The Perils of Prayer in a Technologized World


Chirps of playful birds, the tweaks and cracks of trees in the woods, and the babbling of streams filled the landscape. Sitting down for prayer in what would otherwise be a peaceful natural landscape surrounded by the wild emptiness of the forest, I found myself mute. Surrounded by peaceful sounds and free from the distractions of the modern life, I found myself distracted.

I wished that I had my Ipod. I could barely stand the silence. Every time I tried to read my Bible, I found myself wondering about my social network. After all, if I found a good verse, how could I tweet it? I needed my computer with the limitless net at my fingertips. I certainly could not just read the Bible by itself, could I? The truth is, I had become incapable of silence. I could not just sit, pray, think, or bask in His presence.

I was an addict

And I needed my fix

There is no question that technology has changed our lives and the way the world works, communicates, and interacts. At no time has there ever been a people with so much information and communication at their fingertips. Yet despite all these advances, people are feeling increasingly isolated. With the world in front of us, still we are dissatisfied and disconnected.

Technology is a drug.

The innovative is addictive. When new gadgets emerge, I need them. My life depends on my smart phone and my computer. I can’t live without it.

Such was my sentiment when recently I dropped my Iphone in the toilet while fumbling to check the time before a speaking engagement for which I was already late. Suddenly I was alone. It was silent in my life and I felt cut off from the world, and I could barely stand it.

On that fateful day I realized that I was a “coke” snorting, jittery addict. But my drug was not the sort sold in dark back allies and shady parks. Just drive me to the nearest Apple store to get my fix.

We as a culture have felt the deep impact of our technologized world.

We love and need our instantaneous communication. We want it faster. We want it now. The unceasing checks for emails, status updates, and tweets demonstrates our need for quick information and instantaneous communion with others.

In the age of letter writing, people were acclimated to long waits and prolonged gaps in communication.

Talking to God is like this ancient communication. And it is the same reason why praying is perilous in our over-saturated techie lifestyles.

When I come before God, I am both distracted by my gadgets and compelled to communicate with Him in the same way that I do with my cyberspace friends. I want to send out a tweet or an email and expect them to respond instantaneously.

I want my prayers answered now, as quickly as that text I receive from my friends

In truth, our technologized lives have handicapped us from complete and full communion with God. Being silent in our thoughts is for many something to be avoided by drowning them out with music and the thoughts of others. Silent transparency before God is something to be avoided. Do we hide from God through our technology?

We should never be so attracted by our gizmos and gadgets, that we would sacrifice our ability to commune with our creator. No amount of convenience and communication is worth losing the greatest of all relationships.

Leave behind the smart phone, laptop, and Ipod once in a while. Commune with God technology free. Stripping ourselves of distractions is the proper way to come before Him.

What distracts you from prayer and communion?

THEOLOGY21 is a co-op of authors dedicated to renovating theology for a new generation, taking the ancient truths of scripture and theology and speaking to the post-Christian culture of the 21st century. To keep up-to-date on all things THEOLOGY21, Give our Facebook page a “like”, follow our twitter page, add yourself to our email list, or subscribe to our feed!

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