Prayer lists for smartphones!


Updated: November 1, 2010

theAltarHere’s an inspiring blog from one of our favorite bloggers, Avia Venefica.

A while ago, I visited Our Lady of Victory Basilica, an impressive shrine and Roman Catholic parish.  The founder of this national landmark was Father Nelson Baker.

There’s a museum in the shrine, guiding visitors through highlights of Father Baker’s remarkable life.  As I ambled through the time line of Father Baker’s accomplishments, I was struck by his selfless motivations, and how much progress he made for his charitable missions.
What most intrigued me about the Father Baker museum was a display showing visitors the items Baker typically carried in his pockets: Coins to give out to the poor, hard candies for hopeful children he passed, his rosary.

My eyes were drawn to a heap of plain leather-bound pocket books, each filled with name, after name, after name, after name.
These were his prayer books; he carried one with him at all times.  I could see where he’d placed a single straight line through each name as he completed his prayer on behalf of Mrs. Martin, Bobby Tullesman, Mr. O’Connell, Danny Upton, and the names went on and on, a line through each, indicating prayerful supplication had been offered to each individual.

smartphoneWhile I was ogling Father Baker’s prayer books held in the thick glass case, my Blackberry buzzed in my back pocket, my brother wanting to know my uncle’s new phone number.

I scrolled through all the contacts on my phone, and I was hit with an idea.

My concept of prayer is much more amorphous than Father Baker’s, but I could see how his prayer-lists could provide much-needed structure.

After seeing Baker’s lists and lists of prayer requests written in those tiny black books, it occurred to me the same structure could be employed with my Blackberry.

Prompted by Father Baker’s diligent commitment to prayer (and my brother’s phone call), I started using my Blackberry contacts list as a prayer list.  Every morning after meditation, I scroll through my contacts and offer a simple prayer of well-being for each person.  I have a supplemental list on my Blackberry for additional prayer requests and I roll my prayerful ruminations over this list too.

It’s a clever use of today’s technology.  An ideal way to send everybody some extra energetic jive-juice for their day.  A structured method of including (and not forgetting) everyone in my thoughts, and sending them sincere heart-vibes.

Maybe you could give it a try too.  Pull out your iPhones, Blackberry’s and Droid’s.  Roll through your contact lists and interject a heartfelt “be well” sentiment to each person on your list.  It just takes a few seconds.  Skim through and see everyone in your contact list as healthy, whole and smiling.  Easy-peasy.

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