Jamie Jean Schneider Domm
Digital Strategist, Social Media + Big Data, North American Division
I saw that every prayer which is sent up in faith from an honest heart will be heard of God and answered, and the one that sent up the petition will have the blessing when he needs it most, and it will often exceed his expectations. Not a prayer of a true saint is lost if sent up in faith from an honest heart. – Testimonies for the Church, volume 1, p. 121
Even among the skeptical, there is a longing for someone to care enough to pray for us personally. Social media is a powerful tool for soliciting prayer requests and following up on those requests. Prayer can be just one “like,” comment, or message away. Online communication lowers the barrier to asking, making it easy for people to reach out when they can’t bring themselves to do it face to face.
I can personally attest to how sending recorded prayers can be a powerful way to minister to others. In the wake of a recent tragedy, I found myself asking, “What if we went beyond ‘thoughts and prayers’”? It happens all the time: a friend posts online that they lost a loved one or something else bad happened. We press the “like” button and carefully scroll over to the sad emoji. Then we type below “thoughts and prayers” or something similar.
We’re sincere about it, too. The person is in our thoughts, and we are praying for them. But we can take it one step further. What if they could hear us pray for them? It impacts people so much more when they hear someone petitioning God on their behalf. In times of crisis, they may not be able to answer the phone, or they may not want to talk to anyone. They can still hear us pray if we send audio recordings of our prayers. This can be done on most smart phones and messaging apps. It’s personal and intimate. That extra step that we take to invest in another can have a much more meaningful impact than the standard social media response.
Some additional ideas to use digital tools for prayer include: