#PrayforCarrie – Sharing Prayer Requests in the Digital Age
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away there lived a princess. Today, the lady who played Princess Leia Organa Solo in the Star Wars saga, Carrie Fisher, died today at the age of 60. Fisher had a heart attack on a plane flight from London to Los Angeles four days ago. She was rushed to a hospital where she was placed in intensive care. While Fisher was in intensive care and now after her death, many people expressed their grief on social media. They used the following hashtags:
This sharing on social media reflects a new and different method about how people express prayer. The Bible teaches that we should pray for one another.
“Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12:12, HCSB)
“Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18, HCSB)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” (James 5:16, HCSB)
Yet, the way people may pray for one another may be different. Some may choose to form a group and pray together. Others may share their prayer requests in a letter. Many churches may form a prayer chain that shares prayer requests over the phone. Other churches use email as a way to communicate prayer. Still, other churches may use a Facebook page or group to make their prayer requests known.
The advent of social media has helped to create a community from a distance. Positively, I can share my concerns with everyone and I will know that whoever reads it will know that I need their prayer. Yet it is still up to that individual person to respond to my request. Negatively, people can read my request, like my request, post a praying hands emoji, or write “praying” and never really spend time praying for that person.
As a result, this is what I do when I come across a prayer request on social media: I pray for that request and then I write: “I just prayed for you.” I personally think that social media is a great way to learn about prayer requests from around the world. However, this form of prayer requests should not replace corporate prayer in worship.
“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24–25, HCSB)
I believe that the Bible teaches that we should promote love and good works by being concerned with one another. Corporate prayer is still a great way to show your concern. Nevertheless, no matter the method, I believe that we need to keep the focus upon actually praying, and not just posting. So go ahead and let people know your requests and state your concern. But then show it by spending time in prayer.