A few years ago, some of my peers began posting the following question on facebook: “How can I pray for you, today?” At first, I thought it was a little strange…not in a bad way, just a “hmmm, why haven’t I thought of that?” kind of thing. As I read the comments people were leaving, I noticed actual need in some of them. People were battling cancer, had family issues, were fighting monetary problems—and they had the courage to put that out there on the internet for all the world to see. The beautiful part of it? Not one single comment was answered by an internet troll or a cyber-bully. No one replied with, “Well, you think you’ve got it bad? MY problems are…” blah blah blah.
I was amazed and encouraged. I started doing it, too. The response was overwhelming. People messaged me privately, commented publicly and some even commented below others’ posts and said they were praying for them, too. What a ministry. What a way to co-opt a secular device and arena and make it better! And it’s so easy…
The truth is, we get busy in our everyday lives. Sometimes, unfortunately, prayer takes a backseat to problems, rather than riding shotgun and taking them on alongside us. More often than admitted, prayer seems to come as an afterthought, post-fix, or not come at all. But even if you have a great prayer-life, there’s still something here for you, too. Think about the people on social media. It isn’t a strictly religious venue, so there are all types of folks on it. What would it look like for you to reach out and offer prayer to people who have never stepped foot in church? Who have been hurt by the church? Who don’t know if there’s a God or not? Who don’t believe in God but are experiencing hardships? I wonder what the impact would be if fifty people simultaneously asked the social media world, “How can I pray for you, today” one time a month. I’m willing to bet that quite a few folks would take advantage of that opportunity, in a positive way; and I equally imagine that very few would respond with negativity.
Just some musings from a priest on a Wednesday. Whatever you choose to do with this, there’s no expectation from me! But having said that…
How can I pray for you, today?