What is WherePrayer™ and who are its authors?

WherePrayer™ is an app for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod): Pray for Places that Call to You. You send postcard-prayers to places of your choosing and, collectively, within five kilometers, see the places (in numbers) other people are praying for around the globe. It is “Mail” for prayers. The app is meant for good because “We say so.”

The intention of the app is simple. Pray for places of fear, anguish, anger, sadness — past or present — all beings in, and near, those places are led towards healing, recovery, and blessing. In other words, your prayers makes places sacred, for a time, because “You say so.”

The content of a person’s prayer is PRIVATE. The New Testament indicates in Matthew 6:5-6 that the content of your prayers is nobody’s business but yours. A prayer is between you and your maker, whether that maker be God, Jesus, Lord, Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, Great Mystery, the Creator, the universe, Allah, gods, or any number of other names for God.

You can, however, in this age of social media, take conscious steps to publicize a prayer on social media where you may message or email it, send it to Facebook or Twitter, or save it in Evernote, as examples.

System requirements: iOS 11 or higher. The app will be available in the App Store in Autumn 2018.

The WherePrayer™ app is the brainchild of two people, Jeff and Laura Shulman, married partners. We reside in Gilroy, California, USA. The app is not the result of a committee or team.

The WherePrayer™ app gives a glimpse at our response to not knowing what to do in the face of the burgeoning and horrific number of tragedies we see daily in the news, violence primarily resulting from gunpowder. How can we do something when we feel we can do nothing? We can at least PRAY. But I need encouragement by seeing others pray for the same, or similar, places.

Jeff’s computer career started in 1977, spanning over forty years. He has worked in mobile software development since 2004 starting at Palm Inc. Since 2001, I am a self-taught computer collage artist, graphic designer, Web 2.0 HTML/CSS designer, informal religious studies student, and avid reader.

WherePrayer™ is really app #2. In November 2012, I was laboring on my first app when I got the idea for WherePrayer™. I dropped the first app and started working on WherePrayer™.

Around that time — the exact date is lost to time —, I had a dream that Jesus and I were in. Jesus wanted two things: that the WherePrayer™ app get written and become available to the public, and that I become Christian. Okay fine, but I had my own stipulation: that Jeff and I make a substantial living from WherePrayer™. Jesus and I struck a deal — we shook hands, so to speak. Yes, Jesus makes deals. The WherePrayer™ app got The Jesus-Seal-of-Approval. The app is for God’s purpose and we offer it in Jesus’ name, with God’s help. Part of the app’s earnings will go to our church and diocese, and other charities.

My whole life, I had been a spiritual but “religious none,” as millions of Americans are. From 2012 onwards, I studied Christianity. To fulfill my part of the bargain, I joined a local church, became a catechumen, and in 2017 got baptized. To my surprise, I am a rather enthusiastic denominational Christian — how could I not? Even though I am Christian, religiously, WherePrayer™ is non-sectarian. Anyone can use it.

For twenty-odd years, I wished that someone would write a WherePrayer™-like app that I myself could use, but remarkably, no one did. Jeff and I discussed WherePrayer™ amongst ourselves for six years, telling no one. Jeff worked on WherePrayer™ in secret on weekends.

In May 2017, Jeff found himself unemployed. We were quite happy at this turn of events because, finally, Jeff could devote full-time to WherePrayer™. He dove into the project — living, breathing and sleeping the app for the next year. On 10 May 2018, the app went beta.

We have no plans to offer WherePrayer™ for Android. Please respect our decision, and don’t ask.

We have devoted whatever free-time we have to rescuing cats, particularly elder breeder-moms. Since 1985, we have adopted and given a cushy, permanent home to forty-seven cats. The cats are allowed on the furniture.

— Laura Jarrard Shulman

This WherePrayer™ endeavor is dedicated to the Baptism Covenant of The Episcopal Church, USA. For those unfamiliar with this covenant, it goes like this. The Celebrant is usually a priest:

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father?
Person: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
Person: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
Person: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
Person: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
Person: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
Person: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
Person: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
Person: I will, with God’s help.

— The Book of Common Prayer, pages 304-305.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton



App Store Optimization: Why no takers?

Jeff and I are preparing the app for submission to the App Store in the autumn. We started sifting through possible companies to ask for help.

A month ago, we went on an actual, in-person appointment with the principal guy of one company. We thought we would get to meet his team, but no. Only him. While he was courteous, he rushed us out after only an hour. We got the impression we would hear from him again, but nothing — he dumped us like a lead balloon. I doubt if the rest of his company even knows about us. Here we were, willing to throw him money, but nothing. He didn’t even have the manners to let us know that he was not interested in our account — we are too small, or offered him too little money, or whatever the case was. I guess he is already making money hand over fist, has more business than he can handle, or is independently wealthy. Not impressed.

A week ago, I emailed a colleague asking if he has the skill-set we are looking for. He immediately replied saying no, but would like to help find someone. I was impressed how fast he replied, and how encouraging he was. Thank you, Frank!

Also a week ago, I sent seven local companies a very nice and very specific email asking for help with App Store Optimization (as well as other categories). One replied immediately saying his wife’s company might be interested but didn’t hear anything more.

One replied by email two days later saying no, that they don’t handle mom-and-pop companies. Her email had the tone of being ho-hum bored. One of the five I sent an additional email.

But the remaining five left us hanging by not replying at all. Rude!

WTF? Why the silent treatment? Here we are — a paying client — willing to throw a company money, and we’re getting the cold shoulder. Am I submitting the equivalent of my resumé, and getting rejected because I don’t have the skills to ask someone if THEY HAVE SKILLS to help? I am the client — the payor — the one with the cash on the barrelhead. Or is it that the latter two weeks of August REALLY is a time when companies get absolutely nothing done because everyone is on vacation and not getting their emails?

I feel offended.

I am not going to beg. I am faced with the prospect that it will take longer to find someone to do App Store Optimization than if I learn how to do it myself. Yesterday, I decided to do it myself.