A lifehack, according to Merriam Webster, is a simple and clever tip or technique for accomplishing some familiar task more easily and efficiently. There are plenty of lifehacks out there! Kitchen hacks, hacks for moms, lifehacks for commuters, and lifehacks for Christians.
This one is the latter, alright. There isn't supposed to be a short cut to God but in a busy world like today, we could use some creative ways to modify our Christian walk to experience God in our lives everyday.
A Psalm a Day Keeps Prayerlessness Away
Many of us want to grow in prayer but struggle when it comes to actually doing it. Many times it comes down to just not knowing what to pray. If you’re ever in a season where you struggle to find the words, open up to the Psalms. You can pick a specific Psalm for each day of the week and pray the words to the Lord, weaving your own life and needs into it as you pray.
Focus On Just One Spiritual Discipline for a Set Time
This one seems obvious, but many Christians are actually discouraged (and often abandon) the pursuit of spiritual disciples — often because they try to develop them all at the same time. But spiritual disciplines (praying, reading and meditating the Word, fasting, worship, serving) take a lifetime to cultivate.
So instead of trying to be generally better at all disciplines, why not go deep? Pick one discipline to really focus on for several months in a row. Buy an inexpensive yearly calendar and map out how you will spend the next several months working on just one spiritual discipline.
Use Phone Locations to Remind You of Important Information (or Trigger Good Thoughts)
Here’s another set of clever hacks from Wayne Styles:
1. Use a location to remind you of important information. “Let’s say you’re leaving your group Bible study and you want to remember to ask Steve next week about his prayer request. As you get in the car, tell Siri: Remind me at this location to ask about Steve’s mother’s surgery. The next time you drive up, you’ll be prompted to ask.”
2. Use a bad location to trigger good thoughts. “Do you (have to) regularly drive by a place that causes negative thoughts or memories? Tell Siri: Remind me the next time I’m at this location to Meditate on Colossians 3:1-2. (Or whatever verse you choose.)”
A "Memory Moleskine" for Memorizing Scripture
Have trouble memorizing Scripture? Tim Brister brings us a special Scripture memorization method, utilizing a “memory moleskine”: a tiny, portable notebook wherein you read, repeat, and reflect on chunks of Scripture every day.
To try this out, Brister has a week-by-week outline for memorizing the book of Philippians (in just 16 weeks!). It’s a free PDF you can download here. Brister explains: “On one side of the moleskine you simply paste the week’s verses to memorize, and on the other side you write your reflections on the verses while indicating how many times you rehearsed them each day.”
You can see examples of Brister’s memory moleskine here. (The Cahier moleskine is apparently his favorite!)
Use Siri to Boost Your Prayer Life
We gotta give credit to Wayne Styles for this one. If you want to be intentional about praying for someone, tell Siri to “set the timer for 5 minutes.”
“Suddenly you have a focused window of prayer time with a hard stop.”, Styles writes.
If you find that other things are coming to mind while trying to pray, Styles also recommends using Siri to dictate a “worry list” while praying:
“I call a worry list that essential stuff that always comes to mind when you’re trying to pray. You know, stuff like you need to pick up milk or grab a birthday card or change the oil. For some reason, certain things never come to mind unless you can do nothing about them. During prayer, they become mental sandbags that weigh you down and distract your focus. No longer! Tell Siri: Remind me to get milk—and you’re back to prayer. (You can also tell Siri to schedule a time for you to look over your worry list.)”
Check out the One and Only Lifehacks Bible
A list of Christian Lifehacks couldn’t possibly be complete without mentioning the official NIV Lifehack Bible.
According to this interview with Joe Carter, editor of the Lifehacks Bible, “The underlying philosophy of this Bible is to do the work, but rely on the Holy Spirit. While spiritual formation is primarily a work of God in us (Phillipians 2:13; 1 Thessallonians 5:23), Scripture makes it clear that we have a role to play in the process (Romas 8:13).”
According to Bible Gateway, the NIV Lifehacks Bible “uses “lifehacking” methods to offer practical and achievable tools for integrating spiritual habits into busy, technology-centric, 21st century living. Among its 365 articles are 4 Tips for Making Wise Decisions, 6 Steps for Interpreting the Bible, 7 Questions for Recognizing Intentional Sins, and 4 Tips for Finding Time to Pray.”
Scripture as Phone Wallpaper
Seem a little too basic for a lifehack?
According to a study done in November 2017, Americans check their phones an average of 80 times per day. The Asurion study states that “the average person struggles to go little more than 10 minutes without checking their phone. And of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in 10 check their phones on average once every four minutes.”
Makes your phone wallpaper seem a little more significant, doesn’t it?
Taking into account the sheer number of times you look at your phone every day, consider using your lock screen as a reminder of more than just the time. On sites like Crosscards, you can choose from several beautiful scripture wallpapers to keep bringing your mind back to God’s promises.
Make the Colored Pencil Your New Bible Highlighter
If you’ve ever owned a highlighter and ever owned a Bible… chances are, you’ve used the two together. And if that’s the case, you’re all too familiar with the inconvenient bleed-through effect of all those lovely lines of pink and yellow.
Airplane Mode for Distraction-Free Bible Time
Like most of us, your well-intentioned desires to study the Bible are often foiled by distraction. In a time when our phones are used for both Scripture and social media, it’s hard to spend our time in the Word just with God. Texts, calls, and notifications suddenly bring your kids, your appointments, and to-dos into the mix. The simplest hack would be to use a print Bible instead of your phone, but, for when you absolutely have to use your phone, here’s a simple solution:
Turn on airplane mode. It will block your data and wifi until you decide to turn it back on. No more tempting distractions!
Never sacrifice the important on the altar of the urgent. Make that time with the Lord truly just you and the Lord.
YoursTruly95 on Youtube has pointed us to a solution: colored pencils! Not only are there more colors at your disposal, but the cheap ones are actually erasable. Erasable! No more reverse-highlighting “the sons of Issachar were”...
A New Email Account for Distraction-Free Email Devotional Time
Here’s one closely related to #2.
When schedules fill up, it isn’t always possible to fit devotional time and Bible study time into our mornings and evenings. For many of us, devotional time is best done in the in-between moments: a particularly long check-out line or the waiting room of an office. That’s why email devotionals have become such an incredible way to dive into some God-time — wherever and whenever.
(I would encourage you to check out the free devotional library on Crosswalk. There are over 100 daily and weekly devos to choose from!)
But what if your inbox holds other temptations? Your email account is probably a reminder of everything you need to read, follow-up on, and respond to. Suddenly the sacred space you carved out for devotions becomes tainted by thoughts of that email you’ve been putting off for a week!
The solution: Start a separate email account especially reserved for devotionals. Whether you check it first thing in the morning or in the in-between moments of your day, you can read it without seeing — or being influenced by — anything else.
No more skipping over your devotional for that 50% off flash sale.
Got your own cool ideas? Share them with us!