As I type these words, my father has just been admitted to a hospital in a city, which feels very far away. Earlier, I was playing around on Hootesuite, trying to make some sense of the Twitter verse.
And, I entered in a search phrase, “please pray.”
And, I have been watching as people, I don’t know, can’t know, call across the distance of cyperspace asking for prayer.
There is something in this listening, which is close to prayer and close to discernment.
Prayer requests used to be local, or so large they made national news, but now in the comfort of my dining room I can watch the prayer needs of thousands scroll through my feed.
And, they call out for a response.
Figuring out that response is the work of discernment.
Learning to listen, that is the first skill.
So, as an experiment, take a few moments, and enter, “please pray” into the search bar in Twitter.
Sure, some will be for things like, getting a new haircut, but most will be for very real, very clear needs for love, for support, and for connection in a difficult time.
Here’s my point: the internet erases the distance between each of us. We all know this, but what is becoming clear it might also erase some of the distance between people and God.
That’s my hope, at least.
So, dear readers, how has the internet informed your prayer life?
Have you found yourself typing “please pray” into your feed?