Social media can be a powerful prayer-request tool. How else can you have your intention on the minds and hearts of many, within seconds after hitting that "Post" or "Share" button?
It's humbling, really, to see the responses you receive when a sincere request is posted. Whether a person simply "likes" your intention on Facebook or takes the time to respond or retweet on Twitter, there is comfort in knowing that prayers are happening on your behalf. A few weeks ago, after I tweeted a request for prayer, perfect strangers all over the world were retweeting it--within the hour.
Even better than a retweet, though, is a response. The social-media world is so in-the-moment that when I respond to a prayer request, I make sure to pray even as I am responding. Otherwise, my eyes will continue on to the next post or tweet and I'm in danger of forgetting about that prayer need I just saw.
So while I might like to promise a rosary for someone's intention, I prefer to make sure that the promise is something I can deliver--right now--before my eyes move on or the phone rings or the kids distract me or the oven timer (or smoke alarm) lets me know that dinner's ready. (I am Mommy. Hear me multitask.)
That's why I started using the Twitter hashtag #MemorareUP. On Facebook, I don't generally use hashtags, but I make the same promise. While I'm typing that hashtag, I'm already praying. And then each time I get a notification that someone "liked" or "favorited" or "retweeted" or responded to that post, I pray another one.
The Memorare has been a favorite prayer of mine for many years. This past summer, I heard CatholicMom.com contributor Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle speak at a conference, and she told the story of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's "express novena." I was intrigued to learn that this novena is simply nine Memorares in petition, then one Memorare in thanksgiving for an answered prayer. And you don't wait to pray the one in thanksgiving--it comes right after the first nine, showing your confidence in, and willingness to accept, God's will.
Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known
that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, our Mother.
To thee do we come; before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy clemency hear and answer them. Amen.
#MemorareUP - let's get this trending!
What's your response to prayer requests on social media?
Copyright 2014 Barb Szyszkiewicz
About the Author
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count. Her booklet, The Handy Little Guide to Prayer, is available now from Our Sunday Visitor.