Can you pray through your Facebook status? What about when a friend puts up a request and someone replies with a prayer? I am not talking about requesting prayer or letting someone know you prayed for them but when someone replies to a prayer request with “Dear, Lord.” If prayer is acceptable then can someone type out their prayer language (as Juanita Bynum did not so long ago)?
At first glance I will say that I am always thrown off when someone offers a prayer on a Facebook wall or post. It seems out of place. Does God read those prayers? Does He “like” them? Does He respond to the post? What if there are spelling errors? Does God use the terms LOL, JK and BRB? What about when Jesus said not to pray pretentiously in public (Matthew 6:5)?
There are other times where I see people praying on Facebook and I understand it. Missionaries who don’t get the chance to talk with family, friends or churches everyday and the only form of communication is written. Reading a prayer (just like reading the Psalms which are prayers) can usher a person into prayer in their location. It reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 where Paul said to pray without ceasing (and since a lot of people are on Facebook 24 hours a day anyway…). Finally, not all public prayers (written or spoken) are forbidden by Jesus’ command in Matthew 6:5 since He Himself did it multiple times.
What is the answer then? I don’t know, like the other Bell I just like asking questions. I think this is a hard issue across the board because it is highly subjective and unless God direct messages me an answer it would be difficult to reply with 100% certainty. I myself would never address the Lord through a friends Facebook page and I’m skeptical when people do it but I’m not willing to say it is never right. However, there are some things I think are never right:
(1) Be careful of pretentious prayer. What is your motivation for praying publicly? Why aren’t you doing it privately? Or with the person directly? Are you drawing attention to yourself?
(2) Do not be a prayer spammer.
(3) Do not call someone out on their wall and justify it as a “prayer.” I’ve seen this happen and it ain’t pretty!
(4) Do not write in your “prayer language.” That’s just creepy. It’s called speaking (emphasis mine) in tongues for a reason!
(5) Do not claim to have a prophetic word, post it on their wall and then like it. Direct message that sucker!
(6) Do not disclose something that the person on the receiving end doesn’t want disclosed. “Dear Lord, I pray you heal so-and-so’s hernia, Lord!”
(7) Do not use “Lord” as a breath mark when typing. You are typing!
(8) If you are not praying privately do not pray publicly. Period.
(9) Do not pray judgment down on people in your friends list, countries, and Presidents.
(10) Do not pray about your relationship status. You will regret ignoring this one.
How about you? Is praying on Facebook wrong? Could it be good? Maybe creepy?