Resolve to Grow in Prayer
Welcome to 2016. For many of us each new year causes us to reflect on the past year and determine what we would like to change going forward. We make changes about what we eat, how often we exercise, spending time at home, etc. Too often we coast through life just trying to get by; this self-reflection can be helpful for our personal and professional lives.
One common resolution for Christians is a desire to grow in prayer. While I don’t think guilt in what we should be doing is a helpful motivator towards prayer, we can always grow in our relationship with God, and focused attention can lead to spiritual benefits. With this in mind, I have compiled a short list of tools to help you in your desire to improve prayer.
6 Tools to Help You Pray
- Echo (available in iOS and Android) – FREE
This is a simple app that keeps track of prayer requests, is capable of organization, and allows for push notifications. I like this app for its simplicity and ability to create prayer lists for groups. One pet peeve I have always had with small groups was the part where we shared prayer requests and no one collected these request for everyone to remember through the week. This app answers this peeve with other useful features.
- PrayerMate (available in iOS and Android) – FREE
This app has plenty of big names behind it. There are tie-ins with Tim Keller, Operation World, and several church and ministry prayer feeds. It seems you will have to pay to create a feed for your small group or church, but there is still a massive amount of free functionalities. You can also pull in your missionaries’ PDF updates to the app in order to have them available for when you use this app to pray.
- Prayer With Me (available in iOS and Android) – FREE
This is another free app, but without as nice a user interface. The one additional feature is the find nearby prayer requests. I personally don’t see the use in this, but it is a common feature of social apps these days.
- Prayer Notebook (available in iOS) – $1.99 iPhone / $2.99 iPad
This another nice app with an easy to use interface. There is an in app function to send the person you are praying for a text, email, or tweet. This is a great way to send along any encouragement you get from prayer.
- Calendar Notifications (available in iOS and Android) – FREE
Okay, this is not an app, but if you already have a smart phone, you can use the calendar functionality to send you regular notifications to pray. Just create a calendar event and set it to reoccur and set the alarms. This misses most of the functionality of the other apps, but those reminders to set aside time to spend time with God will move you a long way toward improving your prayer life.
- Prayer Quotes (available for Kindle) – $9.99
Books about prayer can encourage and yet still distract from prayer. Instead of reading this book straight through, I encourage you to use these quotes from over 400 men and women of faith to help you think through different aspects of prayer that you can then implement. Each of the apps above focus on the prayer request, which is just a small part of prayer. Allow these quotes to broaden your view and deepen your prayers.
Let me know the tools you use to help you pray. They may seem simple to you, but by sharing in the comments, you can give others ideas to help give them confidence in prayer. I wish that each of you may grow deeper in prayer this year.