Social Media Prayer Challenge
Here are Jesus’ words on praying for your enemy.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NLT)
Jesus knew what to do in light of hardship and being faced with an enemy. Social media didn’t exist in his day, but it does in ours. I believe in private prayer, but praying with our fingers through social media prayer is the kind of voice our world needs. It’s what my personal world needs too.
The prayer challenge is simple:
For a whole day, instead of a regular status update or reply, write out a prayer.
As an application to the passage in Matthew, direct those prayers towards anyone with whom you feel attacked or pitted against. Sadly, many people use social media to fling out their opinions about people with whom they have strife. Imagine the change if you prayed for anyone who fits into your “those people” category. Those people are the ones who don’t agree with your ideology. They make decisions you don’t think is right. In a society that supposedly is promoting love and acceptance, we have an incredible capacity to rip apart anyone who doesn’t side with our opinions.
Pray, not just for your enemies
Prayer is not just for “those people.” Prayer is for “friends” too. I have loads of “friends” through social media. Friends, followers, or whatever they are called, social media connects me to countless people. The connection is greatly flawed in the sense of truly developing a relationship, but the connection is there. I see their pictures and updates. Why not pray for them?
We took the time to write a prayer rather than a quick-click heart or emojicon response. That is, if we respond at all. Rather than simply reading one status update after another, we paused and remembered that person’s humanity.
Each person has…
- a real life just like ours.
- struggles which will never (or rarely) be put out into the social media world.
- a need for the power of God working in their life.
With that thought fresh in my mind, couldn’t we pray?
But what can we pray?
- Pray for God to bless them.
- Pray they would know how deeply they are loved.
- Pray for health and strength for the day.
We don’t have to be pitted against someone to pray for them, we can pray for anyone.
One word of caution
In my reading of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters (affiliate link), I am reminded of the temptation to not make prayer a new way to criticize and judge others in the form of prayer. Prayer should never be a point of self elevation or self promotion. Humility. Love. Care. These foundational elements lead to genuine, connect-with-God’s-heart prayers. None of us are perfect nor does anyone have a perfect life, that is why we all need prayer.
Here’s how you take the Social Media Prayer Challenge
- Pick a day (or a period of time of your choosing)
- Make all of your social media status updates and replies filled with prayer. It will slow down your ability to read it all, for sure, but each person with whom you “connect” will be a point of prayer.
- Remember the word of caution lay the foundation of humility, love, care.
- You choose: say a prayer or write a prayer. Wouldn’t a prayer response to a status update be an encouragement? I appreciate people telling me they are praying for me, even more powerful is reading the tender, heart-felt words of those prayers.
Will you take the Social Media Prayer Challenge?
Who is in? What day? (Or how much time?) Pick a goal and let’s use social media for prayer. I’d love to hear back from you if you tried it. What did you learn? How did the challenge change your day?
I’m linking up at Grace & Truth