance – who could possibly be a better advocate than Jesus Christ? That’s why Jesus is my hero. Hurrah!

Praying For What God Has Promised Us


What kind of things should Christians pray for? World peace? An end to poverty? For the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend to come into our lives? For help losing weight? I’m sure those are all fine things to pray about. But this week I’ve been thinking about one particular (and perhaps surprising) answer to that question: Christians should pray for the things God has already promised to give us.

My friend Dave reminded me of this the other day after studying 2 Samuel 7. His namesake, King David, decides that it’s quite inappropriate for God not to have a permanent home for himself whilst David lives in comfort in a house of cedar – this is in a time when the ark of the covenant, symbolic of the presence of God, still took residence in a tent. But instead of allowing David to build Him a house, God turns around and says to David, “No, instead I’m going to build you a house”. And then he makes a whole bunch of amazing promises to David, in what has come to be known as the Davidic Covenant:

“I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more… Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom… I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son… Your throne shall be established for ever.” (2 Samuel 7:9-16)

They’re amazing promises to David, to establish his dynasty forever – promises ultimately fulfilled in the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of David. What’s surprising about this passage is how David responds: he proceeds to ask God to do the things God has just told him he’s going to do.

“You, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you… Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue for ever before you.” (2 Samuel 7:27-29)

It’s a tremendous model for us, because it reminds us of the extraordinary privilege of prayer. David would never have dared to ask God to establish his dynasty for all eternity – until the moment where God promised to do exactly that. How lightly we treat it when we think we can just waltz into God’s presence and start asking for things! And yet asking for things is exactly what God encourages us to do: the gospel promises give us courage to pray, but specifically they should give us courage to ask for the things promised.

I don’t know what your favourite promise in the Bible is – but have you ever thought to ask God to fulfill it in your life? Here are just a few I’ve thought of whilst mulling this over this week – why don’t you post a few of your own in the Facebook comments thing at the bottom:

  • Romans 8:28: “All things work together for the good of those who love God” – when hard stuff is happening in our lives, rather than just assuming God will do it, we should probably try asking God to use it for our good.
  • Ezekiel 36:26: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” – I find myself constantly exasperated at how little I seem to care about my sin. I’ve been really encouraged this week to ask God to make me careful to obey him.
  • John 4:14: “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – when we so desperately seek satisfaction in all the wrong places, how much refreshment do we miss out on by failing to ask Jesus for the water he offers?

I’m sure that these aren’t the only things we should be praying about. But we should definitely recognise how huge it is to be asking for anything at all from the God of the universe, and at the same time not take his promises for granted.