With phones, for example, we love the accessibility of cellular, the ability to make a call from the road side if our tire goes flat. We hate it when a phone rings during a movie, or interrupting an important face-to-face conversation.
Perhaps more than any other aspect of our lives, new digital technologies have disrupted, or at least dramatically changed, the space and time we give to prayer.
No one has quiet time any more. All moments that used to be pauses are now potential space to check messages, make calls. The ubiquity of always on communication, as much of a blessing it is in some instances, does change the approach we take to God as the one to go to when all else falls away.
So what if we attempt to develop a digital technology that enhances and deepens the life of prayer. This is what a number of app developers have undertaken, and wisely, they approach the development of prayer apps with the approach to prayer that is most widely experienced: We ask others to pray for us, and we promise to pray for them.
But do we? And how do we?
So I took time this past week to research prayer apps on iTunes. There are a variety of them out there. Some of them are painfully inelegant. A few of them are expensive, or include in-app purchases and advertisements, something I despise. But I did find one app that met all my criterion: it is beautiful, simple, and helpful. It's called Echo.
Here are some screen shots.
|First add your prayers or pray|
|OLTT is our catechumenate: the app scrolls through your prayers|
|Expand and edit your prayer list on the fly|
|Set a specific amount of time for prayer, then scroll through the prayers|
|Title your prayers, and add descriptive information|
If you aren't an app person, there are some other ways to improve the shape of your prayer life. One of my favorites is the Daily Prayer Office resource. This dynamic web site designs daily prayer offices for you each day. There is also a page in preferences that allows you to insert your own personal prayers into each of the offices.