I’m currently reading an interesting book by David Robertson called: What Would Jesus Post? The second chapter is entitled pray before posting and it contains some wise advice which I thought I would share this week in relation to our social media use.
The author believes that there are no occasions where prayer is not appropriate. He reminds us that Paul told the church in Ephesus to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18). He also mentions Paul’s encouragement in Philippians 4v6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
With these verses in mind it’s only right for David Robertson to ask us the following questions:
- When do you pray about your online life?
- How much do you pray compared to how often you connect online?
- What view does God have on what we are about to post?
It might seem a strange idea to pray about our online life. However, those two verses mentioned above remind us that we should pray “on all occasions” and “in every situation.” Therefore, it’s not just our offline life that requires prayer but also our online life too. These days we spend so much time online that if we don’t pray about this then that is a big part of our life that we are prayerfully neglecting.
In our church services do we pray for our churches website and social media pages? We believe that it’s important for churches to have a web presence but how often does this become the subject of corporate prayer?
The second question above is obviously very challenging to many of us! I think if we are being honest with ourselves we know that this is an area where there is room for improvement. When we awake in the morning do we connect online before we pray? Likewise, as we go to bed is the last thing we do pray or check our social media feeds? Jesus started each day off in prayer and that’s an example we can all aim to follow.
We have all seen posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that we feel should not have been posted. However, does it occur to us that God will have a view on what we are about to post? It is very important that we always pray before posting on social media. Is the thing we are about to post edifying? Will someone be blessed or encouraged by our post? Alternatively, will our post be making fun at someone or belittling them?
Of course, we can delete our postings on social media but unless we do this immediately someone will probably see it. It’s better to pray before posting to avoid regret and embarrassment.
When we look at our social media feeds we are encouraged to like and share the postings of our friends and followers. Do we just click on the like or share button without either thinking or praying about it first? No doubt if we are honest with ourselves we have probably all liked posts on those platforms that we should not have done. There have been occasions when I have liked a post and then a few minutes later cancelled the like as I realise that I have made a mistake!
In closing lets us remember the importance of praying before we post on social media and asking God for wisdom in what we share online.