Of all the social media sites available, I have to be upfront and honest and tell you that Twitter is my least favorite. I first tried Twitter a year or two ago and found it to be narcissistic, at best. It seemed to be a bunch of people, especially well known people, with tons of followers that hang on every tweet that comes out of their mouths. Err…off their fingertips I mean. It seemed very one sided and I concluded, not for me! Time has passed and new things have been going on in my life. The first and most important one that I want to blog about today is prayer.
As one who loves to pray, I pondered the possibilities of how best to let people, from all walks of life and all over the world, know they were being kept in prayer. I chose … wait for it … yep, Twitter! It’s still my least favorite method of social media communication and it’s still as one-sided as it’s always been, but I’ve come to find it’s the best way to daily communicate with people. I quickly came to discover one, major hurdle. How do you do it in 140 characters or less? Some insights I’ve picked up:
- Grammar goes right out the window with Twitter. You come to utilize shortcuts when it comes to spelling. My Mother, the grammar queen, would be rolling in her grave. Take for instance a simple word of encouraging prayer such as, “I’m praying for you.” Twitter it and it looks like, “I M prayin 4 U. Right now my word check is going nuts. If you want to get your message across and do it before the ‘character police’ slaps your wrist with a ruler, you bite the grammar bullet and live with shortcuts.
- It’s quality that counts, not quantity. Now, if you happen to be one of those people that say 10 minute long prayers, Twitter is not for you. Those 140 characters amount to about a fifteen second prayer. Okay, I’ll admit I guessed at that and didn’t really time it. But I’ll bet I’m not too far off. You learn quickly that it’s what you say, not how much you say. Each time I tweet a prayer, I must consider how best to get my words of encouragement out in as few words as possible. It truly does boil down to, “Just make your point!” For example, it can be as simple as, “Thinkin of u 2 day and wanted u 2 know I’m prayin 4 U.” That’s it.
- If you say you’re going to do it, do it. If you take seriously the expression ‘I’ll keep you in prayer’, then you need to not just say the words but actually do it. God doesn’t hear our intentions. He hears our pleas. When I tweet someone that I’m praying for them, my head bows and I say that prayer right then and there.
- Pray before tweeting. When I originally started daily tweets of prayer and encouragement, I found I’d be finger ready on the keyboard, have my @person inserted and suddenly go blank on what I want to write. I came to understand that it was God’s way of asking, “Is there something you want to ask me first?” Well, duh on me! Of course there is. I need to know what God wants me to say to that person. I can’t just tweet any old cliché that comes out of my mouth. Perhaps there’s a word from His word that I’m to share. Perhaps a particular point He would like me to pass along for that person. I need to always put God first before I tweet one single word or prayer.
- Finally, each person that is tweeted is an individual. Now, I know that sounds simplistic but it’s far too easy to lose that focus. If I feel rushed to get out my daily tweets then I may do something as foolish as use the same tweet/different name on all of them. No, that’s not what God would want me to do. Each person that I pray for is there for a specific reason. A cookie-cutter prayer won’t ‘cut it’.
Those are just some things I’ve come to discover in the world of prayer, encouragement and Twitter. Perhaps I’ve left out the most important tip of all. It’s my obedience that is most important. I can’t spend restless nights wondering if my tweets are being read. It’s not a matter of ‘do they know I’m praying for them’ but, ‘does God know I’m praying for them’? Since I have God’s word that He does indeed hear every heartfelt prayer of mine then I need only know that I’m doing what God has called me to do. The rest is up to Him. He hears all my prayers, right down to the last 140th character.