Twitter praying

Today Ann wrote about wounds, scars, pain and the beauty of Christ redeeming our lives. Whoever and wherever you are, life will knock you around and wound you in many ways.

This week the scab on one of my own scars was ripped open again. Then someone told me of their own massive wounding, facing eternity and a crisis of faith. Another story came to my ears of deep anguish of soul and uncertainty of how to face the world again.

My own little scab shrunk back into it’s context. I still hurts, it will take time to heal over again – especially if I keep knocking the top off it like this.

For myself I (weakly) called out to God in my hurt, then asked a friend on the other side of the world for prayer via Twitter. When daylight came I rallied prayer from home also. God heard, and helped. I have likewise prayed for these people I know who are struggling through very dark places and others are praying for them too.

Some time after reading Ann’s post today, I read another discussing The Rise of Confessional Media and inappropriate sharing of personal stories through social media. This caused me to pause and consider whether it is wise for me to discuss the struggles of living the Christian life online? Why add to the noise? This had long been a worry of mine and probably should be – there is already a lot of rubbish out there, who wants more?!

But when it is 3am and asking for prayer takes less than 140 characters to type into Twitter, social media becomes God’s hand reaching across the oceans. The people at either end of the keyboards are just as real as my wife praying with me at home. If we remember this we can speak the truth in love and grow together in Christ (Ephesians 4:15).

Sharing our pains and struggles needn’t be voyeuristic or narcissistic. We must take care, some stuff is not for the world to read, but the real stories of hurting and healing, wounds and worship – these are our testimony to the work of Christ in us. This is something to share in humility.

Gifts I have noticed recently:

894) Wonderful, glorious daylight.
895) Technology, even with it’s pitfalls.
896) Not knowing how little time I have left.
897) Patting my smelly old dog.
898) Waking up during the day when I should be asleep – at least I get to see some daylight.
899) Time to think.
900) Finding a refill for my favourite pen.
901) Eleven years of marriage and still deeply in love
902) Craig, the only other man I know of who counts blessings like this.

Image: iStock

12 thoughts on “Twitter praying

  1. Firstly, Mike, congratulations on your wedding anniversary! I had my 14th in January, and I’m glad to say, I’m still deeply in love, too.

    Interesting comments on Twitter. I’ve often thought about that dilemma: sharing personal stuff, especially about faith struggles, in an online forum where people may or may not understand, or care.

    I remember Tim Challies saying something on his blog once, too, about bloggers being too personal, and it made me think, there’s got to be a balance between honesty/vulnerability and wise restraint.

    Good to hear Twitter was a positive tool for you in a time of need, though. I hope the scab heals over.


    • Hi Chris,
      I actually direct messaged someone I knew who I noticed was online due to the very issue you mention – Twitter especially is very public so sharing too much is not wise (as some sports players have recently discovered!). A rule of thumb I use for email is that it should be treated like a postcard, addressed to a particular person but able to be read by the postman. Using that analogy Twitter is like a school noticeboard.

      When I started blogging I avoided saying much about my personal life but found my writing style rather dry and lacking character. Now I wonder if I say too much. When I applied for my current job one of the first things they did was Google me and find my blog, so what I write here will have an impact on my life in the real world.

      Something I have noticed with many Christian blogs, particularly the new reformed ones, is that they can become quite preachy and academic. When the author is a good theologian this is appropriate and what I go there to read. For ordinary me to write theologically would be pointless, just adding to the noise. My only expertise is this life I live, so that is what I write about.


      • I really like what you’ve said in your last paragraph. I try to avoid getting too much into teaching mode, too, for a number of reasons:

        1) I’m not an academic (although, I am a thinker and research things carefully)
        2) It can bore people (if it’s not done well)
        3) It can be divisive (if it’s not done in a balanced way)
        4) You’re average follower of Jesus wants to know how things play out in real life.

        Like you, I’ve found, sharing from the heart, and from a life of trying to live out what we believe, is most effective.

        On the subject of theology, an essay in the back of my ESV Study Bible says, “a believer who’s life is consumed with knowing his Lord is most certainly a theologian”. So, on our good days, we maybe we are theologians!


        • ‘Teaching mode’ is a good way to sum it up. I agree with all four of those points. I must look for that essay in my study Bible, I haven’t read all those ones at the back yet. Being consumed with knowing God is definitely my ambition.


  2. Just realised, I’ve made another faux pas: should be “Your”, not “You’re” at the beginning of number 4). 🙂


    • Ah well, even editors make mistakes! I personally avoid using the phrase ‘faux pas’ unless I have a dictionary handy because I usually spell it wrong 😉


      • Yup. Even editor’s make mistakes. And, on faux pas, I checked the spelling before I used it (good editors refer to the dictionary – often). 🙂


  3. How blessed to celebrate 11 years together. May there be a great many more years shared between you and your wife! And I love what you said here,

    “But when it is 3am and asking for prayer takes less than 140 characters to type into Twitter, social media becomes God’s hand reaching across the oceans.”

    Yes, YES! Real people saying real prayers for real hurting hearts. I try to pray often for the names on my twitter stream, and how humbling and blessed I am when people ask me to pray for them. I think that is a beautiful side of social networking. And bless you and Craig for being men enough to count among all these women! 😉 Way to represent 😉 Blessings, brother.


    • Amen to the “many more years shared together”, we want to grow old and grey together.

      Praying for people on Twitter must surely be the best way to use such media. I’m impressed because simply reading (scanning really) what is in my stream takes plenty of my time, that’s why I’m only on erratically.


    • Ah Chris, this is funny! So I’m not the only person who makes more mistakes the harder I try to avoid them.

      Out of curiosity, you obviously don’t get an ‘Edit’ link showing up on the comments you have made?
      (I get one on all comments but that kind of figures since I’m the admin [but that ain’t my username so sod off hackers]).


      • Definitely not. I seem to be having issues with apostrophes, in particular, lately!

        And, no, there’s no ‘Edit’ link.


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