What does this say to you?
Thousands of times on social media I’ve seen people post the equivalent of those praying hands, as well as “thoughts and prayers”…”prayers coming at ya”…”prayers to you”…or just plain “praying” in response to even the most desperate of needs.
I have often wondered what prayer is to the people who use those phrases or more simply just click on an emoji of “praying” hands. And I have wondered whether people have actually prayed for the needs of others, or just used a phrase or picture to show they care as they continue scrolling? So…this whole prayer thing…does it have any meaning?
Many books have been written about it and it is one of the most common themes in the Word so I can’t do justice to a discussion of the subject in a blog post. However, I can tell you what prayer isn’t: It isn’t “thoughts” or anything coming “at” you or even “to” you. A thought has no power, only the sovereign Creator has power to answer our pleas for help or strength. And please – PLEASE – do not send anything “at” or “to” me. I have NO power, I already know this, and I already know that I can only rely on my Father’s grace to help in time of need; I realize my need and sending some words “at” or “to” me accomplishes absolutely nothing, so don’t. Just. Don’t.
Indeed, even prayer in its most general definition has no ability to help anyone as just a plea. To whom is that plea addressed? Only the great I Am can make changes in response to an impassioned plea; “praying” to anything less is empty words.
When you see me use those praying hands, you can know that I care for you, I care for your situation whether you are in a tough spot or grieving or hurting or in need, and I will take your need directly to the throne of grace, to the Father who loves and hears every cry of His children, and Who is faithful to meet our needs.
When I click on that prayer emoji it says, “I will stop what I’m doing, right now, and go to my Father, taking your need to Him and interceding on your behalf.” It doesn’t say that I will merely think of you, or send words back to your helpless self. I care way too much for you to do that. When you see me reply with those praying hands, you can know that they mean more than that I hear you and care for you; they mean that I hear you and care for you enough to pray to the only One Who can help, the one Who loves you more than any human can, the only One Who I trust to give you grace to help in time of need.
Now you don’t have to wonder.