Taking Prayer Seriously
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests [supplications, NKJV], prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour…”
1 Timothy 2:1–3 (NIV UK)
Recently, I read an article about the rise of something called “hash tag prayer.” It works like this: people on social media create a “hash tag” as a way to remind people to pray. Log on to Twitter and you’ll see things like #PrayForBaltimore, #PrayForKorea and #PrayForParis. While some people might label this type of activity as “slacktivism,” I started thinking differently when I heard about Brandon Ambrosino.
Brandon is a journalist who was feeling helpless after his father suffered a stroke. So he logged on to Facebook to ask for prayers from his friends. Before long, hundreds of people were reading and commenting on his post, pledging to pray for him and his family. Two days later, Brandon’s father was released from the hospital with no side effects from the stroke.
As Christians, we believe that God hears and answers our prayers—whether it’s on social media, in our churches or just before bed. We know that we have a heavenly Father who desires to connect with us, through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. When we pray, we’re actively practicing this spiritual discipline. And that communion and fellowship with God sanctifies us, transforms us, even if our particular prayers aren’t answered the exact way we want them to be. As we pray, Jesus is our personal advocate, praying with us—joining our prayers with his, bringing us into the very presence of the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
So whether we’re silently praying at home or pledging our prayers on Twitter or Facebook, let’s continue to take prayer seriously—because prayer is a powerful part of the Christian life in communion with our listening and speaking Triune God, even when there’s a “hash tag” on it.
Merciful Father, Thank you that you do hear our prayers, through the active agency of the Holy Spirit and the personal ministry of our High Priest, Jesus Christ. This is not just a privilege but also a responsibility laid upon us and part of the command given to us “to love one another as I have loved you.” In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
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