NOT ALWAYS A DISTRACTION
APPS THAT CAN HELP YOU IN YOUR SPIRITUAL WALK
Our phones can definitely be a distraction, but they can also be used to help us focus on things that matter. We asked women to share some of their favorite apps that help them in their Christian walk.
(in alphabetical order)
The First 5 app aims to help users remember to devote their first 5 minutes of the day to study and prayer. The app lets you set an alarm and will send you a reminder to get started. The reminder will probably be particularly helpful if your devotional time isn’t the first thing you do or if you are trying to start or get back in the habit.
“I love the app because it provides an inspirational quote, scripture verse, devotional and prayer for each day of the week. The best part is the Saturday recap video,” Schelika Barnes reports.
If you start using the daily material and realize that it feels like you are mid-way through a study, consider checking out the previous plans or reviewing previous entries in the current plan. First 5 provides both topical and Bible book studies for free, as well as additional paid content.
Plus, the app allows readers to share their responses in a comments section. Sometimes, the experiences of other women may resonate with you more than the original devotional. The app also makes it easy to invite friends and share in the process together.
My Step: Devo Stories
Each day, My Step provides a new short devotional testimony video (@3 minutes), a short reflection (@100 words) and 2-3 questions for you to stop and consider. You can also look for a reflection on a topic of concern by clicking the menu icon in the top left corner.
Major Jennifer Melton recommends it to women all the time, “It’s short and the questions are great. They really promote insight and growth.”
The 500 year-old Examen prayer taught by Ignatius is one you can learn by using Reimagining Examen. Aimed at helping us reflect upon our day and God’s presence in it, Examen is an aid to contemplation. The app lets you swipe from step to next step, guiding you through the process at your own speed, and provides background music choices. You can use the examen of the day or select a topic or traditional examen from the menu.
If you’re new to Examen, prone to distraction or want to go deeper with new questions, then this app can be an immense help.
Slowly guiding you in prayer and Bible reading, Sacred Space provides a step-by-step tool to help you slow down and get settled in contemplation before starting the Bible passage for the day. In response to the passage, you are invited to talk with Jesus; some main ideas are shared and a final prayer is provided.
This daily prayer guide does not offer choices of plans, but you can go back and forward to read other days. You might opt to use their background music (several options). Also, you can choose a different font – and font size!
This app is a hub of Bible translations and study plans. A variety of authors from Francis Chan to John Piper to Joyce Meyer have Bible study plans that can be accessed through the app.
“I love the youversion Bible app! It has so many different plans available. You can even connect with friends through the app and go through the plans together,” shares Meagan Hofer.
Youversion Bible also provides a variety of graphics to go with the Bible verse of the day that you can share easily through e-mails, texts and Facebooks. You can also send them your graphic as part of “The Verses Project”.
Who is making these apps?
First 5 is part of Proverbs 31 Ministries, founded and run by Lysa TerKeurst. In a promotional video on the studies, a spokesperson notes that all studies are written by “experienced Bible teachers and reviewed by their theological team”. Statement of beliefs can be found here: https://proverbs31.org/about/about-us#who
My Step is part of Next Step Ministries, which is aimed at helping communities and students benefit from short-term mission trips (done “differently”). Statement of beliefs and history can be found here: http://nextstepministries.com/about-us/
Reimagining Examen is a Loyola Press app, based on Mark Thibodeaux, SJ’s best-selling book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen.
Sacred Space is an app produced in partnership by Loyola Press and the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). It began as a website ministry in 1999. Daily prayer guides and reflections on liturgical calendar readings are available on its website, in paperback books and through the app.
Youversion Bible was founded by Bobby Gruenewald and Life.church in 2008. It aims to share the Bible and study tools. Material is available in over 50 languages and the app has been installed in over 300 million devices. For information on its content partners, see: https://www.youversion.com/content-partners/