Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prayer? There's an App for that...

These days many of us live our lives online/on mobile devices. Its just plain smart to incorporate your prayer life into your high-tech gadgets, and in this post I'm going to offer some practical ways to do that, but first I want to address the issue of what prayer is, and why you should pray in the first place.

I'm not new to prayer--I learned how to pray when I was a small child in church and developed a daily prayer routine early on. This recent blog post makes a pretty good argument for why prayer works, and works for anyone--even intellectuals and Atheists.

Now, onto the how.

Online prayer aids and communities are plentiful. The trick is to find one that works for you. I like sites that are visual that make prayer fun.

Angel Cards
 My #1 online prayer go-to is the virtual Angel Cards. I sometimes visit this site several times a day, whenever I get into a funk for any reason or feel stuck about something.

Online Labyrinth
The Online Labyrinth is hands-down my favorite devotional website. It's not really a true labyrinth: it's a website that directs you through a series of guided, interactive devotions. It is possible to race through them but I find I get the most out of the exercises if I wait until the music stops before moving on to the next devotion. If you do it that way, it takes about 40 minutes to complete. It's not a quick devotion but it does enable you to go deeper when you really need it.

Prayer Shawls
Do you knit or crochet, or would you like to learn? Then prayer shawls might be the way for you to pray! Learn more at, or come to our Prayer Shawl retreat at Riverton Church on June 2, 9-noon.

Yahoo Groups
There are a number of groups devoted to prayer. One to try is the Prayer Shawl Group, which was started by the two women who originated the prayer shawl knitting ministry through a course at Hartford Seminary in 1997.

Phone Apps
Looking for quick inspiration? Praying for a bunch of different issues and people? There's an app for that! I There are many Apps out there that prompt and support prayers in a number of ways, ranging from helping you to keep track of things you're praying for to supplying the text of well-known prayers. Here is a beliefnet review of some creative prayer apps to get you started.

Online Prayer Chapel
Forward movement, a ministry of the Episcopal church, invites you to light a virtual candle, make a prayer request or browse a list of topical prayers in their prayer chapel.

Facebook Request a Prayer Page
This page is maintained by the United Church of Christ and provides people with an opportunity topost prayer requests.

Facebook Apps
The most popular of the Facebook prayer apps seems to be "God Wants You To Know." This app provides inspiration through daily messages posted on your Facebook page.

World Prayers
Prayers from a variety of sources and faith traditions. Sort by tradition/topic or allow it to choose a random prayer for you.

Got more ideas to share? Share a comment.

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