Spiritual Practices, Technology

Pray as you go

Mindfulness practices are all the rage in my professional world. Just this week I sat through a work seminar on how to slow down throughout the day, calm my thoughts and be present in the moment. As a busy working mom, I appreciate the reminder to breathe and slow down, rather than let my scattered, anxious thoughts dominate my head.  

But as a follower of Christ, I long for more. I know God wants me to love Him with all of my mind (Luke 10:27) and to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), but how is that going to happen? Certainly not through my obsessive scrolling through news feeds, email, Netflix-binging, and other distracting screen behaviors.

But as much as my phone and technology can contribute to the problem, I’ve also found that they offer tools to help me get my day centered on truth from God.

A few years ago, I discovered Pray As You Go–an app that helps me quiet my mind and gives space to soak in Scripture. 

Pray As You Go is designed to be listened to “on-the-go” if needed, but I like to use it during the first 10-12 minutes of my day. Sometimes I resort to listening while putting on my makeup, sitting in the parking lot at work, or during lunch at my desk.

Each day’s session starts with a ringing of church bells, moves into a few minutes of music to help quiet oneself, and then provides a slow meditative reading of a short portion of Scripture. (It’s a bonus that this is often read by someone with a charming British or Irish accent!)

Those 10-12 minutes in the app provide time, mental space, and questions to ponder and connect with God through the Bible. I’m always the better for it. God’s word is alive, breathed on by His Spirit and full of power to transform, heal and guide. That is why I love Scripture, and THAT is what I want to be hungrily packing into my brain!

The app also has other treasures in it, all of which come from the ancient wisdom and tradition of St. Ignatius.  Who knew that Christians have been teaching and modeling ways to be mindful and meditative for centuries? Two features I’ve used and enjoyed are the Examen prayers and the Imaginative Contemplation exercises. The beauty and secret of these practices come from filling our minds and hearts with the powerful, transformative, spirit-breathed word of God. The fun part is seeing how God weaves this back into each day, reminding me of His wisdom and encouraging my life to be shaped by this divine guidance.

You can download the Pray As You Go app here, or you can find it online.