I’ll Pray For…

One of the great uses I’ve found for technology is creating to-do lists. Shopping lists. Honey-do lists. Grocery lists. Project lists. And perhaps most important…prayer lists. We’ve all experienced the challenge of a good prayer life. It’s not for lack of things to pray for, but time, discipline, and remembering everything you want to carry to the Lord in prayer when you are ready to pray.

I’ve found a good routine of praying in the car on the way to work. I have a 30 minute drive in which I listen through the Daily Devotion from the WELS Mobile app as well as the Through My Bible series. Following that I have some quiet time in prayer. What really helped me during that time was being able to have my prayer list available. Trying to keep things digital, as I am want to do, I went in search of a good system to have that list with me in an easy to use and maintainable format. My requirements were:

  1. The list tool had to be easy to use. It’s important to have quick entry as prayer items occur. If it’s hard to get them into your system you will put it off, and perhaps forget before you get it onto a list.
  2. Whatever tool I use needs to be on multiple platforms and operating systems (Windows, Mac, phone, tablet, etc.). So whatever computing device I’m using or will use in the future I won’t have any trouble sticking with the same tool.
  3. The tool needs to support recurring items that can be checked and unchecked like any good list tool. This would allow me to cycle through items.
  4. The tool should be easy to use in the car by simply opening an app and have it appear without multiple taps which would be potentially unsafe.

What I decided on was a simple checklist within the Trello project management tool. I have a “card” called “Pray” and on it two simple checklists called Weekly and Special. My weekly list has a rotation of items like family, co-workers, spouse, kids, etc. The special list has those items that come up that may not be regular items but certainly things I want to take to the Lord, like a friend’s illness, relationship issues, special tasks or projects, etc. As I pray through the list a simple tap on a check box marks it as done once I reach my destination. Be careful to obey prevailing traffic laws regarding interacting with electronic devices. I’m hoping that voice activated check lists are in the near future as well.

Other lists you might consider would be OneNote, Evernote, and Google Keep. These are all cross platform and would work well for simple checklists. The point is to find a system that will put those things you want to pray for in front of you at the time you want to pray. I’ve found that just having the list available and in a system I use everyday anyway is a nice reminder to pray. We all need that!

So I just wanted to share my experiences with a system that seems to work well for me as I try to remove as many barriers as possible for a consistent prayer life. If we talk at some point in the future and I commit to praying for you or something that comes up in our conversation, know that I have a spot ready for it on my digital list.

Reflections on Verse of the Day – Romans 1:10

Romans 1:10
In my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

(Note: The Verse of the Day is available through WELS Mobile, the official WELS mobile application available in Apple, Google and Amazon app stores)

Paul had connections. In this verse he mentions just two. Of course, his connection to God, but also his desire to connect with the Christians in Rome. Both are part of a Christian life. There are many times where Paul references his trip to the throne of glory through prayer alongside a request that another trip be made to connect with others who need to hear about their Savior.

I can’t help but wonder how the social media tools of today might have excited Paul. We have just a few of the letters that he wrote and then sent on their way in hopes that they would reach their destination, little lone be read. A tool like Facebook or email would have been gold in the hands of somebody like Paul — a thirsty ambassador who couldn’t make enough connections.

What is our excuse? We have that “gold,” but do we have the thirst to use whatever is at our disposal to make those connections to expand the kingdom? I know I’m guilty of reducing my social media posts to simple snapshots of a recent vacation, or other benign status updates that really only I care about…and of course revolve around ME.

Our desire to connect with others in a spiritual way, as Paul did, is very much intertwined with the strength of our connection with Jesus. If you aren’t talking to Jesus much, you probably aren’t talking much to other people about Jesus. If you aren’t listening to Jesus much through his Word, you probably aren’t listening to others with an ear toward sharing some of that Word as opportunities arise. It really is a package deal.

Two challenges for today:

  1. Start healthy spiritual habits that allow you to connect with your Savior frequently (prayer, Bible study, etc.)
  2. View your social media interactions as chances to “connect” like Paul was thirsty to do — for the sake of the Gospel.

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