Three Apps to Aid Your Spiritual Life
By Blair Thompson-White
Here are three apps that I incorporate into my routine; it is not too much to say that these apps have helped me to become a deeper disciple, living more connected with Christ, more centered in the Spirit, more mindful of God's work in the world and in my daily life.
For Your Prayer Life
In the past, when people asked me to pray for them, I would say yes immediately; my desire to pray for them was pure, however, I wasn't organized! I would write their name on a piece of paper or type it in the notes section of my iPhone but I didn't have a systematic way of listing and reviewing names. Then I thought: there MUST be an App for that! Sure enough, there is! My intercessory prayer life has grown tremendously thanks to the:
I scroll through the names in the morning and at night, while I am in line at the store, whenever I have a moment of pause in the day. Instead of checking facebook ten times a day, try turning to the prayer app. The app also has a feature where it will randomly pick a name on your list and send you a notification that prompts you to pray for them.
By spending even just a few seconds on each name, you are sending light and love to them; the Christ in you is tuned into the Christ in them and it is a mystery, but when you are receiving end of prayer you can feel this divine energy as close to you as your breathing.
Pray for others and participate in this extraordinary spiritual reality of our connectedness with God and one another.
For Your Engagement with Scripture
Let's be honest: with the pace of life today it is hard to sit down and focus on reading and reflecting on Scripture. We have this great image in our minds that we will sit in our leather chair in the early morning with our well-worn Bible and take deep, reflective notes in our journal...for whatever reason, maintaining this daily discipline is difficult for most of us. Try playing this 10 to 13 minute daily reading and prayerful reflection on the lectionary text:
You'll hear contemplative music, the day's scripture reading, questions for reflection, the reading again, and more contemplative music. Also, it is all done in a British accent...it can't get much better than that! Listen to it on walks with your dog, in the car, while you do gardening, while you sit in that leather chair with a cup of coffee in the morning.
This app is truly an entry-point for the Spirit to reach you through Scripture and reflection. Invite God to work through Pray As You Go and God will.
For Reflecting on Your Life
One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and others is time to examine our life, to stop and explore our experiences, motives, fears...those who regularly go into the depths of their day-to-day thoughts and interactions live with greater awareness and intentionality; they are more tuned into the Spirit's guidance and wisdom in the present moment.
The ancient spiritual practice of the prayer of examen has been used for generations as a way into deep personal reflection. The ReImagining the Examen app will take you step-by-step through questions that invite you to explore a moment, a feeling, an encounter from the day. You can choose from a variety of themed reflections.
My husband Adam and I work through an examen from the app together once a week, usually over dinner. We find the questions to be a way into deeper connection with God and one another; we credit this app with helping us to become closer and to hold one another accountable to our desire to become Christ-like in our day-to-day living.
Our cell phones are central to the way we interact with others today...and they can help us to connect more with God, too. How we choose to use our phones matters; apps can be a means of grace, a way through which we experience God's presence in our lives.
I hope these apps are helpful tools for you to use in your spiritual life. May we use our phones in ways that are life-giving for us and others.
What apps have you found helpful in your spiritual life?
Please share in the comment section below.