Is this something that plagues your prayer life too? I’m embarrassed to count the number of times I’ve seen someone asking for prayer on Facebook and I’ve commented “Praying!” And then I sort of move on with my day and totally forget about it. Just today, for instance, my friend asked for prayers for a friend of hers who may have lung cancer. How easy would it be for me to just say that I’m praying and then forget about it entirely because it’s lunch time and I’m hungry?
In an effort to be more faithful to my friends and community, I have tried to make sure I actually take the time to pray for their requests this month (and beyond, I hope). If I didn’t have the time right at the moment to take a minute to faithfully pray for someone’s needs, I never commented or told the person I would. It almost feels as if lying about it is even worse than not praying at all.
As a person of faith, I believe that prayers actually mean something, and that, as J Edwin Hartill said, “prayer is the slender sinew that moves the muscle of omnipotence.” In other words — our prayers matter. This is shown over and over in the Bible and in people’s lives throughout history. I’ve seen it in my own life and in the lives of people I’m very close to. Prayer may even reshape the chemistry of our brains, says an NPR article, almost as if we are “wired for the supernatural.” Could all of the answered prayers be a placebo effect or worthless? To some, perhaps. But I’ve seen too much to think it’s nothing.
So every time I’ve seen or heard a prayer request this month, I’ve taken a moment to actually pray. To quiet my mind, and commune with God, and ask for His will to be done. I’ve prayed for people as their requests have come across my mind during other times as well. I prayed today for my friend’s friend who is dealing with the potential lung cancer. I know that God hears my prayers, and values my faithfulness to my friends to pray for their needs. One thing I’d like to work on for the future is checking in after the fact — how is the person doing? How can I continue to pray?
What about you? Do you get stuck in the Facebook prayer vacuum too?