God uses many methods to speak to those He loves. As times change and technology advances, we now have much more than the printed Word of God. In the days of the Bible, a prayer message was delivered in the form of a prophecy or from the mouth of an angel.
One of the greatest of these was from Gabriel to Mary, giving her the news that she was going to give birth to the Savior. Yet another glorious message was delivered to several tired shepherds tending their sheep on that very night of Jesus’ birth. That was the ultimate prayer message of hope and encouragement.
What is a prayer message?
Prophecies and angelic hosts in Heaven have been replaced by preachers from pulpits and social media posts. You see these words of encouragement as you scroll your news feed if you follow anyone with a Christian voice. A prayer message can be delivered through scripture verses, a famous quote, or a testimony from a friend. You may also know these as memes – text overlaid on a photo of scenery, a person, or a concept that is in correlation to what the quote is about.
These memes can serve as a humorous quip, to illustrate a viewpoint, or they can be used to minister to others through scripture or encouraging words.
How a prayer message can be used effectively
God directs us through our daily devotion time. He:
Enlightens us to things we need to know. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Reminds us of things we may have forgotten. “He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.” (Psalm 111:4)
Gives us the opportunity to share these truths with others. “And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” (Philemon 6:6)
One way we can spread God’s love is through a social media post. There are four things an effective prayer message conveys.
Stating Truth – They must be truthful, which means that it must be based on Biblical truth. Giving someone a message without scriptural backing is like handing them an empty glass of water when they are thirsty. We must remember that truth may not always be comfortable, but as we learn in John 8, the truth of Christ imparts freedom.
Giving Hope – Someone who is hurting needs light to shine in their darkness, not a Bible thumped on the back of the head. Yes, the truth can sometimes hurt, but we don’t need to shove the Word down people’s throats. The gentle reminder that someone is there and that they are going to get past their current struggle can brighten their day, maybe even get them past what they are dealing with.
Encouraging – Doubt is a big struggle many face. As Gary Chapman talks about in his The Five Love Languages book, Words of Affirmation is one of the love languages. Some people react strongly to encouraging words. This goes beyond “great job,” or a worn-out cliché like, “If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” While it sounds good, we must remember a prayer message must be Biblically based. An encouraging word can affirm someone’s decision or boost their confidence in themselves through a Christ-centered truth.
Challenging – Another great prayer message spurs someone to act. It is more than words that give you the warm fuzzies. Encouragement, yes, but like James 2:17 teaches us, “faith without works is dead.” You can bestow scriptural knowledge, but without the call to action, they are just words. A challenge gives the reader the courage to get out of their chair and do something.
A prayer message is delivered to shine a light into a friend’s day. It lets them know you are thinking and praying for them. It gives them the assurance they are not alone. While a phone call or a handwritten letter gives a personal touch to your concern, these quick notes are a reminder in the midst of their hectic day that they are loved.
It is true that there can be an overabundance of these messages in your news feed. So much so that we scroll right through them. As we began, God speaks to His children through many venues. That post you just scrolled past could be the very one that speaks to your heart, ignites your soul or gives you the answer you may be searching for. So, after your next page refresh, take the time to read each one. The next prayer message may be for you.
The post was written by Jeff S Bray