If you have seen the movie “War Room,” and if you are anything like me, you probably left the theater with a desire to be a more effective prayer warrior. (If you haven’t seen it, you really need to see it! I’m not kidding.)
But, even though the movie caused me to have a strong desire to get more serious than ever before about my prayer life, I knew that there was a great danger that the highly emotional moment would pass and that I would quickly settle back into my routine with little or no real change. Can you identify with that?
Also, if you are like me, you may have, in the past, tried several different ways to pray more effectively and more systematically. Prayer journals, complicated prayer notebooks, prayer spreadsheets, prayer databases. All of these can be very good. Certainly God can use and and all of them.
But as I was praying for the Lord to show me how to get my prayer life better organized, the idea came to my mind to check out some of the prayer apps for my Android phone. There are several of them, and I really didn’t know where to begin. I read a few descriptions and reviews at random. Then I decided to just google “prayer app reviews.” I immediately found a blog post by Tim Challies in which he highly recommended a prayer app called PrayerMate. You may have heard of Tim Challies. He’s a highly respected Canadian pastor, author, and blogger.
Here is what Tim Challies wrote: “I say it without hyperbole: PrayerMate revitalized my prayer life. It has been at least a couple of years since I made the move from organizing my prayers in a book to organizing my prayers in an app, and, at least for now, I don’t ever see myself going back. I know that praying from an app is not for everyone, but for me it has made all the difference.”
So, I decided to check it out. And after several days of use, I will add my hearty “Amen!” to those words.
PrayerMate lets you organize your prayer concerns into categories. You can have as many categories as you like. Then, under each category, you can add a list of subjects. If you like, you can also add notes and comments for each subject. You can even add pictures and links if you like.
You can also decide how many subjects under each category you wish to pray for at one sitting. For example, I have a category for our Sunday School class at Sevier Heights with 52 names on it. Currently, I’m praying for seven of those at each sitting. I also have a category for my wife, Vickie. I have a category for our sons and their wives. I have a category for our Grandkids. I have a category for my personal spiritual growth, for Sevier Heights, for other churches I’m familiar with, for Christian school teachers, for the small group that meets in our home, for missions, for our country, for elected officials, for the supreme court. You get the idea.
You can have a category of Bible prayers, for example, with a different one coming up at each sitting. You can also subscribe to online feeds, like the International Mission Board of the SBC, or Open Doors USA to pray for the persecuted church.
If you have a long list of names in a category, it may take several days to pray through the list, but the app keeps up with where you left off and makes sure you don’t skip anyone. And by telling it that you wish to pray for a certain number a day, you can avoid getting so focused on one category that you neglect other important prayer needs. This is a very common problem when we just pray off the tops of our heads and don’t have an organized list.
Once you get it set up, when you set aside prayer time, you only have to swipe from right to left to work your way through the categories, one “card” at a time.
At this point, I have 21 categories with around 230 names and prayer requests. It’s growing rapidly. And it’s staying organized in a easily used format. I love it! Sometimes I pray alone. Sometimes I work my way through the list with Vickie.
It’s easy to add entries and reorganize categories and subjects. You will certainly want to regularly take a little time to keep things up to date. It’s also easy to add comments and names any time, “on the fly” so to speak, while you are praying through your list.
So, have you seen “War Room?” Please don’t miss it. I think it will motivate you to be a better prayer warrior. And then you may choose to organize your prayer life an entirely different way. But I think you will at least want to take some time to check out the PrayerMate app.
Stay in the Battle!
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