November 28, 2011, here on slacktivist: Achieving spiritual efficiency through prayer macros
The idea here is to harness the labor-saving logic employed by computer programmers to enable us to be more spiritually efficient. “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” the scripture says, but think of how much more it might availeth if we ensure that we’re making the most effective use of our prayer time. Prayer macros can make us more efficient and therefore more productive by helping us to avoid “vain repetition,” just like Jesus said.
Think of a faithful Catholic parishioner going to confession and being instructed to say 10 “Our Fathers” as penance for her sins. Now think of how we would go about writing code for such an instruction to our computer. We wouldn’t type out the full Lord’s Prayer 10 times over, but instead would enter the full text, then write a simple script to trigger its recitation 10 times. That’s more efficient and more elegant — and shouldn’t our spiritual life be at least as elegant as a bit of well-written code?
Some examples may be helpful here to give you a better sense of what prayer macros are and how they can be used in our daily lives.