PrayerMate is a free app to help you pray consistently for yourself, for your loved ones and for God’s world. This has been a significant year at PrayerMate_ — _ in many ways a year of “growing up” . There is so much to give thanks to God for! Here are some of the highlights.
2018 by the Numbers
This has been a really encouraging year of growth for PrayerMate, and it’s clearly been meeting a need:
314,650 in total / 67,826 in 2018
115,471 in 2018 / 30k-35k per month
13,753,148 in 2018 / 1.2 million per month
This last pair of numbers is the one that we find the most encouraging — just imagine what God is doing in response to all of those prayers! If you have any specific stories of how God has been at work answering your prayers, we would love you to share them with us, that in turn we might share them with the PrayerMate community.
From Personal Project to Discipleship Tech
For seven years, PrayerMate has operated as a personal project of Andy Geers. After pursuing the idea for the last two years, it was a massive answer to prayer that in June 2018 we finally had word from the UK Charity Commission that they had approved Discipleship Tech, and ownership of the app has now been transferred across to the new charity:
Discipleship Tech seeks to use technology to help people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Andy really benefitted from participating in the Evangelical Alliance’s Public Leadership Course over the year which really helped to shape this larger vision (beyond just “an app to help people organise their prayer lives”).
Growing the Team
The new charity structure has allowed us to grow the team — as well as four amazing trustees providing some much needed accountability and guidance, we’ve also been able to take on Ed as a full time developer and Helen doing some part time user support and admin:
Bringing on Ed full time has hugely helped our capacity to tackle some of the big projects on PrayerMate’s backlog, but has also enabled us to get more serious about putting PrayerMate on a more sustainable trajectory financially speaking. As part of that we’ve been doing a crowdfunding campaign for Discipleship Tech, and have been massively encouraged by your generosity — at the time of writing, we’re well on our way towards 30% of our £50,000 funding goal.
More details of how you can give (with Gift Aid via Stewardship, or otherwise via PayPal) are on our website.
You could argue that this one was about 5 years in the making — but 2018 was the year that “sync” functionality finally shipped to the general public (if you still haven’t found it, go to PrayerMate’s “Settings” page available using the cog button, and press the “Create an online account/sign in” button.
People are always slightly taken by surprise at just how hard to implement this was, but it has been the backbone of so much other functionality that has followed since it includes the whole concept of “identity” — until now, PrayerMate users have been entirely anonymous.
PrayerMate Send: Secure feeds for Christian workers
The project that initially sparked the whole idea of PrayerMate was what we call “PrayerMate Send” — designed as a solution to an email inbox overflowing with unread prayer letters from missionaries and church workers.
With PrayerMate Send you can easily create a secure prayer feed, where you get to approve exactly who is allowed to subscribe, and then you can carry on sending the same prayer emails as before, except now each time you send one it automatically updates your PrayerMate feed, and all of your subscribers there get a push notification. They can then keep praying for your prayer needs regularly until your next prayer letter — making them much more effective, rather than just sitting unread and never actually turning to prayer!
PrayerMate Share: Shared Lists for Small Groups
The other key new piece of functionality we have soft-launched during 2018 is PrayerMate Share — ** a way to privately share prayer requests within a trusted small group** (e.g. a church home group), using a shared list.
Currently we’ve mainly launched this for use by churches — so any organisations signed up to the PrayerMate Publishing Platform can send out invites to group leaders using the “Manage your groups” link in the right sidebar of the site. But we anticipate rolling this out more widely in the year ahead.
A key part of helping new users get going with PrayerMate has been to improve the initial first-use experience. Populating your lists with friends and family can take time, but we wanted to encourage people to get at least a few names on there during their very first session:
New “Coming Up” Page
One of PrayerMate’s most unique features is the “prayer session”, where it selects for you a manageable selection from all of your prayer subjects for you to pray through each day. This year we gave the “Coming up” page that shows you what it has chosen a bit of a revamp — including allowing you to tap any item to jump straight to it:
30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World
We have had a hugely positive response to our Advent 2018 resources, including a new initiative this year where for the first time we wrote our very own in-house devotional, Praying Through Advent. The feedback to it has really encouraged us to try more of this in the future!
We added some new functionality this year, allowing us to support “Prayer plans” — devotional feeds that you can start any time you like, where you get to pick the start date. Currently we offer our “Learning to pray” guide working through the Lord’s prayer over 14 days, and “31 Days of Purity”. These are available from the “Add +” page under “Short term prayer plans”.
New Year 2019
Looking ahead to 2019, we’re trying something a little different, with a New Year Prayer Spotlight feed — each day during January 2019 it will include an entry from some of our many excellent prayer resources, helping you pray for your church, your own walk with God, evangelism, the gospel around the world and wider society, and discover some more of what’s available.
As well as this New Year Prayer Spotlight feed, in 2019 we’re praying that we can reach our fundraising goal of £50,000 to enable us to keep Ed on full time, and keep building out PrayerMate Send and PrayerMate Share and get them used more widely. God willing, we’ll be releasing a much-needed redesign of the PrayerMate Publishing Platform, and also have plenty of ideas for continuing to improve the app.
Please join us in giving thanks to God for all the ways he has been at work in 2018 in and through PrayerMate, and praying for his continued blessing in 2019.