Making time to pray has always been a challenge. Susan Hunter introduced me to a free app for my smart phone called Centering Prayer. Just seeing the icon when I look at my phone gives me an opportunity to think about God. If I tap on the app, I am led through a brief process that uses scriptures and music (you get to choose) around a few minutes of silence. So a bit of music leads me in, a piece of scripture reminds me to give myself the gift of time with God, a sound opens and closes the silence, and scripture and music lead me out again.
When I first used the app, I tried for a longer period of silence than I could manage. The blessing of being somewhat older is the ease with which you cut yourself some slack. So I shortened the time, and now it works for me. Have I been great at using this technology to help me pray more often? Not especially. But it is there, and my eye falls on the icon regularly, reminding me that all I need do to be with God is stop and be with God.
Some people think that using a device like this app, or books of written prayers, or scented candles, or music is somehow “cheating,” as if prayer should be some kind of pure act. But nothing about our lives is pure and God is not school master, lurking to catch us out. Anything that helps one pray more often or more fully is welcomed by God. Are there things you do when you pray, and do they help you? I would welcome hearing from you, and sharing the responses.
Scripture Readings for Sunday, August 14: Jeremiah 23:23-29; Luke 12:49-56
The prayer list can be found here.