Posts tagged “prayer”

August 24, 2018
  A Tour of myPrayerJournal: Introduction

Recently, we released version 1.0 of myPrayerJournal, a minimalistic prayer journaling application. This series aims to provide a tour of the code, with several stops along the way:

From a technical perspective, this application was going to be a learning experience. We knew we wanted to use a Single Page Application (SPA) framework with an API; we’d built APIs before, but had yet to build a SPA. For front-end frameworks, we started with Angular, went through Aurelia and Elm, then decided on Vue. For the back-end API, we started with Suave, then went live on Node.js with Koa; later, we moved it to Go, and after .NET Core 2.1 was released, landed on Giraffe. The “learning experience” part was a success; through all these attempts, we utilized 5 different languages and 3 different database access techniques.

To understand the requirements, a short explanation of the process will help. “Prayer journaling” is a discipline where a person will write down the things for which they are praying; this provides a defined list to help guide their prayer, and helps them not forget things. Then, as the situation changes, they can record updates, through to the resolution of the situation (also called the request being “answered”). This discipline not only helps to focus efforts, it also provides a record of requests and answers. Although people have successfully used a notebook, or something similar, for a long time, that approach does have some downsides:

  • For long term requests, you can run out of room for updates.
  • A physical journal can only be in one place at one time.
  • Answered requests coexist with unanswered requests, so you have to flip pages past them.
  • Books can end up under stacks of other things, falling victim to “out of sight, out of mind.”

Looking to address some of those, the initial requirements started as the first three bullets below. The remaining requirements emerged through using the application as it was being developed.

  • List unanswered requests, in a way that they can be marked as prayed or answered, and be updated
  • List answered requests, and allow full requests (and their history) to be viewed
  • Do the above in a way that will not be distracting
  • Allow notes to be recorded for a request; not every update on a situation requires a change in the verbiage of the request
  • Allow requests to be “snoozed” (removed from the journal, with a specified date when they will reappear), and list snoozed requests so that the snooze can be expired (returning the request to the journal immediately)
  • Allow requests to be prioritized (this became the request recurrence feature)

Armed with these requirements, we will pick up next time with a look at the Vue front end.

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June 17, 2012
  40/40 Web Service for 2012

Back in 2010, we wrote a web service for the 40/40 Prayer Vigil organized by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. This allowed us to use the content in multiple places. They are doing another vigil this year, but the service we wrote two years ago was not terribly reusable.

This year, we have developed a reusable web service that should hold up for 2014 and beyond. (Acronym alert - non-programmers skip the next sentence.) This one has a REST API instead of SOAP and WSDL, and supports XML, JSON, and HTML output formats. This year, it also supports both English and Español.

The REST API start page is at this URL no longer active. The prayer guides require an output format, a language, the Scripture version, whether the guide is for a day or an hour, and the day or hour number. There are lookup transactions for lists of available output formats, languages, and Scripture versions, and lookups for converting a date to a day number and a date/time to an hour number.

There will be a WordPress plug-in shortly that will utilize this to display the current day or hour’s prayer guide directly on your blog; we’ll make another post when that is available. Also, starting September 26th (the first day of the vigil), it will be available for display with no login required at the Hoffmantown Prayer and PrayerTracker websites. Developers, the service is available now; if you want to write code to utilize the service, you’ve got 3 months to make it work!

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September 19, 2010
  40/40 Web Service

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is holding a “40/40 Prayer Vigil,” encouraging prayer through the end of October. While some of the prayer is focused on the upcoming elections, the focus is on national revival. They have produced a prayer guide, which details suggestions for prayer over the course of 40 days, beginning September 20th, and for 40 hours, beginning October 29th at 4pm.

We have created a web service to break this guide up into day and hour-sized chunks. The service is at this URL no longer active. There are several ways to retrieve this information.

  • GetDay
    This gets one of the 40 days, by the day number. (September 20th is 1, September 21st is 2, etc.) The “day” parameter controls which day is returned.
  • GetHour
    This gets one of the 40 hours, by the hour number (10/29 4pm is 1, 10/29 5pm is 2, etc.) The “hour” parameter controls which hour is returned.
  • GetDate
    This gets one of the 40 days, by the current date. The “date” parameter controls which day is returned. (The time portion may be given, but it is ignored.)
  • GetTime
    This gets one of the 40 hours, by the date/time. The “time” parameter controls which hour is returned.
  • GetDayHTML, GetHourHTML, GetDateHTML, and GetTimeHTML
    This is the same as the above 4 calls, except what is returned is a formatted block of text that can be displayed on a web page.

In all cases, if the day/hour/date/time does not match a valid value for the vigil, a null is returned.

If you’re not interested in consuming the web service, but you’d like to see the suggested prayer each day, the Hoffmantown Prayer site is displaying the days and hours on Mountain Time. This information is on the front page with no login required.

This web service will be discontinued at some point after December 31, 2010.

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