Twitter, Facebook & Prayer

Social media has invaded most of our lives. I guess that statement should have a disclaimer: ‘if you allowed it to.’ I am one of those that have allowed it to become a part of my life and I am very thankful.  In this fast paced world, social networking has become a way to stay connected with family, friends and even those I work for and with.

One of the social networking tools I use is Twitter.  This tool is a great way to connect with people with similar interests and with friends.  An unexpected connection is how Twitter can become a ‘prayer chain.’ In the last few weeks I have received Twitters asking for prayers.  Twitter is real-time communication and the prayer requests are for something that is taking place right then.

The following is a group of tweets sent by Pastor and Author Max Lucado while he was ministering and attending a service in Honduras.

•    Time 2 go to the crusade- leaving hotel for the immense field where 10s of 1000s will gather.
•    I'm in Honduras w/ Mike Silva. The festival is live on-line – Google "Enlace". Mike preaches. I smile and pray:) pray with me!
•    Could I ask you to pray one more time? The crowd is restless, distracted. Mike is preaching his heart out, but it's a battle. Dear, Lord..
•    Amazing! A peace has settled over the crowd. They are listening!
•    Every raised hand is professing faith in Jesus. Thank you for praying. Thank you Lord for listening
•    Last tweet of the night is a huge thanks to all who prayed! God uses Twitter!

Just this week I received this request:
•    OK Twitter peeps. Please pray for friends of mine as they minister to a woman who is considering suicide. Prayers needed all around!

I even know of a small church in Georgia whose pastor needed a way to communicate quickly with his deacons and prayer leaders.  The pastor asked all of them to sign up for Twitter and now he can send one brief text message and the prayers of people and for situations are being voiced to God.

My personal story: over Christmas my family experienced a tragedy, while the event was taking place I sent out a short Twitter asking for prayer. Almost immediately I received twitters from people saying they were praying; people I knew and people I had only connected with through Twitter. And this past Sunday I sent out a request for prayer and again I received responses, immediately. (I have Twitter set up to interface with Facebook, so that all Twitters show up as status changes on Facebook. Many of the responses came through Facebook.)

I don’t know how long Twitter or other social network tools will be around. I do know they can be used affectively to communicate and to support each other through prayer.

Related Posts
Why Twitter

A Personal Story…God Has A Plan

Lifting Hands In Worship

In a recent worship service, at ClearView Church, one person described ‘lifting our hands’ as an act of surrender. The reference came to the words of the song “When I Don’t Know What to Do,” by Tommy Walker.

When I don’t know what to do

I lift my hands

When I don’t know what to say

I speak His praise

When I don’t know where to go

I run to Your throne

When I don’t what to think

I stand on Your truth.

There are many times that I don’t know what to do. However, I found it best not to run to God’s throne only in crisis. The more often I approach God’s throne in ordinary times, seeking His truth and worshiping Him, the more I am willing to run to Him as the first response in every situation.

Recently I found this quote:

When we lift our hands to the Lord, we’re pledging ourselves to His truth and affirming our loyalty to Him. Liftingthe hand is an ancient gesture of fidelity to a ruler.

My loyalty is to God Almighty; my raised hand is a gesture to communicate that loyalty and testimony that I stand on His truth and power.

Worship, does it matter what other people think?

We have all been there, in a worship service, totally engulfed in the presence of God
wanting to respond and then the thought shoots through our mind: “what will the
people around me think?”

This past weekend at ClearView, the worship ministry led a worship service of songs, scriptures and testimonies.  Throughout
the congregation and on the stage people were enjoying the presence of God.  I received a message from one person exclaiming how the worship service had brought her face-to-face with God and there were many times she just wanted to stand and lift her hands, however, she was sitting right in the middle of the audience and was worried what others
might think.

People express their worship to God in many ways. Those expressions are often filtered through our personalities and our personal church history. They should not be filtered by what we think others may say.

This weekend I was so encouraged by how the worship teams surrendered to God in worship…it was amazing.  They did not
care who was beside them, who was watching or what others might think. They only cared about the joy of being surrounded by the very presence of God and becoming involved in the conversation of worship.

For more observations on the ministry of the worship choir and other teams check out this blog post from ClearView’s pastor, Mark Marshall

I want to close with these questions:

Does it matter what others think about how we express our worship?

Will there come a time in your life when you approach every opportunity for corporate
worship as though you are standing in the very presence of greatness?


Questions for Leaders

The older I get the more I realize there is so much more to
learn. The longer I am in a ministry leadership position the more I desire to
do the job to the best of my ability.

 

In just a few weeks I will have the opportunity to step away
from ministry leadership for a period of seven weeks for a sabbatical. The time
will be divided between vacation and study. One of the study projects is to
spend some time with leaders of both for-profit and non-profit organizations
dialoging with them about leadership traits and characteristics.  My time with each leader will be limited so I
want to be well prepared.  I am putting
together a list of questions to ask each leader and some ideas are posted below. What if you had 30 minutes, with a
leader of an organization to pick his/her brain about leadership, what would you
ask?  Your ideas can be posted as a
comment to this post.  I would love to
get you input!

 

  • What are characteristics that are essential for leaders?
  • What it the one characteristic that every leader should
    model? Why?
  • Who is a leader that you look up to and why?
  • Is social media making an impact on your organization and if
    so is it changing how you lead?
  • Why do you think you have been placed in this position of
    leadership?
  • What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
  • What is the best resource for learning leadership skills?

Surviving and Thriving After Losing Your Job: a book review

Little
did David F. Jones realize when he
was asked to share his experiences about his recent job transition that
Americans would be facing the toughest job market in many decades. In the book Surviving and Thriving after Losing Your Job,
Jones shares of being transitioned out of an upper leadership management position; after
almost 30 years in the same industry with the same company.  Throughout the book we are invited into the
personal journey that Jones was forced to take. We get a glimpse of the
emotions that filled the days right after receiving the news and the
intentional decision to let the ‘past be the past’ and quickly move on.

 

There
is much more to the book than just a personal story because most of it is
filled with practical advice that could help anyone with a job search, whether
you are recently unemployed or seeking a job for the first time. Included in
this advice is: how to prepare a resume, building a network of business
relationships, discovering you passions and purpose, and developing a game plan
toward your next position.

 

Practical
suggestions for a positive job future run throughout the pages. One that is not
business related but repeated often is the author’s dependence on God.  It is very clear in this book that Jones
understands and knows he has a personal relationship with God.  So here is a business book that gives
practical advice, yet  doesn’t sell the
reader on the fact that it is an all up to ‘me’ approach; but that there is a
higher power we can place our trust.