I wanted to pass along some great ideas that a fellow pastor shared with me on how we can use our smart phones when it comes to our prayer and devotional lives. Here is what he said:
Smartphones have forever changed the way we live. With smartphones, we can communicate, produce, learn, and do business like we never imagined possible.
As with all technology, benefits come with many unintended consequences: a shorter attention span, it leads people to live life through a screen, addiction, and constant distraction.
They can also hinder us spiritually by distracting us in prayer through the mental noise of constant texts, tweets, and notifications – not to mention the time it steals from the important spiritual discipline of prayer. We don’t have to be slaves to our technology –we can use it productively to help us be better Christians and more effective in prayer.
I hope these tips honor God and drive you to a deeper and more faithful prayer life!
10 Tips to Boost Your Prayer Life with Your Smartphone
1. Set alarms and calendar notifications to remind yourself to pray.
Most of us cannot enjoy a thriving prayer life without intentionally scheduling time to pray.
2. Keep a list of prayer requests in a notepad or app (see app list below).
Add to your list immediately when others share prayer requests with you. This is helpful for at least two reasons: it keeps important prayer requests from falling through the cracks and makes prayer easier by giving you a focus.
3. Pray through your list during short gaps of time through the day.
Praying through your list will make saying “I’ll be praying for you” at church a true statement. You won’t have to pray those panicked, 3-second prayers (“Lord help so-and-so with this or that…uh… Amen”) when seeing someone just so you can tell them you’ve been praying for them.
4. Open your Bible app and pray through the Scriptures.
Praying the Scriptures conforms your heart to God’s heart and prays according to His will. God gave us the Bible to train us in righteousness and shape us for ministry (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When we pray God’s Word back to Him and ask Him to help us be doers of the Word, we pray prayers God wants to answer (1 John 5:14).
(If you don’t have a Bible App yet, check out the popular YouVersion app.)
5. Listen to music that warms your heart up for prayer.
Listening to worship music has a way of softening my heart and preparing it to pray–maybe it does for yours as well. When I can’t muster the desire to pray or can’t seem to quiet my heart, music often quiets my heart and focuses it on the Lord.
6. Keep a journal of your prayers and answers to prayer.
In Evernote, OneNote, or whatever you use to organize your thoughts, keep track of your prayers and how God answers (yes, no, and maybe). This will strengthen your faith by remembering the goodness, faithfulness, and wisdom of God in your life (see Deuteronomy 8).
7. Text or email people for their prayer requests.
Put your smartphone’s unlimited communication potential to use by reaching out to others and offering to pray for them. You will minister into their lives, encourage them, and honor God in the process.
And perhaps the most helpful tip….
8. Turn off your phone.
Why let yourself be distracted in prayer if you don’t need to? Because so much life and interaction is now done through technology, if we don’t turn off our phone (or at least put it in Airplane Mode) we might be disobeying Jesus’ command in Matthew 6:6:
“…when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.“
Don’t let your technology cause the most important thing in your life – your relationship with God – to suffer due to constant distraction.
Tim Challies shares in The Next Story a progression of where being constantly distracted takes us: Distraction –> Shallow Thinking –> Shallow Living.
Applying this formula into our prayer conversation looks like:
Distraction in prayer –> Shallow praying –> A Shallow Faith (or life in Christ)
We cannot let our love for our smartphones hinder our Christian walks!
Shut off your phone, put it away, and get on your knees and pray – you’ll wish you had done it sooner.
Have a great week!