Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mobile Apps for Spiritual Navigation

compass-1The Adventist Church’s new Revival and Reformation Committee has recently released a new mobile app called InPrayer. According to the report in the Adventist Review citing the Committee’s website, the InPrayer app
… is designed to facilitate a global prayer chain that prays for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This prayer movement, called 777, is designed to encourage Seventh-day Adventists to pray 7 days a week at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. It is part of a larger initiative to encourage revival and reformation within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
According to the report, the app provides the following options:
  • a daily alarm to remind you to pray at 7 in the morning and 7 in the evening
  • a map that tells the user where every person using the app is located
  • a daily devotional focused on the Holy Spirit
  • a place to record global prayer requests
  • another place to track one’s own prayer requests
  • ability to post one’s status on Facebook and/or Twitter so everyone knows you are praying
This sounds like a wonderful app for the following reasons:
  1. I have found that using an alarm each day to remind me to speak to my wife has improved our relationship no end. Not having to worry about spending time with her except for two brief periods of the day has freed me up to do all sorts of other things that I’m more interested in. So this app that encourages praying twice a day is going to be great.
  2. Having a map that shows where everyone is praying will obviously help in identifying everyone who isn’t. The benefit of this is that we can blame any absence of the Holy Spirit on them rather than on those of us who religiously pray twice a day. After all, God needs to have as many praying as possible to pour out the Holy Spirit – twice a day, at least!
  3. A relationship with God is all about requesting things. So having a place to record all the requests made by people will help us keep track of how many get answered. The higher the number of requests fulfilled, the more we’ll know that God is working on our side. It is quite evident that the traditional fruits of the Spirit are not adequate to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit. Having some real evidence like getting what we want from God is much better evidence.
  4. And being able to post on Facebook and/or Twitter when I’m praying allows me to follow Christ’s advice to, ‘not be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:5-6) Now I’ll be able to follow Jesus’ instructions to the letter but also simply click a button to let everyone know how spiritual I am. The other advantage is that my prayers will now pop up on God’s Facebook page so that there is an accurate record for use in the investigative judgment leaving little doubt that I will pass the character test and be confirmed as worthy of heaven.
In addition to the above app, I’d like to make a few suggestions for some other apps that would increase the spiritual temperature of the church:
The Tithe-Payer App
This app would keep track of everyone paying (or not) tithe and offerings and special rewards could be given out for those contributing the most. This app could link into the prayer request modules of the InPrayer App so we could calculate the correlation between tithe paying and prayer requests that were granted by God.
Witness Tracking App
This one could count the number of times one mentioned the name of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit in our conversations (and automatically track these in Facebook Wall statuses) and, especially, the number of observations we made of other people breaking any of the behavioural rules so important to a good spiritual life. We’d have good evidence, then, as to why the Holy Spirit wasn’t being poured out on those other people. It would also give us a chance to correct them so that there was more chance of Holy Spirit pouring.
The Non-Creed Fundamental Belief Tracking App
This app would list the 28 most important doctrines ever discovered by any denomination in the history of Christianity and request the user, on a monthly basis, to respond as to whether they still believed them or not. The results could be collected by the local conference and be used to work out who should be allowed to preach, run a Bible study group, or vote on important issues like the colour of the carpets in the church foyer. It could also post results to Facebook statuses so that a church member could instantly see which ones of their “friends” are safe to talk to. It could also be used as a baptism calculator so that we could make sure that the only people baptised were those who completely agreed with the 28 essential beliefs. A module of this app could also be created to show any person one newly meets. The new potential friend could respond to an online questionnaire and then the results could be interpreted by the app to advice whether to a) run away to avoid contamination, b) stop and believe everything the person said, or c) stop and give a gospel presentation on the 28 beliefs necessary for salvation (oh… there would also be a reminder to mention Jesus).
There is no doubt that all this new technology is going to increase the motivation of the Holy Spirit to bless the church. Being able to provide instant guidelines for behaviour and keep track of all the results is going to be so inspirational! I can’t wait to download them all as they are created and look forward to a rapid increase in the  number of prayer requests I get answered. At last I’ll know I really am saved!