There is an ever growing trend in social media where prayer is equated with clicking “like.” While the accompanying pictures often depict real tragic circumstances, they frequently don’t depict real life situations. They are often very old pictures of situations that were resolved long before the first “prayer request” was ever made on social media.These requests are not made by friends or relatives of the person depicted but by scammers who have searched the internet for images intended to pull on your heart strings. Why do people make these requests? It is not because they are seeking prayers, it is because they are seeking profits. It is one way that internet scammers engage in “like harvesting.” Each “like” does not equal a “prayer,” each “like” equals an increase in the ranking of their page which allows them to have much broader distribution of subsequent advertising that will come later.
More importantly, each click also represents a tragic misunderstanding of prayer. God doesn’t want our “like,” he wants our heart. The bible tells us that Jesus gave his life so that we might enter into a true genuine relationship with God, the creator of the universe. Real prayer is that time we spend with God communicating with him about those things which most deeply touch our heart and it is a time when we allow God to speak to our heart; it is a time to get to know God more deeply. Real prayer is powerful because it represents a true sharing of our heart with the one who already knows the perfect answer to every problem and has the power to do anything. However, God is not a cosmic vending machine in which we put our spare change and push the button of our choice, he is the Eternal King of the universe to whom we must approach with true respect and reverence. When you pray, please don’t share your “like” on facebook, but instead humbly share your heart with the God and King who loves you and so deeply longs for you to truly know him that he endured the cross for you.