Today, I was scrolling through facebok. Pretty normal thing to do in this day and age. I didn't see anything special, or exciting. In fact, everything was pretty normal.
Among the normality, was a post that stuck out to me. It didn't stick out to me because it was something rare or even all that interesting. It was actually the kind of post I see almost every single day.
It was a prayer request.
Some people had commented with "I'm praying for you!" or something very similar. There were even a handful of people that had liked the post. I began to comment as well with something along those same lines. I was about to tell this person that I would take time out of my life to pause, and to pray on her behalf. I was about to subtly give my word in a simple facebook comment, with the words "I'll be praying for you".
But I stopped myself. In just a few seconds, I felt the weight of all the times that I said I would pray for someone. How many times have I said that, and then walked away and forgot just a few minutes later? How many times has someone heard the words "I'll pray for you" and in the back of their mind, didn't actually expect to be prayed for?
I'm not saying that I don't have the good intention of praying for people. I do. But does my good intention actually find itself in my daily to-do list?
I felt this butterfly in my stomach, and knew that I needed to do more than just leave a comment. I knew, that if I was in a situation where I posted something on facebook asking for prayer, that it would mean the world to me to know that someone was actually praying for me.
So, instead, I send her a private message. I told her how I was going to leave a comment, but felt that I should actually just type out my prayer right there and then. So that's what I did. I typed out a prayer, asking God to meet her in her time of need. And then I sent it.
My heart was pounding so hard, but my spirit was dancing. I was so nervous that she would find me weird or strange, because to be entirely honest, I don't even know her that well. I've maybe seen her in person twice. But there was a much bigger part of me that didn't listen to the fear trying to leak into my mind.
Not long after, I actually received a reply from her. The message she sent back, made me tear up. Because I was willing to send her that prayer, it truly blessed her. She couldn't believe I had actually taken the time to do that, even though we barely know each other. We messaged back and forth a few times, and it ended up being the kind of conversation that seriously brightened my whole day.
Not only did it bless her, but it significantly blessed me. It made me feel so secure in listening to that still small butterfly that nudged me to send her a prayer. God doesn't lead us into traps. He doesn't ask us to do things so he can humiliate us or harm us. I can almost bet that when God has you step out of your comfort zone for the need of others, you will find yourself blessed and encouraged in the process.
I didn't write this because I'm so proud of myself for sending her that prayer. I'm writing this to encourage us. I'm writing this because it doesn't matter if you are sitting next to someone and holding their hand, or if you are 500 miles away and sending a facebook message. I want to take the opportunity to pray for people a lot more seriously. A mere 60 seconds out of our day could change the world. Don't ever underestimate the power of your prayers. Don't ever think that a short prayer isn't important. God hears us even if it's typed.
I hear a lot of people talking about how social media is actually allowing us to isolate and distance ourselves. While that is actually true to some degree, I also believe that social media gives us a huge opportunity. It only takes a few minutes out of your day to send a prayer or an encouragement to someone. It takes such a small amount of time to send a simple text that lets someone know that you are thinking of them. You never know how a small encouragement can completely change somebody's day.
I want us all to be more careful. I want us to pay attention every time we say the words "I'll pray for you". Don't just have the good intentions, but actually take the time to pray. It shouldn't matter if it's awkward. It shouldn't matter if we are in the middle of the lobby at the bank, the fast food drive through, or the comfort of our own home. You never know how special those small moments will be to another life.