Prayer 2.0

Through science, common sense and a bunch of adult church men taking ‘ten minutes in heaven’ a little too far we have succesfully killed God, well done team. So what do we now when we’re told some bad/horrific news that we have no control over?

Back in the day an acceptable response would be ‘I’ll keep you in my prayers tonight’ and if we ignore for a moment that this meant speaking to the great Mufasa in the sky, it’s lovely. One person saying to another, ‘tonight I’m going to be thinking of you and I’m personally going to write a letter to God with my brain.’  It’s the perfect way to genuinely feel as though you are helping (or at least a way to relieve the guilt of not being the one suffering.)

What do we have now?

  1. ‘Sorry to hear that mate, but, bonus time, you’ve just inspired me to write a blog so it’s not all doom and gloom. Chin up.’
  2. Hold up our crossed fingers and then toodle merrily on your way.

Or are we now more empowered to help than we’ve been before? Instead of absolving ourselves of all responsibility and handing it over to Mufasa, we can instead down a can of sugar filled wake up juice and proactivly change some ones life. A tweet of support can seem flippant at first, but when all grouped together can be words of overwhelming support from people across the globe, all you need to do is look at the response to the news about Iain Banks or Roger Ebert (or when all people across the world spoke one word with 15 satellites.) Hopefully friends and family we see these with the love intended and not an intrusion into their lives at such a devistating time. Is that not better than a prayer in silence?

Then you have the joy of crowd funding. The wonderful Just Giving  makes it quick an easy to create a personal space to collect donations and makes it super easy for people to hand over hard earned cash.

But this all takes a lot of willing and humans a rather lazy bunch and with the removal of prayer have we also lost a sense of hope?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that a friend has been diagnosed with Burkett’s lymphoma and my platitudes didn’t feel like enough.

if you thoroughly enjoyed yourself reading this, you can read about how Facebook and dead people confuse me.

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One Response to Prayer 2.0

  1. Sue Jones says:

    This is a really interesting perspective.
    Stealing someone else’s words here but they seem to fit. If we are to accept that online bullying/trolling is a real thing that causes pain and upset then surely we must also accept that love, support, friendship and caring can be shared in the same way? In addition to my world away from the computer, I have made many friends online (of which, luckily for me, you are one) and have developed what I consider to be real and meaningful friendships with them. Some of those people I have met up with in ‘real life’ and some via email or twitter but I consider them all to have equal value in my life. In times of great stress or difficulties I have found the love and support from online invaluable. In some ways I suppose, there is a sense of safety in sharing fears and triumphs this way but also find that many people feel able to express how they feel with far more honesty in the written word. Is this a good or a bad thing and a reflection of the world in which we now live? Who knows. But as long as people actually ARE sharing good things then it is something to be embraced – the internet’s going nowhere anytime soon.
    I have been in various situations in my life when I could have turned to prayer for a source of comfort but personally find it to be a hollow and pointless course of action. That’s not to say I begrudge it for anyone else who finds it a lifeline – one of my closest friends is a christian and while it is something on which we (peacefully) agree to differ, I cannot fail to see how much happiness and comfort if brings her. It enriches her life in a way that nothing else has so of course that’s a good thing. She is kind and good and not an extreme or pious person and she wants the church to find a way to embrace everyone – equality for all – and feels that the best way to do this is from within. I cannot fail to admire that resolve and commitment.
    I also think you nailed it when you wrote about social networking, in a way, replacing prayer. Even if someone says they’ll pray for you, there is a sense of distancing them from whatever horrible thing is happening, kind of passing the buck to a higher power as saying “Oh, this makes me feel awful, shitty. powerless, sad” doesn’t seem right. Sometimes though, it’s what people need to hear; to have someone acknowledge their pain and just give them a cuddle. Twitter, Facebook et al are not so different as they have their very own distance as we are separated by a computer or phone screen.
    As long as for the most part, the good stuff is shared and it gets us opening up and talking then I welcome it.
    Really enjoyed this thought provoking post and hope my response makes sense – it seemed to in my head.

    Sue xxx

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