Don’t you love it when you run into a friend who shared a struggle with you, and you’ve been praying fervently for her? You hug her and immediately ask for an update. She feels loved and supported by your commitment to pray for her.
And then there’s the way it goes too often in my life: You’re chatting with a friend, when she mentions that situation you promised prayer for. Your stomach drops as you realize you completely forgot.
I’ve tried various methods over the years to prevent this sinking feeling by keeping up with the prayer needs of others. For the past couple of years, I kept a small box of notecards. I separated the notecards into groups: family, close friends, those dealing with cancer, those in ministry, and other needs. I’d rotate through the cards in each group, praying for one or two from each category when I sat down to pray.
It’s a great system, but it’s still easy to forget. And when someone mentions a need to me at lunch or as we’re dropping our kids off at school, chances are slim that I’ll remember to write it down three hours later when I get home with a van full of groceries and a million things to do.
Then a friend told me about the Prayermate app. It is basically my notecard system on my phone, which is always within reach and even makes little noises regularly to remind me that it’s still there.
Here’s the basic setup: You create lists of topics (family, friends, ministry, etc.). Within each list, you create topics (husband, kids, pastor, your friend Marissa, etc.). You can write as much or as little as you like about each topic. When you open the app to pray, it shows you several topics from the lists you’ve created to refer to as you pray. Over time, the app rotates through all the topics, using priorities that you set, so that you are regularly praying for all the needs on your list.
When you open the app to pray, it will show you a selection of topics. You can increase or decrease the number of selections easily. You swipe left, and it will show you one selected topic at a time. I have mine set up to show me an attribute to praise God for, a sin to confess, a reason for thankfulness, a member of my immediate family, and then several prayer needs.
Here are some features I love about the Prayermate app:
- It’s free!
- You can associate a topic with a contact in your phone and text your friend directly from the app. It’s great for letting someone know you’re praying for her!
- You can password-protect the app if you want. Because sometimes I hand my phone to my kids, and my kids don’t need to read about your marital issues.
- You can set a specific number of topics from each list to be shown at each prayer session. I use this to tell the app that I want to pray for one member of my immediate family each time I pray. I also want to pray through one topic from my Praise, Confession and Thanksgiving lists.
- You can set a topic to be a high priority so you’ll see it more often. My husband is a high priority on my app, along with friends in the midst of a crisis.
- You can set a topic to be shown on a specific date. If I told you I’d pray for your job interview or surgery, Prayermate will help me remember!
- You can subscribe to built-in lists such as Open Doors USA, which gives you a prayer request for a different country each day.
- You can set reminders to pray at certain times each day. I set one for first thing in the morning, and in case I ignore that one, I’ve got a second reminder set at bedtime.
What do I not like about the Prayermate app?
- It doesn’t kick me in the butt when I ignore it.
Seriously, there is nothing I don’t like about it. I still HAVE TO PRAY, and that’s the hard part sometimes. No app can fix my lack of self-discipline. My phone can’t address the heart issues that cause me to prioritize other things above bringing my family and friends before the throne of God. But as God works in my heart to help me to prioritize prayer, the Prayermate app is a wonderful tool. Go check it out, and let me know what you think!Share