One of the most convicting verses in the Bible is 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which simply says, “pray continually.” Two words, and yet I find it so challenging to have prayer as part of my daily life on a continual basis. Paul isn’t saying that we must spend every minute of our day on our knees in prayer, but that we should be incorporating prayer into our daily lives and routines. We are to view prayer as a constant conversation and dialogue with our Heavenly Father.
Every morning I have my “quiet time” with the Lord, where I spend time reading His Word and in prayer. To be honest, I spend more time reading His Word that talking with Him, and I spend even less time listening to Him. Besides my dedicated prayer time during my devotions each morning, I also have specific times I pray such as before meals, and when I lay my weary head on the pillow at night before falling asleep. But I want more prayer. I want to live as Paul tells us, to have prayer be a continual part of my life.
For me, using my phone—something that is usually in my hand or on my person—was a great way to get more prayer into my life. According to a 2019 survey by global tech care company Asurion, on average Americans check their phones 96 times a day! Maybe one of these days I will count to see how many times I check my phone in a day. If I am turning to my phone so frequently during the day, why can’t I turn to the Lord in prayer as often. Here are a few ideas of how I use my phone to prompt me to prayer.
- Passcode. My 4-digit passcode for my phone (no I won’t tell you what it is) is a number that has significance to my family. Every time I type in my passcode, I recall those I love the most—my husband and children. I also see their picture since it is my home screen picture as well as my wallpaper picture. The picture and the passcode are reminders for me to pray for them.
- Fingerprint. Do you have a fingerprint or facial recognition as your passcode? Every time you use your passcode based on your unique self, spend a moment praying, “Lord, I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Ps. 139:14, 16).
- Clock. One of the functions of my phone is to serve as my clock. Often, I glance at my phone, rather than the watch on my wrist, to determine the time. When you glance at your phone to check the time, consider praying this prayer: “Lord, teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12) or “Lord, help me to be very careful, then, how I live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). Phones also can serve as alarm clocks. I often set alarms to remind me to do something throughout the day. I set my alarm as a reminder if my son is getting out of school at an unusual time so that I don’t forget to pick him up. Why not set an alarm on your phone for specific times throughout the day to dedicate for a time of prayer?
- Camera. Phones also function as our cameras. Whenever you use your camera to take a picture, scroll through pictures or even take a screen shot of something, take time to pray and ask God to help you focus on the right things: “Lord, help me set my heart and mind on things above, not on earthly things, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith” (Col. 3:1-2, Heb. 12:2a).
- Texts, Calls or E-mail. Every time you go to text or call someone, pray this prayer first: “Lord, do not let any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth [or my finger], but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who hear me speak” (Eph. 4:29). When you check your e-mail, pray for whoever the e-mail is from. Ask the Lord to help you to say the right words: “Lord, let my conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that I may know how to answer everyone. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Col. 4:6, Ps. 19:14).
- Social Media. When you scroll through your social media and see people who are asking for prayer or are struggling, don’t just type “Praying for you” or the praying hands emoji. Take the time to really pray for them. Perhaps even type them the prayer you prayed for them. It will encourage them as well as get you praying. Here is a verse you can pray for someone else: “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you (2 Thess. 3:16).
Although I don’t think I have mastered praying continually, these prayer phone prompts have helped me to sprinkle more prayer throughout my day and in the process enrich my relationship with the Lord.