“Who do you pray for most of the time?”
More than 3 years ago I asked this question and realized that the answer was simply “myself”.
My prayers were full of my worries, my problems, my needs and desires. I was so obsessed with myself I could barely enjoy God and pray for others. It was convicting to say the least.
So as a software engineer, I built a program that would send me a daily e-mail with 3 Facebook friends to pray for. I called the app Ceaseless, from the verse “pray without ceasing” and invited some friends to try it.
I was stunned to discover 6 months later that the 70 of us were praying for more 20,000 unique people simply by praying for 3 friends each day.
This means that 1% of the world praying for 3 people each day could pray for everyone on earth. (For reference, Facebook has passed 1 billion daily active users whereas 1% of the world is only about 70 million people.)
Since the first prototype, Ceaseless has evolved into a mobile app for iOS and Android, which you can download at www.ceaselessprayer.com.
It reminds you of 3 contacts to pray for each day via a notification and makes it easy to take notes so you remember how to pray for others. You can also send a message to reconnect or find out how to serve them. I designed the app to fit like a hand to a glove for evangelism and discipleship and it helps make praying for others a habit.
Since being convicted three years ago about my selfish prayer life, I am more convinced than ever that praying for everyone on earth is something God deeply desires.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV), the Apostle Paul writes,
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
God wants believers to pray for everyone on earth together because he desires all people to be saved. If we care about the salvation of our neighbors, the kingdom of God and the return of Jesus Christ, then we must pray for all people.
How can we love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not even pray for them? Prayer is one of simplest ways we love our neighbors near and far.
And it just so happens that today’s technology extends our memory, expands our reach, and unites our efforts so that we can intentionally do this for everyone on earth. Isn’t it amazing how technology helps us fulfill God’s commandments in ways we never could before?
What will God do as we pray for people we’ve never prayed for before? What will happen as we pray regularly for others with all the breadth and depth that Jesus invites us to?
I’m excited to find out. You can too.
Download Ceaseless at www.ceaselessprayer.com and see for yourself the surprising ways God uses your prayers in the lives of others. Let’s hasten the return of Christ by praying for and proclaiming the gospel to everyone on earth.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
Chris Lim is founder of TheoTech (www.theotech.org), a company activating a movement of Technology Entrepreneurship for the Gospel. This means beginning with God as the Customer and working backwards to invent products that deliver outcomes He desires.
Chris created Ceaseless (ceaselessprayer.com) and SPF.IO (spf.io) as two examples of this principle in action. He’s spoken internationally, writes at Merit & Grace (meritandgrace.com), organizes Code for the Kingdom hackathons (codeforthekingdom.org) and was a student with Cru at the University of Washington ‘05-’09.