Social media has made it possible for us to connect with so many more people than was once possible. One aspect of that connection is learning about the struggles and trails that people often share. I think the most common one I’ve seen is someone going into surgery, asking for prayers and good vibes, or the loss of a loved one. How many times have you typed a response to one of these posts with the words “I’ll pray for you” or “sending prayers” or used the little prayer hands emoji? How many times have you actually followed through?
I’m guilty of it myself at times. Seeing someone going through something, I say I’ll pray for them, but then I get distracted and life is busy and I forget, or I make a distracted attempt and then move on. I never actually, meaningfully offer a prayer to God for that person.
How many times as a parent have I told my kids that actions speak louder than words? and yet in my own relationship with God I’ve offered so many empty promises of prayer. I can’t tell you what changed for me, or why, but something in my heart did. I found myself making a commitment to God, to actually take a moment, to sit and meaningfully pray. To spend time with God, praying, for any person who asks for prayer on my social media or in my life. If I say I’m going to pray for you. I’m actually doing it. You lost a cat and ask for prayers? I’m praying for you. Surgery? I’m praying for you. Lost someone? I’m reaching out in prayer for you and your family.
What has surprised me in all of this has been an unexpected consequence. I’ve grown closer to God myself. I feel him reaching out to me, touching my heart in those times when I’m reaching out to him for someone else.
Maybe you’re better at follow through than I was, but if you aren’t, then I encourage you to try it. The next time you write that you are praying for someone, or post a prayer hand emoji, STOP, take a moment, bow your head and meaningfully, heartfully offer up your petition for that person. You might be surprised at what you get back in return.