Like many I have struggled over the years to maintain a healthy prayer life. For me there have been basically two obstacles.
The first obstacle has been time. I have plenty of it; I just seem to have a hard time finding it.
The second obstacle has been organization. Over the years I’ve tried different systems for managing my prayer requests. Each new attempt fizzling out with time. Why? Some systems required me to have a special notebook or journal with me to pray (and if I don’t have it with me when I remember to pray the system fails). Other systems failed because they were not intuitive, it took too long to learn the system, and I gave up before that happened.
But I have now found a system to manage my prayer requests which is both simple and always with me, it is an app called PrayerMate. I hesitate promoting a method like this because I know some people are not as comfortable with technology. But it has been working for me for some time now, which is why I want to tell you about it.
How I have it Organized
PrayerMate is like a filing cabinet for your prayers. You can take your individual prayers (think files) and organize them into categories (think drawers) in your PrayerMate cabinet.
In my PrayerMate app i have 9 “drawers,” which the app calls lists. (The number in the parentheses is for how many “files” (i.e. prayers) are in each drawer right now (it changes regularly):
- Praying the Bible (* populated by PrayerMate) – which is a feed I get which helps me use passages of Scripture for prayer
- Preparation for Prayer (2) – which I have a few quotes about prayer that help inspire me to be serious in my prayer life
- Biblical Prayer (40+) – which is a list of passages where NT authors are writing out prayer (you can download pre-set lists from within the app for this kind of thing.)
- Family (15)- here I have a file on each member of my immediate family. I am able to list out individual prayer needs for each person.
- Church Ministries (11)- here I pray for things that are happening in my church, ministries, special projects, etc.
- Church Members (15)- when a member asks me to pray for something i put it in this list
- Pastors and Missionaries (13)- here I list many of my friends in ministry, as well as the missionaries that my family or church supports
- Salvation (20) this is the list of all my friends who do not know Jesus
How I Control What I Pray and When
PrayerMate allows me to preset how many files I want to pull from each drawer. I can control how often I pray for something or someone (i.e. every day, once a week, once a month). I can even set when I want a prayer request to be archived.
For example: I have a total limit of 19 prayers. The app won’t give me more than 19 at one time. But I can also control how many prayers come from each list. So generally, I pray for two pastors/missionaries I know, as well as for two church members and two church ministries. PrayerMate shuffles them for me and it keeps track of how often I have prayed for something/someone.
The only major drawback of this app for me is that it does not sync across my devices, so changes made on my iPhone don’t get made on my iPad. This can be frustrating, but I’ve learned to work around it and hopefully a future edition will fix that problem.
Anyone looking for a system or an app to help them manage their prayers should look into PrayerMate.