Social media has been an incredible tool in business, keeping in touch with distant family and friends, and in my prayer life. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. It's actually enhanced my prayer life. How, you ask? I'll explain. I'm about to be vulnerable, but it must be done in order to provide clarity. You've been warned.
I see many prayer requests, amber alerts, positive and negative news stories, milestones of life, professional accomplishments, etc while scrolling through social media sites. I'll admit, I used to simply "scroll and roll", push the like button, and maybe add a comment. I've even been guilty of putting prayer hands in the comment section without actually saying a prayer. I would say a prayer for the urgent requests, but not all of the appeals. Now that's changed. I've been trying something new. I pray over all the posts. Not lengthy paragraphs filled with "Thees" and "Thous", but a quick sentence or thought. It's so cool!
Some posts give me exactly what to pray for; be it a missing person, sick relative or job interview. Those are easy. I've challenged myself to not post the prayer hands or a heart until I've actually said a prayer. That keeps me honest, and I take those direct requests very seriously. Other posts are pretty simple to lend themselves to a prayer of praise for a child's accomplishment, or safe travels for those on a trip. Relationship/job/residence changes prompt prayers for guidance. Professional posts prompt prayers for blessings of one's business or career. Political/news/weather posts prompt me to pray for things beyond my own little existence - my state, country, and world. Tragedy and death bring prayers for healing and comfort. Cute animals and beautiful nature scenes bring prayers of gratitude. Sporting events prompt prayers for safety and sportsmanship. Sometimes I just ask God to "handle it" if I don't know what to pray. He knows. Not everything is meant to be my business. Ads? I really haven't figured them out yet. Scroll and roll baby. Scroll and roll.
This all came earlier in the year when I asked God to deepen my prayer life. I'd gotten stuck, and didn't want to stay in the same place of praying the same prayers for my fam jam and friends. I wanted to go beyond reading my devotional, offering up the repetitive "thank Yous" and safety/success pleas and move on with my to do list for the day. I wanted to take it to a more meaningful level. Little did I know that He was going to answer that prayer through social media of all things. He's got quite a sense of humor.
"Be careful what you pray for!" How many times have I heard that? Trust me, it's true. I was led to pray for social media posts to grow my prayer muscles. It didn't require any extra time, because it was attached to something I was already doing. I just had to look at it in a different way. It hasn't always been fun. I've had to pray for celebrities/politicians that I didn't particularly like. I've had to pray for people who have hurt me in the past. But I've also prayed for complete strangers and close friends. He's begun to put me into a more constant state of prayer. I asked, He provided. That's how He rolls.
I exposed all this not to toot my own horn, but to tell you how great our God is. He uses whatever we have, even social media, to help us. If you've felt bored or frustrated with your prayer life, I invite you to join me in "scroll and pray"! A word of warning: you will be guided to deal with some personal "stuff" along the way. I've had to release bitterness, shed insecurities, and repent of negativity I didn't even know I had inside of me. I thought I was simply going to pray for others, but God began refining my heart in the process, and that's not always pleasant. But it IS worth it. I am far from "refined", in fact I'm pretty much a hot mess, but He's working on me. And through social media of all things! I do declare, I did not see that one coming.
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