During this COVID-19 quarantine, I have been spending more time being still and trying to meditate. I say trying because meditation is still challenging for me. It’s like my mind stores up all the trivial thoughts it can store and then unleashes them when I sit down, close my eyes, and try to calm my mind. What am I going to eat this morning? I wonder if I’ll be able to wear cute shoes this summer. Why does my butt hurt? What the heck am I sitting on? I really need to clean this bedroom. Why is this so hard?
Every random thought hiding in the shadows of my mind always seems to come forward and swing from branch to branch. But, I continue to show up, sit still, and focus in hopes of drawing closer to God.
Finding focus can be tricky especially when you have a lot on your mind. What I have found helpful are apps that guide me through spiritual practice. Here are some I use on both my Android phone and iPad.
There are a lot of Bible apps out there, but I really enjoy this app by YouVersion. This app makes finding the book, chapter, and verse of the Bible quickly and easily. It also has features to bookmark or highlight a verse for future reference. Have a favorite verse you want to share on the web? You Version will put it on a nice image for you to share on social media. The best feature, of course, is you can take your Bible anywhere you go making it convenient to read scriptures whenever you want.
I discovered this app by accident many years ago and it’s one I continue to use today. It’s a free app that brings daily prayers right to your phone or tablet. It encourages you to slow down and practice centering prayer. If you’ve never tried this spiritual practice you should give it a try. It incorporates music, scripture, and reflection as a form of prayer.
Insight timer is a newer app I discovered in the past year or so. It’s an app that offers thousands of guided meditations both free and paid. There are courses for the beginner and the advanced. What I enjoy most about this app is being able to experience different voices in the meditation world allowing me to find the instructor that I’m comfortable practicing with. There really is a sense of community created by the members. It’s a nice surprise when I received a message from someone thanking me for meditating with them. I didn’t know them or know they were meditating at the same time but it was a nice link to another human.
Audible is more of a service than an app but it’s also a great way to feed your spirit. You can find books on everything in a variety of spiritual practices. From John Gray and Michael Beckwaithe to Jenifer Lewis and Tomi Adeyemi, that’s something you will enjoy hearing. What I like about audible is I can listen to a book while cleaning, cooking, or just relaxing. They also offer audio-guided yoga, mindfulness, and fitness classes.
Give these apps a try. If you have a favorite you use for spiritual practices, share them in the comments below. I’m always looking for new opportunities to slow down and be still.