If you are my facebook friend the odds are that at least once in our online friendship you have seen my status up date read some thing similar to “John 21. How can I pray for you today?” I update my status everyday with a passage of Scripture I read that morning and a simple question… “How can I pray for you today?” This simple message goes out via twitter, facebook, and to about 35 friends via text message. Each day I am blessed to get a response from various friends about how I can pray for them or the people in their lives. Messages come back in a variety of ways. Sometimes its a simple text, or a Twitter direct messages, or a facebook message, or a post on my wall under my status. I generally get 3-5 prayer requests a day, but have had up to 20 come in, in one day before. When I started I never thought about how sending out a simple message each morning would change my life. The following is a list of 13 Ways Updating My Facebook Status Has Changed My Life.
1. It keeps me accountable (If I’m past 9 AM sending a message out several people will send me a text or a message and check in on me.)
2.It helps keep me in the loop on how I can pray for people in a real time way. There have been times that people have sent me back a text, called, or sent a message telling me about something they were going through in the moment that they saw my status update and they needed a friend to pray with them about something.
3. I have been blessed to partner in prayer with people who would not have thought to ask me to pray for or with them.
4. I am blessed when someone texts or messages me a question about the passage I have been reading that morning. I know other people are reading the same passage with me.
5. I have been blessed to have others ask how they can pray for me and my family.
6. I have been blessed to get updates on prayer requests from people I have prayed for. (seeing my daily post has reminded them to update me… Though not all my friends are always this polite).
7. It keeps me connected with people from the places I used to live. I may not still be there or even visit often, but I am still able to pray for God to move in the lives of others and I am blessed an honored to be able to pray for others.
8. It has become a starting place for a few of my friends who weren’t reading their bibles much before start reading with me.
9. I’ve become “that” guy. I’ll see a friend I haven’t seen for a while or someone I met and became friends with on facebook and they’ll yell at me when I see them in real life, “How Can I Pray for You!” And as I begin thinking about how thoughtful they are and start sharing my prayer requests they will yell out, “No! your facebook status!”
10. I get told on a semi-regular basis that the faithfulness of updating my status to the Scripture passage I have been reading and the “how can I Pray for You?” message has inspired others to be more faithful in reading the Scripture. (which if you think I’m faithful, check out my pastor’s blog. He posts takeaway thoughts from his devotional every morning… check it out at http://www.chrisaikenonline.com)
11. I actually know how to pray for friends and loved ones as I pray throughout the day.
12. People who see me in person feel free to share prayer requests without having to see the invite again, they know I am genuinely interested in talking to God with and for them.
13. I have gotten to know my friends better by carrying their burdens and rejoicing together with them.