Tweeting has become one of the most popular forms of expressing concern about – or happiness over – an event or condition. So it’s no surprise that thousands of people tweeted prayers to Oklahoma after the monster tornadoes struck a while back. This was just one event in which prayerful tweets were part of the picture, and it’s likely they will continue to be part of humanity’s response to major events.
Some people are suggesting that tweets requesting prayer are shallow, just following the crowd. As a CNN report put it, “[S]ome religious scholars say devout petitions require more than moving your hands across a keyboard” (“Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma?” May 21).
They may have a point, but what about the thought behind those moving hands? Even if some are just tweeting along with the crowd, that doesn’t preclude sincere prayer from believers, moved to tweet when they are facing or hearing about some dire event that touches their hearts.
Sincere tweets for prayer are like little candles joined together to reject the darkness. They are insisting that light will, in some way, prevail. And Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, says, “A little leaven causes the whole mass to ferment” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 449).
While the mass may be “following the crowd,” even a tiny group’s conviction that good is possible can shift thought Godward. After all, look at what Jesus’ small band of disciples accomplished.
Yet, they too had questions about whose prayer was legitimate and whose wasn’t. At one point, they told Jesus, “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me” (Mark 9:38, 39).
The Christ that Jesus represented to humanity was the power behind all his thoughts and actions. And his followers today can have just as deep an inner conviction of God’s love as those who were with him during his ministry. Science and Health states, “Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love – be it song, sermon, or Science – blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty” (p. 234).
Even the smallest act of turning to prayer can change the parameters in time of trouble. Tweets for prayer may not always be seen as inspired, and they may not always be theologically exact. But each sincere message of trust in God’s care is impelled by Christ and empowered by infinite divine Love, which blesses everyone.
From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.