Monday, July 25, 2011

Facebook and Prayer

I've had some of you ask what I learned in Sunday school yesterday.  Before I can share it, I need to process it some.  There are parts of it that also went along with yesterday's sermon, and it is a lot to chew on right now.  I am still under a lot of conviction, and I'm having to spend a lot of time praying, asking the Lord to give me wisdom how to handle some conflicts currently in my life.  When Caleb, my pastor, and I talked last Wednesday, he said this study is just going to get harder.  He certainly is right about that.  I am grateful there was proof yesterday our misunderstanding is completely resolved.  I had a lot to ask and share in class yesterday, to the dismay of my oldest daughter.  It never entered my mind how uneasy I had felt for the past 3 weeks.  I didn't even think about it until last night when I was praying and the Lord brought it to my mind.  Although it was a tough class, I learned a lot from things others shared yesterday.  So, I need to process.  Then I will share.  For now though, I want to change gears.

When Facebook first became popular, I was not a fan.  I actually in some ways am still not.  I only set up an account because our youth director suggested all of the parents do so as a way to monitor what our children were doing.  I saw it as a huge waste of time.  It has some positive aspects to it, but sometimes I think the negative far outweighs the positive.  It can a be a way to hurt people, an added temptation to do something wrong, a way to gossip, a way to slander someone, etc.

Yesterday afternoon I sat down to catch up on Facebook, and as I scrolled down reading post, and the conversations that people where having underneath those post, I counted 17 that were direct hits toward someone.  Eleven of those were from adults.  It just made me so sad and angry.  I hate ____ , and Listen to what ____ has done this time, were how a few of them began.  Believe it or not, some of them were even worse.  I started thinking back to others I have read in the past.  I know some of you are thinking, If you don't like it, delete me.  I have a right to post what I want to.   However, that's not really my point.  I just wonder why are people doing that?  How would you feel if you were being slandered by someone on Facebook?  And when adults do this, is it showing our children it's really okay to "cyber bully" someone?

We did talk in Sunday school yesterday about how sometimes when we have been offended by someone we can have a tendency to blab to the world what that person has done.  We do it as a way to lash out.  A way to hurt that person like they have hurt us.  I think if we all search out our hearts, we have to admit we've done that.  I have.  Many times.  And as that was pointed out yesterday, I once again felt hot coals being poured on my head.  One more thing to be added as evidence of how wrong I have been in handling conflict.

Before posting a slanderous post, please pause and think about it first.

Even though Facebook has some really negative aspects, it also has many positive ones.  It's a way to stay in touch with old friends, share the joys in our lives and share things that have made us laugh.  It can be a way for some to gain some business.  We can use it to ask folks where we can find the cheapest gas, where can we find a certain product or ask if someone can suggest a good movie or a place to eat.  It can be a way to encourage and to share a bible verse that is on our heart that day.  There a many other things it can be used for that are positive.  But the one thing I find the absolute most positive thing it can be used for is a way to ask for prayer.  Everyday I read several prayer request.  I've used it for that reason.  When I'm in the hospital Nathan and I use it as a way to keep folks updated on what's going on.  It's the easiest way to keep everyone updated, instead of having to make 50 phone calls.  It's a way to get prayer request out to so many people.

Prayer is the best thing we can do for someone.  Picking someone up, carrying them to Jesus and laying them at the foot of the cross far outweighs anything else we could ever do.  Nothing even compares.  When I tell someone I am going to pray for them, I write it down on my prayer list.  If I don't, I forget.  I also pause and pray for them once I've made the commitment to pray.  I usually do it silently in my head.  Last week Mary and I were having lunch with a friend.  Mary asked her to be praying about something.  So she did.  Right there in the middle of our lunch, sitting in the tea room we were eating at, she prayed.  It made me think of one of my best friend's mom.  Mama Jean, that's what I call her, will stop and pray, regardless of where you are at, when you ask her to pray for something.  What an example of walking the talk!  I wish I could be bold like them.  I'm just too concerned about what the people around me would think about it.  It shouldn't even be a concern though.

If Facebook can be a great way to send out prayer request, so can this blog.  So I want to make a list of things that I have been asked to pray about and ask you to join me.

Brittany ~ She is the sister of a friend.  She lost her baby boy at 31-32 weeks.  She is also having some medical complications.

Connie ~ She is one of my very best friends and I love her deeply.  She will very soon be moving two hours away.  There is so much that needs to be lifted up in prayer.  Pray their house sales and they are able to find permanent housing soon.  Pray for the sadness involved in this move, for her and her family.  It's hard.  I cry every time I stop and think about how she won't be 10 mins away anymore.

Stephanie ~ She is my cousin and has been fighting cancer for a long time.  Her courage amazes me.  Please pray the Lord will heal her.

Jason ~ He is my brother.  He's going through a heartbreaking season.  Pray he will lean hard on Jesus.  Also, pray for my nephew, Joshua.  This is a hard, hard season for them.

Darryl ~ He is one of my dearest friends who is like a big brother to me.  He is starting a new endeavor in his career.  Please pray for wisdom so he makes the right decisions and can clearly see the path the Lord has laid out.  

Andy & Misty ~  Andy is my cousin and will be getting married in about 3 weeks.  Pray he and Misty will keep the Lord first in their marriage. 

Ann ~  Such a precious friend who is missing fellowship at church so much.  She is taking care of her elderly mother and they are unable to come to church.

Landon ~  He is my cousin's son.  He is experiencing some medical issues.  Please pray the doctors can figure out what is causing the issues and they know how to best treat them.

Heather, Alissa, Alicia, Mandy ~  They are expecting.  Please pray for uneventful pregnancies and healthy babies.

Larry ~ He is a friend who had a hip replacement this past week.  Please pray he heals quickly and doesn't have any complications.  Also, pray for his wife Mandy.  She has her hands full taking care of two small boys and is pregnant.

Barbara ~  She is a friend who has been asked to participate in a big project.  Pray for wisdom and guidance. 

Me ~  It's been a hard week physically.  I have been excessively tired, weak and dizzy.  I've had some very painful days recently also.  I've had a couple of moments when I've been scared.  Please pray my symptoms are due to just overdoing it and not getting enough rest, and it's not a flare up of my disease.  I've been stable for a year now (Praise the Lord!) and I'm ask you to pray that continues.  Praise the Lord I haven't had very many migraines lately!

If you have a prayer request you would like to add, you can add it in the comments or shoot me an email and I'll add it to the list.  

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