November 2010 - Vol. 44

Meeting the Challenge of Personal Prayer
by Michael Shaughnessy

Prayer can revolutionize your life. It gives strength to the weak, wisdom to the fool, joy to the sorrowful, and comfort to the oppressed. Most importantly, it gives us a living relationship with God.

Unfortunately, most youth and many adults struggle to have consistent and effective personal prayer. We know we should pray but we regularly fail to do it. Not knowing how, we never start. Sometimes we struggle because we are distracted by other things.

Although we set apart 15 minutes to pray, we spend it mostly flitting from one thought to another. We set apart the time – but we just don't pray much. Sometimes we are just bored by doing the same thing over and over, so we quit before we begin!

Over the past year Kairos has developed a new aid for prayer called iPray. It has just been released. for purchase.

iPray helps you actually pray for 15 minutes – to sing praise, pray the psalms, give thanks, repent, and intercede – and to do it without distraction.

How iPray works
iPray is simple. It provides you with a booklet and an MP3 player. The booklet has the words to the songs and psalms in it. The MP3 player has 31 days of prayer pre-loaded on it. You simply press a button and the audio starts with a statement of the day's theme. For example, the theme for
Day Ten is: “God is gracious.”

You then sing along to “Amazing Grace” and chant Psalm 103, “the Lord is gracious and merciful.” The genius of iPray is what comes next. iPray acts like a personal prayer coach. It prompts you to give thanks for one way God has been gracious to you recently and then gives you ten seconds to do it. So you do! Then it prompts you to give thanks for God's saving grace. Again you have ten seconds in which to do so.

It uses the same approach to help you intercede for all the people you know you should: parents, friends, workmates, government officials, and many others.

iPray works well because it engages your eyes, your ears, and your mind on one thing. When they all work together, they help you keep your focus.

Other uses?
Families can struggle with family prayer just because they have no format that works. Here again iPray can help. Just order extra booklets so the whole family can sing and pray together.

In our work with youth we see something quite consistently. Youth who pray, believe, but youth who
believe often struggle with prayer. Helping youth develop the habit of prayer is key to doing good
youth work. Kairos developed iPray knowing the need among youth, but we have found that iPray helps adults as well.

How much does it cost?
The total cost for iPray – including the MP3 player, prayer booklet, headphones and USB recharging cable – is $34.99 USD plus shipping and handling. The price drops when you purchase more for your family or friends. iPray can be purchased for as little as $22.99 USD when you purchase four or more.

Or you can purchase the digital version of iPray for $21.99 USD and load it onto your own MP3 player (and we will send you the booklet in the mail.)

For a sample day of prayer click here:

To purchase iPray click here:

...and remember, every iPray you purchase helps support the work of Kairos.

[Mike Shaughnessy is an elder in The Servants of the Word and the Director of Kairos in North America. Kairos is an international federation of outreaches to high school, university and post university aged people.].
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