Praying with the Echo App

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Have you ever needed an app to pray? Yeah, me neither. However, recently I was made aware of a prayer app called Echo. At first I downloaded it to just check it out. After “checking it out” I decided I could really utilize this app. Its simple interface makes it user-friendly and its notifications ability makes praying on a schedule manageable in our busy lives.

Believe it or not (and you should) most of us do not pray throughout the day because either we do not know how or we do not know what to pray for with the exception of the desperate prayer of “God help me.” Most times, in an attempt to be spiritual we ask God to bless us, keep us, or be with us and never get to the heart of God through directness or specificity.

Prayer is relational. When we boldly and confidently go before the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16), we have the fortune of going before a God who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). Why would we not want to dial in our prayers to be more precise petitions instead of just asking God to be mindful of us. Jesus did not ask God for help when he knelt in the garden the night before his crucifixion. He precisely asked God to take the cup from him. When Elijah faced the 450 prophets of Baal, he did not ask God to be with him. He built an alter of sacrifice, cut up a bull and placed it on the alter and precisely asked God to let it be known today who is the real God. So when we pray, it should be more than a mere acknowledgement God’s existence and your desire for his participation.

This is where the Echo app comes in. We meander through our day and hardly say a word to God unless we need him. We can turn this attitude around and give God a little more effort by redeeming the technology in our lives. I’m not saying we have to spend a large amount of time for every prayer need on our list but we can spend a little more time praying than we do.

ECHO

The echo app, as I stated earlier, has a very simple interface. You can either use it to pray or use it to schedule prayers. There’s really nothing more to it. When you open the app it gives you the option to “Pray Now” or “Add A Prayer”. I hardly use the pray now option because I mostly let the app notify me when it is time to pray for someone. So really the only time I even open the app is when I need to add a prayer need.

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You can open the app and swipe up from the bottom of the screen and it will give you four options that are quite self-explanatory.

  • Your Prayers
  • Reminders
  • Answered
  • Settings

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The one thing I will highlight in the settings is the Prayer Timer. You can set a timer so if you have a set time of day to pray through your prayer needs you can set the amount of time to pray for each need. It will then notify you when each prayer time is up and what to pray for next.

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The Reminder Type really is the heart of the app. Here you set when and how to be notified each time you need to pray for something or someone. I set mine to push-notify me on my phone. You can also set it to email you or both.

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Lastly is the section of answered prayers. I like this section simply because it acts as an Old Testament alter to remind us what God has done. Here you can check off you answered prayers and keep them to look back and see how God has moved, answered, and been a part of our relationship with him. I like to journal for the same reasons so I also keep a journal (or try to) each and every day so that I can look back where I was and where God has me now.

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I highly recommend this simple app to keep you on track praying throughout your day. It does not take much. When you receive a notification, keep working or doing whatever it is you are doing but silently pray for those needs. If you have the opportunity to stop what your doing, then that is even better. Stop for a moment and pray. This app will propel your prayer life. The best thing is it is FREE. So get to it!

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A Powerful Prayer of Søren Kierkegaard’s

“You have loved us first, oh God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing. You have loved us first many times and every day and our whole life through.

When we wake up in the morning and turn our soul toward You – You are the first – You have loved us first; if I rise at dawn and at the same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first.

When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are the first  and thus forever. And yet we always speak ungratefully as if You have loves us first only once.”

– Søren Kierkegaard

My 21 Day Fast

I would like to think you’d be well pleased in my efforts to fast over the past twenty-one days. Unfortunately I’m afraid you’d be disappointed in someone who’s a leader in the local church, who leads in worship. If you want to know why I chose to do this twenty-one day fast you can go here and read all about it.

Choosing to fast from Facebook and Twitter was not really an issue. I had no problems not going to these social networking sites to catch up on the latest. I really felt no urge to see what was going on in everyone’s life. Don’t get me wrong. I wanna know what’s happening in my friend’s life but to find out on Facebook or Twitter is where I call it. I’m really digging the idea of getting back to being personable. That’s why I have stopped texting as much and calling more. I just can’t believe we’ve gone backwards in life. We’ve went from a telegraph to a phone back to telegraph. But I digress.

The hardest thing about not connecting through these sites for me was there was so much going on I never realized happens in the month of January. Mostly just the fact of having to put my cat down and I couldn’t connect or have anyone relate to me so easily. I also blogged a few things that I would have loved to talk about more but couldn’t. Some folks thought I was tweeting or facebooking but in all actuality some were preplanned tweets that were scheduled to go off at certain times. Others were my blog connecting automatically to these sites.

Regardless, there were things that I couldn’t easily connect on which made investing in others lives a little more difficult than the norm. I wish I could have participated in my bass player’s pregnancy as she posted pics of her newborn son on Facebook. I wish I could have participated in my friend’s cat passing away as well. I wish I could have participated in the friendly banter of NFL playoffs trash talking. I wished I could have announced certain things going on at church like our prayer and worship nights or Jonnie W., the comedian, coming.

But these things are lost in the light of my biggest failure; not connecting with God. Like all things I started out running and ended in a slow crawl across the finish line. The time spent in the word and praying was great at first then became a struggle as I filled my time with doing rather than being quiet. I put off my reading in the morning and would forget that I didn’t read and so I went days without sticking with my bible plan.

My greatest reward, making time, became my greatest failure, having time to do other things. I simply filled the time I was supposed to spend in prayer and reading on other things and not the necessary things. Although I would call that a failure, in a small way it was a success.

I learned my life doesn’t have to revolve around social networking. I learned just what I had presumed which is Facebook and Twitter is taking too much of my time, keeping me from getting other more important things done. I was glad to take this time to fast from these things if anything to prove to myself I’m too wrapped up in superficially designed things that make me feel some sort of self-worth when my self-worth is found in my wife and son, my friendships I personally take time to invest in, and my relationship with Christ!

So although it seems to be a failure on the outside, I know it was a success on the inside. Here’s to my cutting back and giving more in the right places.

Praying For Those That Don’t Want It

A few days ago I was at a customers house. I was laying on the ground resting from doing some drilling and she walked out and asked me if I was ok.

Me – Yup, I’m just praying.

Her – What are you praying about

Me – I’m praying for you and your well-being

Her – My well-being?

I didn’t want to tell her that she was being a jerk and that I wanted to smack her and I was actually praying for a peaceful spirit from my anger so I figured her well-being was considered the same thing. Lol

Me – yes ma’am. I just thought I should pray for you and without knowing your needs I’m just praying for your well-being.

Her – I don’t need your prayers. Thank you anyway!

Yep, I prayed more for her “well-being”, finished the termite job and moved on.

Have you ever been told not to pray for someone because they didn’t want your prayers. I just pray silently anyway. I know that God is the greater good. But my prayer moves from blessing prayer to a salvation and knowing Him prayer.

How do you respond to someone not wanting your prayers?

Sun Stand Still book review

I recently read Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick, pastor at Elevation Church. This book has been the talk across the twitter sphere for a while now. I was cautious about reading a book on faith because of others I have read have seemed to be far out there. Steve puts it on the level that’s understandable and even believable that we can have the same faith as that as the greatest Christians mentioned in the Hall of Faith-Hebrews 11.

Steven Furtick sums his book in three simple steps to Sun Stand Still faith.
1. Seize God’s vision
2. Activate your faith
3. Make your move

Steven goes on to say that “when God’s super collides with your natural, sparks will fly,” “extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience,” “if you do the believing He’ll do the achieving.”

Some people think they can’t have the faith of the “super-chrisitans” that are on tv and speaking at conferences around the world but he shows us that the Holy Spirit is the same in us all. But in order for us to have Sun Stand Still faith that Joshua had Steven says, “if the dream in your heart isn’t biblically based, focuses on Jesus, affirmed by the people in your life, and tethered to your passions, gifts, and life experiences, chances are, your way off the prompt.Before you can pray a Sun Stand Still prayer, you’ve got to set your sights on the specific impossible thing God wants you to trust him for in your life”

Sometimes we doubt that God will answer out faith prayers. As Steven Furtick points out, it’s quite possible that He won’t. “The land where the sun stands still is a land where promises and perhaps must coexist.”

But your vision should never be limited to who you are or what you think you can do. Sun Stand Still faith is faith that goes beyond the natural. Remember Steven says, “When God’s super collides with your natural, sparks will fly.”

Of course Sun Stand Still faith does not come easy. Good things rarely are rendered from something that didn’t take work. Everytime God presents a significant opportunity it’s formed in the crucible of crisis.

I am so inspired by this book, I highly recommend you read it. It will give you a whole new outlook on faith and prayer and might even inspire you to step out on a limb and allow God’s super to collide with your natural.

Prayer Answering

George Mueller was asked if he really believed that two men would be converted, men for whom Mueller had prayed for over fifty years. Mueller replied, “Do you think God would have kept me praying all these years if He did not intend to save them?”

In fact, both men were converted, one shortly after Mueller’s death.-Spiritual Leadership

I find that I grow wearisome after a time of prayer. I tend to forget about certain prayer concerns after a few days. Or I just give up praying because I’ve kept God long enough. But to pray over fifty years and never see and fruit and die? Then God draws that prayer to fruition seems kinda mean on God’s part.

I’m sure God had a reason to wait that long like he did in raising Lazarus from the dead. That’s true dedication to pray that long just to feel deep down inside wonder if anything will ever happen. He had to have felt that once or twice. He was human.

What about you? Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever prayed for a considerable amount of time only to either give up or continue steadfast in faith knowing that you plant, someone water but God will bring growth?

How would you react if you prayed for something for years only to find out in Heaven your prayers were answered after your death? Can you even answer that? 🙂