In our day and age it seems like just about everybody is engaging in some kind of social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or some other new and upcoming avenue for expression and online social interaction. But why do we do it? Many, no doubt, just like to keep close tabs on family and friends. Others follow organizations, celebrities, and businesses for the latest inside information or technology, gossip, or progress. Others have information and ideas to share and use it to quickly and easily disperse it to a population of followers.
For those of us who are followers of Jesus, let me propose a use for social media that goes beyond our physical realities and the myriad of stories, pictures, videos and articles that stream through our in-boxes and timelines each and every day. Imagine the impact if every follower of Jesus used social media not simply as a means of keeping up to date, but as an assistance for knowing what to pray for and for what to praise.
We are instructed in God’s word to “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5:17) Paul tells us in Romans to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Rom 12:12 ). In Ephesians, Paul elaborates about our spiritual armor. After describing our defensive protection and the Word of God as our offensive weapon, he emphasizes the necessity of prayer, under girding all of our efforts and those of all other believers. Our battle is not about flesh and blood, but is a spiritual war.
Eph 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
This is not to say that when we are scrolling down our Facebook timelines, that we need to be always on our knees, bowing our heads, closing our eyes or prostrating ourselves constantly throughout the day. But we can attempt to maintain a constant attitude of prayer in all that we do. As we find out how our friends are doing, or read a news story, we can shoot quick thought-prayers toward God with a conscious awareness of his hearing them. We can intentionally or systematically visit our friends pages to pray for their well-being or praise God, rejoicing with them in their triumphs.
This type of awareness is easier said than done, however. Thinking spiritually is not natural to our sinful nature and our efforts can be quickly derailed. We are naturally self-centered, and must rely on the spirit of God to keep us on track. With a willing heart, consistent time in God’s word and the Spirit guiding us, we can grow closer to God and begin to see the world through his eyes. As this happens, we become more attuned to his working in the world and can pray more consistently and effectively.
I am not there myself, and am frequently derailed personally. My prayer life has been something I have always struggled to keep consistent. But I thank God that He is patient and won’t give up on me no matter what.
Phil 1: 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.