I will admit it. I love Facebook. I like to post and I love to see “likes” and comments. I like feeling connected to people. I don’t get overly bent by friends who post every little thing in their life, and while I do have my fair share of friends who post something akin to insanity on their walls, it doesn’t bother me. Often, I just ignore what I don’t want to read.
When I first started using Facebook, I was a little leary of the posts that asked for prayers. It just felt too personal to share with the world. Still, something compelled me to “like” the post and take a minute to pray. Then, a few years ago, when I was worried about a family member and praying as hard as I could on my own, I posted a prayer request. The outpouring of support truly gave me strength during a difficult time and I felt it also helped my loved one too. So, I have been even more diligent about “liking” prayer requests and saying a quick prayer ever since, remembering how much I appreciated the support when I needed it.
Last week, however, I gained a new perspective on prayer and social media. My fourteen year old daughter had an emergency appendectomy. Initailly, I spent a lot of the day texting various family members to provide updates while waiting for the diagnosis of appendicitis, but as she was wheeled to surgery the need to communicate information was overwhelming. I took our news to Facebook with this post “It’s official. Claire has appendicitis. She will be in surgery soon. Please pray for a smooth surgery and quick recovery.” I hoped to accomplish two things – get the word to others that she was in surgery, and get prayers coming for my daughter.
I believe in the power of prayer, but for the life of me, I couldn’t pray that day. When I thought about how sick she was, I could not form a prayer. I was so incredibly worried and couldn’t even function. I focused all of my strength that day on not being scared in front of my little girl [yes, I know she is a teenager, but she will always be my baby]. When it came time to ask God for help, I just couldn’t find the words. I didn’t even want to face the possibility that all might not be ok. So, I trusted in my Facebook friends and family to do the praying for me. They came through and in a big way! By the time the surgery was over, I felt renewed and could finally start praying. While the prayers I requested were for my girl, they were also for me. When the surgery was over and we settled in for the night, I offered a long prayer of gratitude, thanks not only for a smooth and successful surgery but also for a lovely support system that carried us through.
When you see a prayer request on your social media, please press “like” and pray.