Smartphones are great. I use mine for all sorts of things and can barely remember looking at a physical map or using a camera with film. However, we’re all aware of the intrusive nature of our phones. Here’s a function I’ve discovered recently and that I think we need to use more:
It’s the Do Not Disturb function. With my iPhone it lives under Settings; on Android you can find it under Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb. So why is this function worth using?
The main reason is prayer. Jesus said:
“When you pray. go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Mat 6:6).
Jesus’ main point, in context, is that we should not pray to impress people. However, he also teaches us here the importance of uninterrupted prayer with our heavenly Father. Prayer is a precious time, and we want to give our attention to it when the opportunity comes.
Unfortunately, in our day, a closed door won’t keep out interruptions from our phones. Messages, notifications and calls keep coming in, and our naturally distractable hearts turn away from the activity of prayer.
The Do Not Disturb Function is great. Our phones can sit quietly without beeping or buzzing while we read our Bible and pray. There’s even a function that allows certain people or repeat callers to get through (say, for example, you need to be more contactable for your kids). I’m using this function a lot, and not only for prayer – also for church and times of focused preparation work.
Now everyone’s different with prayer habits – what if you use your phone to read the Bible or store prayer points? Part of me wants to lobby for the use of paper Bibles more (but that’s another blog post) but the basic principle is this: we can and should take charge of our phones so that they serve us, rather than we serve them. We can adjust settings, turn off notifications, use aeroplane mode or do whatever it takes to get uninterrupted time with God.
For more on this, have a look at 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke (on my ‘to read’ list) and You Can Pray by Tim Chester (I’m half-way through and loving it).
So start exploring your phone, work out your Do Not Disturb function and enjoy some beautiful uninterrupted prayer time.