A Gentle Boost for ‘Prayer Weaklings’

If you have moved around in Christian circles for very long, chances are good that you have met at least one person whom others refer to as a “Prayer Warrior.” The term is often used to describe a much-admired individual who has the self-discipline and perseverance to stay in an ongoing dialog with God throughout his or her day. I not-so-secretly envy these people, and the last five years of my life has been spent battling uphill to become more like “them.”

Turns out it’s a lot harder than it sounds. I think perhaps more of us are Prayer Weaklings rather than Prayer Warriors.

(At this point, I am tempted to ask if I can get an “Amen!” to that, temporarily losing sight of the fact that The Crossing is part of the EPC and we don’t generally go in for that sort of thing.)

Did you forget something?My own prayer life has developed to the point that I find I pray as the occasion merits – “on demand,” if you will – and throughout a typical day as the cares and concerns of the world wash up on the shore of my awareness. Specific prayers – healing, forgiveness, change of heart – are usually short, to-the-point, and more or less consistently breathed out in the spirit of “Not my will, but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Oftentimes, however, the more immediate pushes the eternal from my eyes.

Like anyone else, I can be distracted by things – good things! – to the point that hours and hours can slip by without my taking note of the fact that I have not once attempted to communicate gratitude, anxiety or anything else to my Creator God. Which is why I am such a huge fan of the Abide Prayer App, available free of charge for both Apple and Android devices.

Just this morning, in the mad dash to make it out the door “on time” – which, to this German and all other right-thinking individuals, really means “15 minutes early” – all my thoughts and the intentions of my heart were focused on the demands of the upcoming day; getting my son to school on time, fretting needlessly about my car’s tendency to burn a bit of oil, hoping my wife packed that giant piece of cake for me to take to work…truly important things such as these. Right in the middle of that selfish cloud of chaotic thoughts, as I was waiting somewhat-impatiently for my kid to get his shoes on – How long does it take to put on your tennies, for crying out loud?! – my phone made that unique chirping sound all on its own, without any advance planning on my part. It was the Abide app, gently inviting me to meditate briefly on Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Abide Prayer AppThe entire devotion took 97 seconds. My kid hadn’t even appeared at the garage door yet, and my heart had been “righted” considerably.

According to the Abide website, the application is a “product of Carpenters Code, a fellowship of technologists from Google, Tesla, Ebay, Microsoft, and other firms seeking to use their gifts to bring people closer to God.” For those of us – myself included – who can get wigged out every time they sense they might be stepping anywhere outside the Reformed faith, the technologists thoughtfully add, “Abide is a community centered on Christ and embraces authors from across the Christian family. We believe that the Bible is true, and we profess the Nicene Creed as our statement of faith.”

Abide Prayer AppThus far, I have found nothing whatsoever “wrong” (and certainly nothing heretical) with the prayers being served up on Abide. Perhaps the single most challenging aspect of installing Abide is the humility required to acknowledge that we can all be Prayer Weaklings more often than we care to admit. Once you admit your own tendency to drift away from God, especially with “the best of intentions,” the reminders show up as a welcome call to set aside a minute or two at a time to remember what we are made of, and how relentless the pull to forget our Creator God can be.

In my experience, short prayers are far better than no prayers…and it seems like those short prayers tend to lead to more full, focused ones later in the day.

Deuteronomy 6:12 (ESV)
Then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Ecclesiastes 12:1
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.”

1 Corinthians 11:2
Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

3 Comments

  1. speakupif said:

    Thoughts we all tend to have and then life grabs and drags us along. Hope the principle of the widows mites apply. I will check out this APP.

  2. Nita Loganbill said:

    I’m working on being a spiritual warrior in a pacifist body!!! My devotion yesterday was a story where satan whispers to you, ‘you can’t handle this storm’, and you whisper in reply ‘I am the storm’. My faith and my trust needs to be strengthened so I am in warrior mode and always ready. Training and toning your muscles to carry your body in order to be healthy can’t stop or you loose muscle strength, our spiritual training must always continue as well so we are prepared. We never arrive, we journey on. It is best to always be in motion and to have a goal. we are less likely to be snared by something harmful. 🙂 Thank you Crossings. Always enlightening, always challenging always keeping us MOVING FORWARD. Blessings.

  3. Kim said:

    Thank you for the suggestion just added the app and will give it a try

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