Turning Posts into Prayers

I have a confession to make. I spend entirely too much time on Facebook. Whew! Confession is good for the soul.

I’m making progress. I quit taking goofy quizzes like “What Disney Princess are you?” and “If you were a cat, what would you look like?” I stopped playing Candy Crush and other games with 8,999 levels. I drastically reduced my reading of random articles with headlines like, “21 Ways to Lose 21 Pounds in 21 Days,” and “63 Celebrities You Thought Were Dead but Aren’t.”

I’m still a sucker for surprise military reunion videos, cute animal pics, and crock-pot recipes with lots of cheese. Hey, a girl has to have a little fun, right?

What I love most about Facebook is the way it allows me to connect with people. When my Facebook pals are celebrating, I get to celebrate, too. On the sad side of the same token, when my friends are hurting, my heart aches.

My social media time is not immune to my efforts to live a pray-without-ceasing life. As I scroll through my feed and see what’s going on with my friends, prayer is often my response—prayers of praise, prayers of concern, and prayers for direction. Sometimes, I post my prayers right there as a comment, so my friends know the words I lifted up to God for them. My friends seem to like it, and it ensures I follow through with God’s prompting to pray. If I put it off ’til later, I’ll might forget.

Think about all the news you receive from your social media friends in a day. Are there any for which you could respond with prayer? Here are a few examples to get you thinking:

  • Your friend posts pictures of her brand-new grandbaby. In addition to your standard, “What a cutie! Congrats, Grammy,” why not post a prayer of praise and dedication. Lord, thank you for blessing this precious child with such a Jesus-loving gramma. May she come to know You early and honor You all her days.
  • Your friend posts her youngest child’s graduation pics. Go ahead and join in your friend’s “Woo hoo!” but how about also share a prayer. Lord, thank you for guiding Johnny to this exciting point in his life. Please guide him toward what’s next for him in Your master plan. And, Lord, hold his momma’s heart as she navigates her empty nest.
  • Your friend who’s been unemployed for months posts about his new job. Click that “love” button, but why not give God a shout-out? Lord, thank you for this new job for Joe! Please help him learn the ropes and make great connections quickly. Use him as a bright light in his new workplace.
  • Your Facebook notifications tell you it’s so-and-so’s birthday. A “Happy Birthday!” will bring a smile to your friend’s face, but a prayer will bring a fire to her heart. Lord, thank you for the privilege of knowing Suzie. Let this year be full of opportunities for her  to share Your hope.
  • Your friend posts from the surgical waiting room as she awaits her child’s surgery. It only takes a few seconds to type out the prayer you’re likely praying in your heart. Lord, please let Your presence be known in the operating room and in the waiting room. Please bring Kyle to full health and keep the whole family in complete peace.
  • Your friend admits she’s having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. “Hang in there” has a little encouragement umph, but prayer has power. Lord, lift my buddy’s spirits with Your joy that defies circumstances.
  • Your friend shares an ALS-awareness meme and mentions her mom who’s suffering with the disease. A frowny face sends loving empathy, but a prayer sends hope. Lord, please let Your peace that passes all understanding guard Amy’s heart today. Please assure her You haven’t forsaken her precious mom.
  • Your friend shares the sad news that a loved one has died. Resist the urge to post not-helpful cliches, and consider posting a heart-felt prayer. Lord, You promise to be close to the brokenhearted and to save the crushed in spirit. Please wrap up this hurting family with Your comfort and Your peaceful presence.
  • Your friend rejoices that her mom is now cancer-free. In the midst of your cheering, give glory to  God. Lord, thank you for this tremendous news! Use Sandra’s story to bring Your hope to many.

Now, don’t get me wrong, friends. I’m not proposing every comment you leave needs to be a prayer. Social media is just that—social. Laugh and joke. Encourage and cheer. Have fun on Facebook. It’s a good thing. But sometimes, a prayer is a perfect way to invite God into your social media life. When God’s behind the prayers, He’ll be glorified, and your friends will be encouraged.

That brings me to a gentle word of warning. Be careful not to try to pass off gossip and critical words as prayers.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would what I’m about to type encourage me if someone sent it to me?”

Lord, be glorified in my social media life. Show me when to turn my posts into prayers. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN

What do you think? Is prayer a welcome addition to your social media feed? I’d love to hear how you invite God into your social media life. 

 

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Memorial Day Prayer

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and you just might have some fun stuff planned. Go ahead and have your hot dog and potato salad. Get your summer tan going at the lake. Relax and enjoy yourself. I will, too.

But we can’t forget to remember—and pray.

Lord,

It’s Memorial Day—the day we remember the fallen. Those who gave their lives for liberty’s sake. They died for their families; they died for strangers; they died for present and future generations.

Lord, I pray for all who ache from the empty place their soldiers left behind.

Some are observing Memorial Day with new, searing understanding. Their soldier is in a fresh grave draped with the first of many American flags. Hold their hearts with your tender hands. Heal their broken hearts; bandage their wounds with Your compassion (Psalm 147:3).

Some remember loved ones long departed, but the grief is still sharp and surprising. Remind them that You keep track of all their sorrows and have collected their tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). No matter how many years pass, You see, and You understand.

I pray each person on Remembrance Road will turn and grab hold of one behind them. With the comfort they have received from You, may they comfort as only one who “gets it” can (2 Corinthian 1:3-5).

And for those of us who have never experienced the loss of a soldier, give us sensitive, prayerful, grateful hearts. Show us how to honor the fallen and the ones who hold folded flags.

In the name of Jesus, the God of all comfort, I pray, Amen

Are you remembering a loved one lost this Memorial Day? Leave a comment and share about your hero.

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