How to pray when Instagram calls


‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17). God’s pretty clear on what he wants us to do.

As his children, we can come to him whenever, wherever we want. But so often we don’t.

There are lots of reasons for this. Firstly, I only pray when I feel I need him.

Then there's all the other distractions – phone notifications fling me from one thing to the next.

These apps convince me that I’m in control and I can get what I need instantly. So I’ve also forgotten how hand over control and wait.

The very thing God calls us to do when we pray (Psalm 27:14).

Find a moment

Are there moments we can have away from our phones? A walk at lunch or just staring out the window on the bus rather than at a screen?

Is there a daily task we could spend praying. Like when we brush our teeth or washing up?

If we can’t ditch our device, the PrayerMate app will help.


Mike Cosper suggests that we should ‘breathe prayers’. This is a quick prayer as we breathe in or out to remind us of God’s presence with us.

Deep breaths calm us down. But combining them with praying a short Bible verse is powerful.

‘God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’ Psalm 73:26


And remember how different prayer is. People get into mindfulness or yoga as a way to escape our instant, digital age.

But prayer is much better.

We get a chance to be still, to delight in our dependence on the Lord of the universe who uses our prayers to act in the world (James 4:2)

Prayer is our better mindfulness. So ‘pray without ceasing’ is less a command and more a joyful invitation.