Last year, I was at a Catholic event with two good friends, both whom I consider faith-filled and devout.
As we were waiting for the music to begin, I was really surprised when one said that he really struggled to pray some days. I was even further stunned when the other friend replied that she too struggled so much so that some days she just doesn’t pray at all.
My heart actually ached for them, because I knew how much they longed to be close to God and to grow in their faith. I also know the crucial role prayer plays in doing those very things. At the time, they both had their phones in their hands and were checking messages, etc. I immediately thought: we need an “I Can’t Pray” App for this problem.
Little did I know that God would call ME to create that app!
After a year of praying, planning, and praying some more, I took the leap of faith to contact Little i Apps with my idea – the “Words With…” series.
These 99 cent apps will be simple, straightforward, and powerful tools for entering into prayer each day. There will be a daily “pop-up” reminder – the feature I actually like the best, because the reminder on my consecration and novena apps have been essential in helping me grow in those devotions.
Each day will offer the reader a short section of scripture. For example, in the first app in the series, “Words with Jesus”, these verses will only be from Jesus’ words in the Gospels. The verse will be followed by a short one sentence reflection – that can be either your prayer for the day or the springboard for more contemplative prayer or reflection. In addition, the app will allow you to search by topic such as joy, hope, faith, trust, etc.
These apps will be a bite-sized daily devotional, providing depth without an overwhelming amount of words. No matter where you are in your faith journey or prayer life, this app meets you where you are!
It was important to me to create an app – after reviewing so many – that functioned for real people, with real (often busy) lives. One that can be opened and read in the time it takes to say -- get through the bank line; or for the doctor to call me into the office; or for my kids to finish a lesson. Then if I have time I can choose to read it again later in the day or click on the available bible link and go deeper into the scripture – it’s unintimidating and versatile.
In addition, I choose to do a book version of each app (truth be told that was my husband’s idea!). While many people have moved to smart-phones and enjoy using Apps, there are still many who are not comfortable opening apps in Adoration or who just like having a book – to be able to write in the margins or hold in your hands.
Since the goal was to help as many people enter into prayer as possible, the additional format made perfect sense. The book will include beautiful photographs from local artists, friends, and even priests. The book will have slightly longer reflections and an introduction not available in the app version.
At present, there are six apps/books planned in the series including “Words with… Mary, St. Paul, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese." The options are really as limitless as the “copyright free” writings of the blessed Saints!
While the project material flowed freely, funding for it did not. Unsure how to move forward I brought all these thoughts and concerns before the Blessed Sacrament and in Adoration sought the Lord’s advice.
I felt a real call to crowdfund for the capital as this new method has become increasingly popular AND it is amazingly successful. God clearly has pity on my tendency to doubt and be anxious, because he sent me two influential people to suggest this very method that next day!!
So I cajoled my son, his girlfriend, and my husband into helping me make a cheesy pitch video (I have such a face for radio). Then my very talented son, Ian, edited it – added fun backgrounds (because doesn’t everyone have a green screen in their basement), and posted it on YouTube.
The last big step in this process was posting the appeal on GoFundMe.com. There are many great crowdfunding sites available in addition to GoFundMe – such as KickStarter and Indiegogo – it was difficult to choose but in the end after weighing the options each offered, this one seemed the best fit.
The app is set to begin development on September 2, 2013 – for release in November. The first book will be out by October. I pray, as in all the works I do in the Lord’s name, that He is glorified in them and through them.
The project, which you can find at GoFundMe.com/ReconciledToYou, still needs funding, sharing, and prayers – and I am grateful for whichever of these you are able to give!
Copyright 2013 Allison Gingras
About the Author
Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.