A Hyper Connected World
One of the benefits of social media is that it has helped so many of us to stay connected with so many other people all over the world. And as a result, we are a lot more aware of what is happening around us. In fact, when there is a major breaking news story most people will hear about it first on Twitter, or Facebook or even snapchat instead of traditional news media outlets.
In fact, I just now felt an earthquake and social media was a buzz with the details very quickly. And people who didn’t feel the earthquake were messaging me asking me about it because that is how they “heard the news”. At the moment the earth was rattling, I was talking to a pastor friend of mine via WhatsApp in Pakistan, and he received the news firsthand. Social media has tied us into a hyper connected community that is quickly and acutely aware of the events and tragedies that happen to other people.
Blessing of Being Connected
And one of the best things about social media is that it enables people to communicate quickly their support for others in their time of need. Now I am not talking about virtue signaling (that is a topic for another post), rather I am talking about the sincere heart felt expressions of a loving community. Clear messages that those who are in need are important and are on the minds of others. And for Christians it is an opportunity to pray for these people and let them know that they are being prayed for.
Here Come the Trolls
However, one of the ugly sides of social media (I know there are many) is the rise of the bitter troll. The cynic. The hateful, self-important, jerk who takes every opportunity to mock people of faith for these expressions of heart felt empathy and prayer. It seems that every time a national disaster hits, or another mass shooting, or a tragic accident happens, these trolls take the opportunity to spread their own misery around to everyone in their network. They ridicule the “thoughts and prayers” of those who offer them, calling them a waste of time and effort. They would be more content with us sending “good vibes” and good thoughts rather than praying to God. (Nothing Biblical about good vibes at all.)
God Hears Your Prayer
But here is the thing we need to understand, if you are a Christian and you have a relationship with the living God, the most important thing you can do for someone else, who is in need, is to go before the Creator of the universe and intercede for them. The most important thing that you can do for another human being is to go before the Sovereign Lord of all things and lift them up before God.
The apostle Paul bids us to, “…not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God…”
First of all, if there is anyone who can do anything about any situation it is God. There is nothing impossible for Him. There is nothing outside His ability, there is nothing outside of His reach. He is a God who can and does heal. He is a God who can and does change things. He is completely omnipotent.
Secondly, He is completely in control. This is the part we often struggle with. We are not in control of really anything. Only God is completely sovereign and in control. That is why we take Him at His word in Romans which reads, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This promise reminds us that God can and does take even the worst of circumstances and works them out for good because there is nothing outside of His control.
But the important thing to remember is, that as followers of Christ we have instant access to this all-powerful, and sovereign God! Remember the gospel! The veil has been torn that separated God and man. And those who have faith in Christ have with in them God the Holy Spirit.
One of the most important truths that you can depend on is this, if you are one of God’s adopted children through repentance and faith in Christ, the moment you begin to pray you stand immediately before the throne of grace and your God hears your prayers. The awesome, completely holy God depicted in Isaiah 6:1-6, gladly hears the prayers of those who trust in him. Please let that sink in. You have a direct and instant connection to the One, True, Living God and you can talk to him any time you want.
Do Not Be Deterred
So, brothers and sisters, ignore the trolls! Go to Him and pray about everything. Your friend who has cancer, your neighbor who’s marriage is falling apart, those people you don’t know who suffered a catastrophic accident. Pray for them all. And it’s ok for you to let them know that you are praying for them. Praying for someone else is one of the most important and one of the most loving things you can do. In fact, if you want to pray for me, I would absolutely love it!
With that, brothers and sisters, refuse to allow the trolls to keep you from praying for others and letting them know that they are loved, and they are prayed for.
By the way, I love to pray for people. And if you would like me to pray for you, then send me an email at” firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace and peace,