Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ all offer opportunities for prayer.
Posted in , Jan 9, 2015
You probably already use one or more forms of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and others. And, if your networks are anything like mine, you probably see numerous expressions of happiness or hurt, requests for prayer, and various news items of interest.
Most people browse their social media feeds several times a day, to pass the time. Others use it to keep track of their kids or other family and friends.
But social media also presents a prime opportunity–and a frequent one–to pray as well. See if any of these ideas will work for you:
1. Don't promise to pray. Pray!
I probably see a dozen or more requests for prayer–some quite urgent and desperate–every day. I used to respond to these like most people, with a promise to pray (a promise I would then often forget to fulfill).
But I’ve changed my ways. Now, instead of promising to pray, I take a moment or two to actually pray, by typing a response such as, “Lord, have mercy; send comfort and peace” or “Lord, hear our prayer: heal and restore.”
2. Post a prayer.
Rather than posting or tweeting prayer requests, try posting a prayer and invite others to pray it with you. This practice goes both ways. Instead of tweeting or posting, “Please pray for my trip to Vancouver,” why not say, “God, please make this trip to Vancouver safe and successful”?
Others can then pray along, especially if you preface it or follow it up with a comment inviting others to pray with you. And keep in mind that your specificity can help others pray with greater interest and precision, too.
3. Send a birthday prayer.
Instead of sending birthday wishes, why not send a birthday prayer? Some days I pray for a dozen people who are celebrating a birthday, simply by posting (and praying as I do), “Happy birthday! May the shadow of Christ fall on you. May the garment of Christ cover you. May the breath of Christ breathe in you.”
In cases where I know my friend or contact is of another religion or might be resistant to that prayer, I will offer something less specific, but with no less prayer behind it.
4. Welcome a new follower with a prayer.
When you welcome a new follower or accept a new “friend,” say–or send–a short prayer for that person. It’s just as easy to acknowledge a new follower by saying, “May God give you heaven's dew and earth's richness (Genesis 27:28)”as it is to say, “Thanks for adding me.”
5. “Like,” retweet and share.
When you see a prayer online that echoes your heart’s desire (such as those on Guideposts’ “OurPrayer” app or my “31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids”, take the time to “like,” retweet, or share it–or take a screenshot and post it (or even send it as a text message).
Social media is already helping people pray for themselves and others around the world. Who knows? It may even spark a spiritual revolution in you and among those you know and love.
Do you pray on social media? How often? Do you have any tips or tactics to share? Please do so in the comments thread below.