I just spent five minutes rocking Graham for his afternoon nap. In the past, I would’ve piddled that five minutes away scrolling through my Facebook feed, “liking” things I don’t really like and watching videos of people making neat things out of a bunch of old junk. Granted, sometimes a little veg-out time between other things is good for my brain. However, it might be more beneficial if I spent at least some of those transitional moments during the day in prayer.

Enter PrayerMate. This free app, available on iOS and Android, has really helped me pray for specific things and people in short little conversations with God throughout my day. I created several lists like Family, Church, and My Spiritual Growth. To each list, I added a number of cards. These are people and things to pray about. Some cards are temporary–after I pray through them a set number of times or length of days, they are archived. Others are perpetual, like praying for Corinne. To some cards, I add notes, specific things to pray for that person, or Scriptures to pray for them.

PrayerMate has a number of prayer guides and resources available, so I don’t have to create all this content myself. When I created a prayer card for Corinne, it suggested several things a husband can pray for his wife, including verses and short prayers from a variety of books and prayer guides. I can add whatever I want to her card, and add my own prayers for her as well. For my own spiritual growth, I’m planning to use a daily prayer guide designed for 2019 that guides a conversation with the Lord about where I need to grow and submit to him.

After getting the app set up (which is super easy), it does my favorite thing. When I sit down to rock Graham or have a few minutes between appointments, I can start praying with a swipe. I set mine to randomly pull up five cards from my lists. Just now I swiped and it pulled up a prayer from Matthew 9:38, a prayer to confess sin, a card to pray for my mother-in-law, a card from The Gospel Coalition’s “18 Things to Pray for Your Church,” and a prayer for my next door neighbor. In five minutes, I will have prayed for several things I wouldn’t normally think to pray for on my own.

That’s much better than scrolling through my Facebook feed!

Even though the calendar turns another year this week, we’re only halfway through our year of prayer at LakeView Church. Maybe we’ll turn it into a lifetime of conversations with God! Whether it’s an app like PrayerMate, a reminder on your phone, or the accountability of a good friend, my prayer for you is that you will find time to spend just five more minutes a day talking or listening to God in 2019.