When we started our Common Prayer project here several years ago, I was encouraged by Jesus’ comment that the kingdom is like a householder who brings out of the treasure chest somethings old and somethings new. If we were raiding the treasures of ancient liturgy for the sake of singing God’s eternal song in there here and now, at least we had a mandate from Jesus.
It didn’t occur to me at the time that the present might not only demand a new liturgy, but also new forms of participating in it.
But, sure enough, someone set up a Common Prayer Facebook group the week the book was released (almost exactly two years ago). And a Twitter feed. And, pretty soon, requests started coming in for an app. I wasn’t sure at the time what an app does, but we passed on the requests to our publisher. We’ve continued passing them along ever since.
Then, about two months ago, I got a call from a guy named Andy who said he’d created a Common Prayer App for iphones. He wanted to show me how it worked. Could I paste this website in my browser and login? I did. In a few minutes, this is what I saw.
Here’s a tool that brings together everything that we worked to put in our big book with the songs we recorded for the e-book, all instantly available for the particular time and place where you are. I thought about all those hours we’d spent trying to figure out how many ribbons the book needed. For folks with an iphone, it seemed, the answer was zero.
This is not, I must say, enough to make me get an iphone. They’re spiffy, I agree. They’re also terribly expensive. And, to my mind, distracting.
But people are different. And I’m delighted that people who live and move and have their being in a world where iphones are simply normal can now join us for prayer. In fact, there’s even an alarm to remind them.
Happy ipraying. May we all become the answer to the prayers we’re praying with all God’s people.