Tech Talk: Using My Phone for Prayer


Find the Tech Talk Tuesday archive here.

Though it feels like everyone has an iDevice or smartphone of some sort, the truth is that those of us who can finance a gadget addiction are probably in the minority.

But I’ll bet most of us have a phone of some sort, and I’m not talking about the land line that you may still have in your house.

I’ve had a mobile phone for many years (at least twelve–and no, I’m not in the ranks of smartphone users). It’s only been recently, though, that I’ve figured out the usefulness of the alarm feature.

Maybe it’s that my kids are just starting to have their own lives and schedules that I can’t forget about. Maybe it’s that I’m not in front of a screen all the time anymore. Maybe it’s just that I’m finally paying attention to what works for other people.

It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really used that alarm feature for my prayer life, thanks to Randy Hain’s new book, The Catholic Briefcase. (I reviewed the book a few weeks ago.) He suggests stopping at set times throughout the day to go through a daily examen.

I modified his ideas to suit my needs. I stop three times a day, and I pray. I use my current prayer intentions, my needs of the day, and moment-by-moment inspiration to influence my prayer.

I stop mid-morning, early afternoon, and early evening when my phone sets off with my “prayer ring.” When the alarm goes off, I try to close my eyes and actually stop what I’m doing. I put myself, however briefly, in the presence of God. Sometimes there’s an intention that I’m holding particularly close to my heart, and I remember it then. Other times I just need a pause from the flurry of life.

It’s amazing how this small practice of stopping three times a day, at the sound of an alarm, has enriched my prayer life.

YOUR TURN: How do you integrate prayer into your daily life? I’m especially interested in how you use technology… 🙂

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard

image via MorgueFile


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


  1. Thank you for sharing. I like how you have set a ‘prayer alarm’ and think it is a useful strategy to grow spiritually if followed. Technology plays a big part of my prayerlife. I use the computer to seek daily scriptures according to the church via During lent, I visit for its pray, give and fast suggestions daily. In both areas I get to read both scriptures, spiritual writings and listen to programs of faith. Meanwhile via this celll phone, I keep up with tweets like yours & others who help me with my faith walk. often I use my phone as a reading tool mainly from twitter. This helps my prayerlife. Still I like the idea of having a prayer-alarm. God bless

  2. My phone is my rosary. I have 2 rosary apps that I use daily, it keeps me on track and my kids who are learning to read enjoy moving from bead to bead saying the rosary this way. I love your idea for a prayer alarm, I may have to try that!

  3. Sarah, I alternate between loving my iPhone as a prayer tool, and completely setting it to the side and going the old fashioned, unplugged route… it depends upon my day and how distracted I am feeling. But one of my new tools is the Rosary of the Hours app from Our Sunday Visitor and Little iApps, which believe it or not gives an hourly reminder. I am absolutely not using it for its expressly designed purpose, but it gives me a very regular reminder to pause and pray…

  4. The idea of a rosary app is amazing. Can this be used on a smartphone / android? I have not reached in the ‘i’ land yet. 🙂
    I need to explore that.

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  8. There are also apps for Divine Mercy and other devotions but my favorite is Angelus. Very simple and brief enough for even the busiest days. The one I have is from Pocket Publishing. It has alarms you can set (bells) and different languages and a beautiful pic of the Annunciation.

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