Personal time set apart with God is one of the most challenging disciplines for many Christians, and the beginning of a New Year often heightens our awareness of our lacking, and a re commitment to search for this illusive ‘treasure’. Phil Stollery reviews one new tool that may just make this more achievable.
We may start the New Year with various goals and fresh determination, to achieve things in our lives that we perceive could make them better. These ‘resolutions’ may range from the relatively every day, to those which may be life changing. One common goal for many Christians is to find more regular time set aside with God. It’s not surprising that many of us find this difficult – for various reasons – because it would seem that it is as crucial and ‘life-giving’ as anything else we may do. If Jesus found it one of his top activities – then so it must be for us. Yet so often, whilst we start with good intentions – a new ‘devotional’ book – setting out a designated time – commitment to ‘put this first’, the reality is that reaching the end of January with continued interest would be a great achievement for many!
One new tool that may just help is the ‘Lectio 365’ app from the 24/7 Prayer Movement. Following the pattern of prayer laid out in Pete Greig’s new book ‘How to Pray’, it offers a way of accessing scripture, being still, and praying – asking for God’s help, and yielding to His will in your life.
What makes this really accessible, with the potential for it being a sustainable daily focus, is the audio option. Whilst all the main verses, thoughts and prayers can be read, you can also ‘plug in’ for up to 10 minutes, and along with the background music, listen and become a part of the scripture and prayers through listening. For some this may sound not enough, but for many, taking just a few minutes to ‘be quiet’ and ‘re-focus’ from the busyness of life, may just be the start of something transformational.
There are of course many other apps and tools available, and different ones will appeal to different people, but where our lives may be far busier than they should, yet where we inexplicably struggle to disentangle ourselves, this may just be one way of refocusing in to a most crucial life discipline.
More details and links to downloading the app can be found here. It is suitable for Apple and Android users.
Look out for the 24/7 Prayer Course due to be run by Ipswich in Prayer over Lent – 1 hour sessions run over 8 weeks, providing easy to access thoughts and discussions on how to pray, aimed at revitalizing our personal and ‘together’ lives of prayer.