How an App is Increasing My Prayer Life

by  Danny Lightner

PrayerMateSplash

I say it without hyperbole: An app for my phone, called “PrayerMate”, has had a huge positive influence on my prayer life. I know that praying from an app is not for everyone, but for me it has made all the difference. Let me tell you how to use it.

PrayerMate borrows from the physical world and mimics an organized collection of index cards. Imagine a card file: each of the dividers marks a new category, each of the categories contains several cards, and each card contains a prayer. Now, just take that paradigm and translate it to an app. You create your categories and cards, and each day the app presents you with a collection of items to pray for. It’s that simple!

Below is the list of categories I have created, just so you can see an example of how you could use it as well. I know that there are MANY other things I could pray about, but this is how I have started. I envision adding many other categories and subjects under those categories in the weeks to come.

  • Personal Life: When the Lord shows me something in my life that I need to work on concerning my own character, ministry, life as a husband or father, etc., I add it to this prayer list.
  • My Family: Here I have listed all the names of my immediate family members, praying for at least one of them every day.
  • My Church: Here is a list of all the different ministries at FFC (children’s, youth, missions, etc.), as well as “big picture” things that we are praying through as a church (currently, the issue with our facilities, a more specific vision, outreach events, and more).
  • Unbelievers: There are certain unbelievers I am burdened for, and I pray for them here. These may be people in our family, neighborhood, or at church.
  • The Nations: God is giving me a greater passion for what he is doing around the world, so here I pray for the advancement of the gospel. One of the great features about this app is that you can subscribe to certain feeds, so I have chosen to subscribe to the “Operation World” feed. That means that every day, a country of the world pops up on my phone and I’m given facts and advice about what to pray for concerning the gospel’s advancement in that country.
  • Ministries: Here is where I pray for ministries or missionaries that Sarah and I have committed to support through prayer and/or financial resources.
  • Friends/Family:  When I tell a friend or extended family member, “I will pray for you!”, this is the category that I add them to.

So, there are just some examples of the categories that I have set up so far. Each morning, before my kids wake up and the house starts to get crazy and noisy, I spend time in God’s word (the “515 Reading Plan” right now!). Then, I pray using the acronym TACOS (because food works for me), which stands for:

Thanksgiving, Adoration, Confession, Others, Self

I use the passage that I just read in Scripture to guide my prayer time through the “T”, “A”, “C” items. So, for example, if I just read Ephesians 1, I would spend time in Thanksgiving and Adoration, praising the Lord for adopting me into His family, and then I would enter a time of Confession about times that I fail to remember that I am His child.

When I get to the “others” and “self” portion of this model, that’s when I grab my phone and use PrayerMate. The app is FREE, and it is available for Apple and Android devices.

Why not give it a try?

 

Our Role In Prayer…

December 18, 2014 | By Pastor Tom Clegg

somali refugee camp

 

The lesson I took from the refugee camp in Africa began with my pain-filled prayer, “How could God let this happen?” It immediately came back with a sobering question to me: “Tom, how could you let this happen?”

I’m convinced that God’s work is a cooperative effort. He could have ordered the world so that deliverance from sins never involved other people. But he didn’t. Nor did he, like a clock maker who went on vacation, get things going and then leave the rest up to us. Instead, God’s plan involves working together with us–and often, not just “God and me” but “God plus me”, along with a handful or a hundred or a thousand or a few million others aligned with Him.

I’m not sure just how God does all He does. I don’t get the implications of every little nuance about free will and stuff. But I do know this: the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. What’s the main thing? Connecting with God through prayer! Things happen when people pray:

“Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NIV). God wants to use you, too, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13, NIV).

For some reason we often see prayer as our last resort rather than our first response. But prayer isn’t a program to be added; it’s a power to be released if people and churches are to reach their highest potential. Prayer is the fuel of living. Prayer is your most vital tool in God’s service. Pray as if your friends’ lives depend on it–because they do.

prayer 1

If you don’t have a prayer pattern already, you can use the following very practical strategy inspired by Alvin VanderGriend, executive director of Houses of Prayer Everywhere (HOPE). He teaches people a five-and-five prayer challenge.

“The idea is to pray five blessings on five neighbors starting at five minutes a day, five days a week, for five weeks. One person who accepted the challenge was a pastor in Walnut Creek, California, named Johnny Jones…Jones reported that within a month, one neighbor came to the pastor and said, ‘I’ve always wondered what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.’ Jones saw her come to faith in Christ. Another neighbor came to Johnny, admitting an involvement in drugs and asking for help. A Buddhist Vietnamese neighbor asked to go to church with him.”

Prayer unleashes the limitless resources of heaven’s unstoppable forces. This energy can’t be measured in megatons, kilowatts, or horsepower. It cannot be stopped, squelched, or slowed. It can’t be deterred, detoured, or delayed. When submitting to the will of an all-powerful, all-merciful, and all-knowing God, we position ourselves in the place of victory even before the battle begins! Without prayer, we try to fight a foe of unimaginable power with nothing but good sentiments, and we’re doomed before we start. As E.M. Bounds said, “Prayer is not preparation for the battle. Prayer is the battle!”

The need is so great that we can begin to understand that Jesus’ first command isn’t that we pray for the harvest of people who need to know God’s love, but that we pray for more laborers to go out. As Jesus said, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Matthew 9:37-38).

What are you going to do? Just stand there? No! Pray. Then go!