While many retired clergy choose to enjoy their well-deserved season of rest, some seek ways to continue nurturing their spiritual calling.
In this age of technology, dependence on devices shows no signs of decreasing. Smartphones particularly, have become a lifeline when managing the stresses work and home bring into everyday life, but can they help us to grow in our faith?
While church attendance has declined, 28 percent of Americans have stated their religious faith has strengthened1 according to Forbes.com. This forces ministries to rethink how they can connect with their congregations while trying to stick to the core values of the church. Prayer and Bible apps, although not new, have gained popularity in the wake of the pandemic. An app can provide an effective way to unwind and center yourself throughout the day, whether you begin your day with a scripture and prayer, need a daily affirmation or a new way to connect with friends and loved ones through prayer.
The church is no stranger to using technology to spread the word of God. When the pandemic was at its height, according to a study by Lifeway Research, 45 percent of Americans watched their church services online2. Prayer especially, is an essential part of connecting with God that is not only communal but a form of meditation for many. Prayer apps provide a refreshing new way to grow our faith and offer opportunities to integrate daily prayer into our busy schedules. Here are a few apps that can be tailored to your devotional time.
Looking to customize your meditation practice? This free to download application offers over 1,500 Biblical meditations, daily Biblical readings, and personalized guidance for everyday life challenges. Abide offers stories based in the Bible to facilitate sleep wellness, and daily meditations that can provide guidance for the day. Abide prides itself on being the “#1 Christian meditation app to sleep better and stress less.”
Echo is an app focused on connecting people with God through prayer. You can keep track of your prayers through the free app, along with setting up daily prayer reminders. A feature that makes Echo a standout amongst the rest is its ability to let you share prayer requests with others. Prayer requests can be shared individually or with a small group to encourage community prayer.
The YouVersion Bible App gives you the opportunity to grow your prayer life through scripture engagement with over 2,500 bible versions available. Users can experience an easy-to-use interface free of advertising. If you are interested in scriptures paired with devotional and video selections, the app offers a number of subscription plans to fit your preference. Features such as discovering live church events and sharing your prayer with friends, allows users to build community within and outside of the YouVersion Bible app.
Daily Prayer App offers users the opportunity to join in morning, midday, and evening prayer. With added content offered every day, their set schedule allows you to join at your convenience. For those consistently on the go, Daily Prayer offers scriptures to be read to you, as well as notifications that can be set up to fit your lifestyle. Daily Prayer is perfect for those that are interested in setting their own pace but also would like recommendations.
With more than two million prayers said, Daily Prayer Guide is a free to download app that offers prayers for changing one’s outlook on life. Daily Prayer Guide provides users with morning prayer and specialized topics that can tailor prayers to fit your specific need. Unlike its counterparts, the Daily Prayer Guide is free to try but does require a subscription to continue to use. You may find it worth the subscription with their vast selection of Bible verses handpicked and categorized in a special collection for daily inspiration.
If you would prefer to focus on praying through your knowledge of the Bible, Bible Gateway provides free access to Bible study resources. Through the free to download app, you can read, listen, and navigate scripture. You can also share verses with friends, creating a space to encourage your community to pray together. An added bonus is the app’s free features which include taking notes and highlighting verses that can be synchronized to your devices for future readings.
The prayer apps suggestions are all available on Apple iOS and Android and are free to download. Some may have certain features that require a subscription, but this is up to the user’s discretion. When trying to fit daily prayer into our busy lives, it is important to take a moment and let your mind wind down, even if it is just taking 10 minutes from a full schedule.
As technology continues to take up permanent residence in all aspects of our lives, we can also adapt and use it to bring a positive impact to our faith. Daily prayer is one of the many ways to accomplish that and also be sustained and encouraged by God amid the demands of life and ministry. As Psalms 1:2 reminds us: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” (NIV)
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Translations of any materials into languages other than English are intended solely as a convenience to the non-English-reading public. We have attempted to provide an accurate translation of the original material in English, but due to the nuances in translating to a foreign language, slight differences may exist.
Las traducciones de cualquier material a idiomas que no sean el inglés son para la conveniencia de aquellos que no leen inglés. Hemos intentado proporcionar una traducción precisa del material original en inglés, pero debido a las diferencias de la traducción a un idioma extranjero, pueden existir ligeras diferencias.
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