I’ll be the first to admit it, life is hard. It doesn’t matter who you are, there are days when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Stress and anxiety can become so overwhelming that it may even start to affect your health. You’ve been there, I’ve been there, it’s no fun. What can we do? I’ve learned that letting other people in on what is happening in your life helps. Other people can give you a different perspective and perhaps a little clarity on the situation. Also, its helps to know that other people are praying for you. Yes, prayer is vital. However, it seems like we don’t believe that anymore.
Social media has connected the world like no other time in history. We can have a moment by moment glimpse into individuals lives. We don’t have to wait for news to be passed on when something happens, it’s posted instantly. This also gives us a striking glimpse at what people believe, and maybe not in the obvious way that you would think. When someone posts about having a hard time with stress, anxiety, health, a death in the family or a number of other difficult situations, the way people comment lets us in on what they believe. “Sending good thoughts your way. Sending vibes out into the universe. I’m thinking of you.” These and similar sentiments point to a disheartening reality: namely, we think we don’t need God.
I understand the desire to say something nice when someone is hurting, but are these types of comments really “nice” at all? What is a “vibe” and how exactly are going to send it? Do you possess some sort of a Jedi-like power that we are not aware of? How exactly is this “vibe” going to help this situation? Does sending said “vibe” into the universe make it more powerful? Yes, I’m being a little tongue in cheek, but honestly, what do we expect to happen with such comments?
Or hearing that someone is “thinking of you.” Ok, that’s nice I guess, but how does that help? Next time my daughter hits her head, instead of getting her an ice pack, I’ll try telling her that I’m thinking of her. Do you think that’ll go off well? Probably not. Don’t think about me, do something. Again, unless you have Jedi mind powers, your thoughts are useless.
So… what can we do? Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one; we can pray. “But isn’t praying the same thing as sending vibes?” Perhaps, but only if you are doing it the wrong way. Sometimes I hear people say, “Sending prayers your way.” If that’s what you mean by prayer, then yes, in this case, praying would be just a synonym for vibes. However, if we look at what the Bible says about prayer, we will see that a prayer in not something that is sent to another person, rather, prayer is communication with the Almighty God of the Universe.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” We’ve all heard this quaint saying and there is truth here. Prayer is not asserting my authority or ability on a situation but calling out to the One who has all authority and power. I pray, therefore, because I know that God is in control. I pray because I recognize that I am powerless by myself; I am utterly dependent on God for everything. It is only when I see my weakness and inability that my trust in God is truly strengthened. This is why the Bible says, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6), and “They ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)
Please, don’t send me vibes. Pray for me! Next time someone is having a hard time, don’t tell them that you are sending them thoughts or vibes. Instead, let them know that you are calling out to the Creator on their behalf.
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ