Lord, thank you for being the greatest innovator of all. How delightfully creative you are, that you could make mankind and them with capacities to create too. Years ago, we created the printing press, and centuries after that the smartphone. That we could create a gadget such as this. Not merely a telephone but a handheld computer. A diary, a radio, a camera, and a video-camera. So much more than a mere gadget. Thank you for the smartphone. That it opens me up to a whole world of possibilities, events, and connections.
But oh, how I get hooked sometimes, helplessly hooked.
In your word, you set before me opportunities every morning to gaze into your gracious revelation. But I turn to the news, entertaining websites, WhatsApp. Maybe I do this because I believe awareness of the world “out there” is more important than the awareness of the worldliness “in here,” inside me.
Thank you for the smartphone. That it opens me up to a whole world of possibilities.
You wake me up with a fresh eye retina, ready to glimpse upon the colour varieties in the world of nature. But I would rather ignore the blade of grass and look at those clad in blazers, on Instagram. Every Sunday, your Spirit accompanies the preacher to awaken me from my digital slumber. Yet my finger slides from my Bible app on my smartphone to the red Facebook notification.
Who will save me from this electronic rectangle in my hands? Instead of using it, it has often used me. Where you call me to self-control, I have often been enslaved.
Oh, the number of sins that have been aroused between the posts I scroll: anger, lust, anxiety. Oh, the envy that waits to be stirred as I see my friend’s pictures taken in a European airport. My identity idols revealed by the craving for approval in my recent post. How I have missed out on looking people in the eye because of the notifications vibrating in my pocket!
Oh, the sweet communion with you in prayer I have forsaken.
Oh, the sweet communion with you in prayer I have forsaken, because I slept late after gorging on another Netflix series. Lord, the memes and jokes I have embraced online in exchange for true and deep joy. Look how my ability to serve others has been snuffed, as I paid more attention to gossip than to gospel. Look at how bored I am by Bible texts, because I would rather “watch” my devotion. Lord, my meditation on your word is withering too, thanks to the mental space I give to things I last saw online minutes back.
My conversations are weak. My fear of man is great, because my eyes see little of what you have done for me in Christ. Instead, I see a lot of what man is doing through the self, I am a lost man trapped. Not just in a worldwide web, but in worldwide self-deception and pride. Oh, that you would rescue me from this screen glow so I can behold your glory. Oh, that I may find daily grace to “say no to ungodliness” long before I start scrolling with my smartphone.
And please don’t let me succumb to a merely legalistic or pessimistic departure from the digital age. It’s a gift to humanity, only remind me of my duty to live there soberly and not in slumber. To steward rather than to suspect, employing my gifts and opportunities better as I serve my church and neighbor. Work in me a desire to behold Christ daily, so I may be transformed from one glory to another, and let me exchange that for nothing.
Please don’t let me succumb to a merely legalistic or pessimistic departure from the digital age.
Arrest my impulse towards the politics of the day. Remind me who “turns the King’s heart wherever he wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). Let me consider who ultimately puts princes in power and puts them out (Romans 13:1-2). Cease my vulnerability to sexual attraction online and remind how often illicit sex’s cosmic promises are a serpent’s tongue. Heal me from conversations and attitudes that focus on the latest events, without paying attention to my own sin, and your grace. Remind me where my help comes from, so I may posture less on LinkedIn and look to the hills, to my Lord (Psalm 121:1-2).
Grant me the focus necessary to achieve this hour’s tasks while waiving off the vultures of notifications that lurk, waiting to distract me from my calling. Teach me to be present to the people with whom I share real life more than the people who share their reels.
Remind me how fleeting my life is. Point my eyes beyond the internet to eternity.
Most importantly, remind me how fleeting my life is. Point my eyes beyond the internet to eternity. Let me recall how one glance at Jesus is more profitable than the 16 memes I will see online today. And if I yet again get blinded by the Wi-Fi and fail to live up to all these realities, remind me that I have an advocate in Christ. I have a high priest I can approach over and over, burying my weak longings and loves in his finished work (1 John 1:9).
Thank you for beginning this blood-bought good work of holy resistance in me. I trust you will carry it to the end, in Jesus’ name I ask and pray. Amen.