Arguably One of the Greatest Opportunities for Businesses Today

“The Times They Are a-Changin.”

This is the title of one of folksinger Bob Dylan’s most famous songs. In penning these words, Dylan identified with the social turmoil that existed at that time in the United States. This song has enjoyed a lasting legacy by capturing one of the constant realities of our life and world: change.

Change is exactly what’s taking place among consumers and businesses.

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Though change amongst consumer behavior does present a myriad of challenges to businesses and non-profits, changes within consumer behavior also provide a plethora of opportunities for businesses like never before.

Arguably one of the greatest opportunities for businesses today is creating direct relationships with consumers.

Listen to this advice from Mitch Joel in Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends On It:

Your business needs to not only sense this urgency, but also realize this seismic shift in the battle for direct relationships. While some businesses are beginning to capitalize on this by recognizing the value that comes from these relationships, most are still using these channels as a form of broadcast advertising. It’s almost as if businesses have become anesthetize because of their reliance in the past on using media channels as a gateway to the consumer.

In the pre-Internet media world, your business could not have a direct relationship with the consumer. If you wanted to let people in your city know about your products or services, you had to take out advertising (few were great at direct marketing). The value of traditional media was not in the high quality of content that they produced, but rather in the direct relationship they had with an audience because of the perceived value of the content to the consumer. Now, in this world where consumers are liking, friending, tweeting, and +1-ing brands, not only have the tables turned, but the game has completely changed…

The new consumers are not linear. They are scattered. They are squiggly. They are connected—not only to one another, but also to the world—and their connectivity and engagement are highly untethered. I’m often critical of brands that try to make digital media bend to their will instead of spending the time, making the effort, and having the patience to build valuable credibility (which leads to loyalty and true direct relationships with the consumer).

Consumers are social…much more social than they have ever been before. If you think your consumers are (still) not social, that’s going to change as well (quickly). These are not linear relationships, and you’re not going to be able to make them bend to your will either. The brands that build a better direct relationship with their consumers will be able to transcend [current]…challenges…The opportunity is in recognizing that—finally—your business can reboot its relationship with your consumers like never before.

There is a sliver lining to the rapid changes brought on by rapid changes in technology. Though this change will be painful for many, it is a change taking place and one that presents a great opportunity for businesses and non-profits to directly connect with their target audience.

 

The Holy Spirit is Not Cousin It (or Who is the Holy Spirit?)

Cousin It is arguably one of the strangest people—ever.

His body is covered by longhair, he always wears a pair sunglasses and a black bowler hat, and speaks in some sort of British gibberish that is only understood by his family.

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The Holy Spirit is treated by many like their own Cousin It. He’s considered weird, distant, and hard to understand. Many of us tend to treat him like a disgraced politician.

It’s easy for us to think about the Holy Spirit this way. Shoot, he’s a spirit—right?

That sounds strange enough and if you watch a lot of paranormal television programs, it’s hard to say what you actually think about the Holy Spirit.

While there is a degree of mystery surrounding the Holy Spirit, he’s not an it, impersonal, or strange. You just have to get to actually know him.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

There has been little disagreement about the person and work of the Holy Spirit throughout the history of the church. From the Old Testament, New Testament, and church creeds and liturgy, there has been widespread agreement on who the Holy Spirit is and the work he does.

The Bible menaces no words when it comes to telling us about the Holy Spirit:

  • He’s called God (Acts 5:3-4)
  • He’s called the Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2; Judg. 3:10)
  • He’s considered God (Acts 28:25-27; 2 Cor. 6:16; Heb. 3:7-9)
  • He’s treated as equal to God the Father and Son (Matt. 3:16; 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18; 4:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:2)
  • He’s eternal (Heb. 9:14)
  • He’s self-existent (Rom. 8:2)
  • He’s omnipresent (Psa. 139:7-8)
  • He’s omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10-11; John 14:26; 16:13)
  • He’s sovereign (Zech. 12:10)

Make no mistake, the Holy Spirit is so much more than an it—he’s God.

God—as revealed in the Bible—is one and eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From what we can briefly see above, this means that each person within the Trinity shares the same divine attributes. In other words, one person within the Trinity is not more of a god than the other.

And the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal, vague, or distant god either. He’s up close and personal.

Up Close and Personal

Far from being an impersonal force, as the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is a person and personal. We see this clearly in a few distinct ways.

First, throughout the New Testament the Holy Spirit is referred to as a person (John 6:63; 14:26; Rom. 8:11, 16, 26; 1 John 5:6).

What is more, before ascending to heaven, Jesus said he was going to send the Holy Spirit to be a counselor like him (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is also capable of teaching (Luke 12:12). Unlike gravity that can neither counsel or teach people, the Holy Spirit can and does both.

As a person, the Holy Spirit has personal characteristics:

  • He speaks (2 Sam. 23:2; Acts 1:16; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2; 21:11; 28:25-26; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:7-8; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; 14:13; 22:17)
  • He witnesses (John 15:26)
  • He searches (1 Cor. 2:11)
  • He can be grieved (Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30)
  • He loves (Rom. 15:30)
  • He has a mind (Rom. 8:27)
  • He has intelligence (1 Cor. 2:10-11)
  • He can be tested (Acts 5:9)
  • He can be resisted (Acts 7:5)
  • He has a will (1 Cor. 2:11; 12:7-11)

Impersonal forces cannot speak, be grieved, or express love, yet the Holy Spirit does express these abilities and emotions.

The Holy Spirit’s Presence and Power

The Holy Spirit is God and he is a person who personally pursues us.

He reveals to us Jesus Christ, convicts us of sin, and gives us new life. He helps us to understand the Bible, pray, and empower us to live and love like Jesus.

Knowing who the Holy Spirit is more than a rote exercise of Biblical theology. Living a life that aims to glorify and enjoy God forever is impossible without the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

The Worst Advice Ever on Love and Marriage from a Dancing Outlaw

Jesco White is known as the “Dancing Outlaw.”

For better or worse, he’s considered a cultural icon in my home state of West Virginia. (I once named a basset hound after him when I was a teenager.)

He’s known for his rhythmic tap and clogging dance moves, his Appalachian manners, and a string of documentaries, such as the Dancing Outlaw and The Wild Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.

What he’s not known for are his thoughts on love and marriage—and rightfully so.

Watch this video to see for yourself.

How to Assess Your Potential (And Others): The CliffsNotes Version

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Senior Advisor at Egon Zehnder and author of It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best, recently sat down with Linda Hill and the host of the HBR Ideacast to discuss the importance of identifying, managing, and measuring the potential of others.

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Here are the five indicators Claudio provided in assessing potential:

1. Humility

Paradoxical blend of fierce commitment and deep personal humility. This is highly correlated with what Jim Collins calls a Level 5 Leader.

2. Curiosity

If you have little children, why do they grow and learn so much in the early years? Because they’re curious. They observe and experiment with everything. They ask all sorts of questions and get all sorts of feedback.

3. Insight

Ability to connect the dots in this complex world. Very related with what you would consider a holistic thinker.

4. Engagement

People who—after connecting the dots—can separate the signal from the noise, can come up with a creative decision, can engage the hearts and minds of others.

5. Determination

People who will not crack under pressure and will continue to strive towards challenging objectives under good and bad times

Be sure to checkout the entire segment at the HBR Ideacast.

The One Surefire Way to Write a Book Your Audience Will Actually Read

There’s one surefire way to write a book your audience will actually read.

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From Ryan Holliday’s Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising:

Much of the marketing I do is with authors and books. I’ve worked with dozens of bestsellers in the last five years— and, of course, many that weren’t successful. In my experience, the books that tend to flop upon release are those where the author goes into a cave for a year to write it, then hands it off to the publisher for release. They hope for a hit that rarely comes.

On the other hand, I have clients who blog extensively before publishing. They develop their book ideas based on the themes that they naturally gravitate toward but that also get the greatest response from readers (one client sold a book proposal using a screenshot of Google queries to his site). They test the ideas they’re writing about in the book on their blog and when they speak in front of groups. They ask readers what they’d like to see in the book. They judge topic ideas by how many comments a given post generates, by how many Facebook “shares” an article gets. They put potential title and cover ideas up online to test and receive feedback. They look to see what hot topics other influential bloggers are riding and find ways of addressing them in their book.

Seth Godin provided similar advice for authors roughly eight years ago:

The best time to start promoting your book is three years before it comes out. Three years to build a reputation, build a permission asset, build a blog, build a following, build credibility and build the connections you’ll need later.

Though writing is a private endeavor, share it publicly with your audience.

Rather it’s through blogging, social media, or speaking, engage your audience early and often with your content. You will discover who your audience is and what they’re interested in reading from you.

Engaging your audience with your content will help you write a book they will actually want to read.

Rescuing the Holy Spirit From the Fate of a Disgraced Politician

The Holy Spirit gets either a bad rap or a cold shoulder.

Some often refer to the Holy Spirit as an it, mistake him for the force from Star Wars, or liken him to a strange mystical presence who causes people to convulse wildly out-of-control. If this is you, I can totally see how you think this is the case, but in all honesty, we need to sit down and talk.

Others may know him by name, but have no idea who he is, how he is at work in the their life, and whether or not they should even care. Many times he’s just given a tip-of-the-hat during a sermon, prayer, or confession. Apart from knowing him by name and that people are to baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, many Christians don’t know him at all.

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Instead of being revered as the third Person of the Trinity—which is a technical way of describing the God of the Bible who eternally exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—many of us often times treat the Holy Spirit like a politician who has fallen from grace. We either speak bad about him or don’t want anything to do with him. When it comes to the Holy Spirit, he shouldn’t be treated like a disgraced politician.

The Quick and Dirty Guide to the Holy Spirit

As the third Person of the Trinity,  the Spirit was involved with creation (Gen 1:1-2), inspired the writing of the Bible (2 Pet 1:21), and is the empowering presence of God, filling all believers with his presence.

The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to recognize the glory of God (2 Cor 4:4) and call upon Jesus as Lord (1 Cor 12:3). Without his work in our life, we would never have a desire to follow Jesus Christ and place our trust in him (John 3:5-8).

Through his work in our life, we are given a new mind and desires that are set on pleasing God (Rom 8:5-8). From the inside out, he enables us to live a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

The Holy Spirit also provides us with spiritual gifts. These gifts are often times reduced to a mystical, personal experience, but they are given by the Spirit for the common of good and mission of the church (1 Cor. 12:7).

The Holy Spirit is alive and at work in the church and world today.

He is calling people to worship Jesus, transforming people into the image of Jesus, and empowering the church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Instead of downplaying his Personhood and work, I encourage you to seek to be filled with his presence (Eph. 5:18) and come under a greater influence of his work in your life to be like Jesus.

Your Web Content Is Useless Unless it Does One Of These Two Things

All web content isn’t helpful—let alone necessary.

Some web content is quite useless and can derail an effective content strategy.

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To know whether or not you are writing either useful or useless web content, Kristina Halvorson provides some poignant advice:

Generally speaking, your web content is useless unless it does one or both of the following:

  • Supports a key business objective
  • Supports a user (or customer) in completing a task

If you assessed all of your current web content, how much of it would meet these two simple requirements? Ninety-five percent? Seventy-five percent? Less than half?

Typically when I ask this question of clients or seminar attendees, I hear a lot of rueful chuckling and see many shaking heads. Apparently, in most organizations, more content is perceived as more opportunity to sell, more support, more brand enhancement, more context, more everything.

But it’s not.

When it comes to creating an effective web content strategy, ensure that you’re web content fulfills either one of these objectives.

If you’ve already published any amount of web content, it may be a good idea to conduct a thorough content audit to ensure that your current web content is useful—not useless.

10 Things Reformed Christians Can Learn from Non-Reformed Christians

Today there is an amazing work of God sweeping the United States of America and the world that is marked by a peculiar distinction: many people are embracing Reformed Theology.

Like many—if not all—movements before its time, there are positive and negative trends that can be observed in varying degrees. Though I may not completely agree with his assessment, I do believe Jonathan Merritt previously made an interesting observation:

One of the markers of the neo-Calvinist movement is isolationism. My Reformed friends consume Calvinist blogs and Calvinist books, attend Calvinist conferences, and join Calvinist churches with Calvinist preachers. They rarely learn from or engage with those outside their tradition. (My feeling is that this trend is less prevalent among leaders than the average followers.)

Personally, this hasn’t been my experience or what I’ve observed, but this does raise a good question: Can Christians who identify with Reformed Theology learn from Christians who do not embrace this tradition?

Learning

Dr. John Frame, the J.D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, believes so.

Here are 10 things he believes they can learn:

1. Evangelism

I do think that American conservative Reformed churches in recent years have not been very strong in evangelism. There has been all too little practice of it, and the theological reflection about it has been mainly negative: “don’t do what the Arminians do, especially Finney.”

2. Discipling

Reformed churches, in my experience, have done a very poor job of discipling adults who are new converts or who come from non-Reformed backgrounds…Often the big evangelical churches are better than we are at discipling, in my view.

3. Reach Beyond White Middle-to-Upper Class People

I would also say that Reformed Christianity is rather narrow in its appeal today. We seem only to be able to reach people of the white middle-to-upper class, people with some college education. We have not reached minorities, the poor, the uneducated…There are a few exceptions to this general rule…But I still don’t see us on the whole making much of an impact. Groups like the Salvation Army and Victory Outreach have much thinner messages than we, but they have done far more good in poor communities. We can learn from them.

4. Communicating Ideas to the Public

For all our Kuyperian talk about bringing the Word to bear on all areas of human life, we have not addressed issues in our society very often or very effectively…[Other] leaders are sometimes dependent on Reformed scholarship, but the Reformed haven’t followed up on their insights…We need to learn from Christians outside our tradition in the practical work of communicating our ideas to the public.

5. Appeal to the Intellect, Will, & Emotion

Part of the problem in all these areas is that Reformed Christianity has been too intellectual in its emphasis…Many Reformed people have taught the “primacy of the intellect,” the notion that God’s truth always enters (and should enter) us by the intellect, before it affects the will and the emotions…I think we need to put much more emphasis on will and emotion in our preaching and worship. In these respects, we need to be much more like Scripture itself…In Scripture, God pleads with sinners. We, however, tend to just state the truth and wait to see how people respond. Here I think the Arminians are actually closer to the truth than we are.

6. Corporate Worship

And as you might guess I fault traditional Reformed worship (as practiced today) because it has an inadequate vocabulary (musical and otherwise) for expressing joy and for edifying  people of all sorts.

7. Evaluating & Preparing Pastoral Candidates

I think we do a fairly poor job at evaluating ministerial candidates and preparing them for the ministry. Our seminaries give them a good academic preparation: the intellectual area, again, is the Reformed strength. But most of Paul’s qualifications of elders are qualities of character, and the responsibilities of pastors require interpersonal and counseling skills of a high degree…Here we can learn from Episcopal churches, black churches, Reformed Baptist ministerial academies, Latin American “street seminaries,” etc.

8. Love & Unity

I also think that the demand for doctrinal precision in conservative Reformed circles has become rather unbalanced, so that the matter of church unity gets short shrift. Earlier in this debate, when I spoke of unity, Hart berated me for advocating “unity at the expense of truth.” Of course I wasn’t advocating that. But that’s what tends to happen in our circles when the subject of unity comes up. Unity always gets trumped by a concern for doctrinal purity, with the implication that we shouldn’t ever seek unity. And often our concern for doctrinal purity is distorted…There have been parties contending with one another, sometimes very ferociously, sometimes dividing churches and presbyteries, with people even trying to hinder ministries that hold the contrary view. We seem to have no conscience about calling one another terrible names, if they are on the other side from us of one of these ideological divides…We need to remind ourselves that love (not only the traditional three marks) is a mark of the church: John 13:35.

9. Pastoral Care for Pastors

In our circles, pastors have almost no pastoral care. That can lead to shipwreck in the ministry. The idea of presbytery as the pastor’s local church becomes quite meaningless when presbytery meetings consist entirely of business, or, even worse, consist largely of partisan battles. We can learn from Baptist, charismatics, and others with association-type polities, where much time at ministers’ meetings is spent in prayer and edification, and where people do not look down their noses at touchy-feely emotional support.

10. Teaching Kids

I think that dispensational fundamentalists do a better job at teaching Scripture to their kids than Reformed churches do. In my view the teaching of Scripture should take precedence over the teaching of catechism.

When concluding his remarks, I believe Dr. Frame dropped the mic with an excellent charge to those who identify him or herself with the Reformed tradition: “I do love  Reformed theology, but I don’t believe that Reformed churches have always been the best churches. We need to do a lot of growing, in many areas. That’s why I think the idea of making Reformed tradition normative (in addition to the confessions) is entirely wrongheaded.”

Read his entire thoughts on Frame & Poythress.

Everyone Deserves Civility

“Some people are deserving of incivility.”

This was the charge leveled by Josh Barro of The New York Times during a recent exchange he had on Twitter with Ryan Anderson.

Barro’s didn’t come to his conclusion based upon the manner of his interactions with Anderson, but rather the matter of their conversation. You see, Ryan Anderson believes that marriage is defined as “the union of a man and a woman.” Therefore, in the eyes of Barro—as well as others—people like me who share the same belief as Anderson are considered worthy of incivility.

Despite Barro’s belief that some people deserve incivility, as Christians, we are not to respond to him—or others—with incivility. We are to treat everyone with civility—especially when engaging the political process.

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As Christians, we have much to learn about engaging the democratic process in love and a civil manner.

Many Christians have been violent, mean-spirited, and downright nasty toward those with whom we disagree with morally and politically (the same people that God sent his Son to die for, people with whom he has called us to share the gospel with). But if our political engagement is carried out in a way that does not reflect the love of God as expressed in Jesus Christ, then we run the risk of damaging the bridge between Christians and non-Christians.

Are we guided by love for God and our neighbors?

Researchers David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons did not surprise many when they found that “Christians do not respect leaders whose political viewpoint is different from their own.” Their research paints an uncomfortable picture of the way Christians are perceived by many people who feel that Christians are more influenced by radio talk show hosts than Jesus and the Bible.

As Christians, we have to remember that politics do not supersede God, nor replace our confession of faith and life in Jesus Christ. Discussions about political matters do not mean that our involvement and manner of conduct is compartmentalized from our faith. Regardless of someone’s political affiliation, we are commanded to love and pray for our leaders—not for their death and eternal damnation, but for their well-being, so that we may lead a peaceful life. It is this attitude and behavior that is good and pleasing to God (1 Tim. 2:1–3).

Even though we may disagree with others (and each other) on a host of political issues, these disagreements do not give us the right to disrespect, degrade, or debase those with whom we disagree.

How does the Bible teach us to engage politically?

The Bible has much to say about how we should relate to governmental authorities. For example, in the Book of Exodus we read, “You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people” (Exod. 22:28). What we see is that cursing your political leader is second only to cursing God.

Consider the example set by Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were commanded by the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar to break the Mosaic dietary laws by eating and drinking the king’s food and wine (Dan. 1:5-8). These Jewish men refused to eat the king’s food, but they did so in a respectful and wise way rather than haughtily condemning the king’s command as an abomination. They did not act “Holier than thou” by disrespectfully condemning king Nebuchadnezzar and his actions.

In the Book of Acts, we see the command of Exodus 22:28 quoted and exemplified by the Apostle Paul when standing trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin (Acts 23). When the Jewish high priest, Ananias, ordered those standing beside Paul to strike him on the mouth (Acts 23:2), Paul initially was unaware of the high priest’s presence, and he had some choice words. But when he became aware of who it was, Paul repented, saying, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people’” (Acts 23:5). For Paul, it was important to honor and respect the appointed leaders, even when their actions were wrong.

Love guides our involvement

Our love of God not only compels us to be faithful to him, but also drives us to love our neighbors, no matter their religious or political beliefs (Matt. 22:37–40; cf. Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5; Luke 10:27). As Christians, we are to love others as we love ourselves (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Jas. 2:8); in fact, the entire law of God is summed up in the command that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Gal. 5:14).

This means that as we engage the political process, we should do so in love.

We are to speak the truth, but in love.

We are to hold the government accountable for its actions, but in love.

And the standard of love that we use in judging all of our actions is the standard that Jesus Christ set by humbly sacrificing himself for us on the cross.

“And as vigorously as the evangelical presses his battle,” once remarked Carl F.H. Henry, “he ought to be counted upon to point to the redemption that is in Christ Jesus as the only adequate solution.” In a democracy, love should determine how Christians are involved in the democratic process. Love for our neighbor will drive us beyond our own self-interests to seek justice and the common good for everyone in our community, state, and nation.

Love for our neighbor is worked out in many ways. Steve Monsma explains how this practically works itself out:

Sometimes solidarity will drive us to our knees in prayer, sometimes to giving our money to organizations offering help in Christ’s name, sometimes to direct, personal acts of comfort and help, and sometimes to supporting public policies that oppose wrongs and promote greater justice. And sometimes it will lead us to pursue all four together.

Christ is our example

There have been times and there will be times when Christians will be wrongfully accused of crimes, sued, and judged unfairly. But this doesn’t give us the right or privilege to act in any manner we see fit, especially if it is not reflective of the gospel.

As we look to Christ, who descended to earth to be born as a human baby in a manger, we will see that our conduct toward others should be marked with not only love, but a high level of humility. We see this no more clearly than in Philippians:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:3–5).

Mr. Barro’s, at the end of the day, I believe you’re wrong.

You, me, and everyone else deserves civility.

This post was adapted from my book American Crossroads: The Intersection of Christianity and Democracy

7 Intriguing Things I Learned About Prayer on Facebook

Facebook is a great place to learn about prayer.

I’m not saying Facebook is a great place to learn about how to pray, but just a place to learn about prayer.

Normally prayers are personal or conducted in public worship services, but now, Facebook is providing an opportunity to observe the virtual prayer lives of people.

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When someone makes a request for prayers, their friends leave comments on their status to let them know that they’re praying for them. It’s probably just me, but I find these prayerful comments really intriguing.

I’ve been observing prayers on Facebook for the past few years. With all due respect, I don’t know what to make of prayerful comments on Facebook, but here are seven things I’ve learned about prayer on Facebook. (You can’t get offended, I said, “With all due respect.”)

1. Prayers Need a Compass 

We learn that some prayers are not directed toward God, a god, let alone anything in particular. Some prayers are sent out from the sender who provides them with a direction and in some cases, a warning.

We see this when prayers are: “going up,” “coming your way,” or “going out.”

I’m not sure if I should be thankful for these prayers, get ready to catch them, or depending upon who they’re from—get out of the way.

2. Prayers Can Be Sent Through the Mail

Certain prayers are wrapped in a package and delivered. These prayers are normally expressed as, “Sending prayers.”

My only hope is that they come with either a tracking code or request of signature upon delivery. If not, I’m uncertain if we can trust the USPS to deliver them on time or even at all.

3. Prayers Take the Form of Small, Medium, and Big

Some prayers are “big prayers.”

For some reason “big prayers” remind me of the times I blow up balloons for my kids. (There’s probably no connection whatsoever, but, oh well.) Hopefully those praying big prayers don’t pray too much that their prayers burst like many of my balloons have.

4. Prayers Take the Form of Shapes

Some prayers are more than words. They can take the form of geometrical shapes.

For instance, we can pray “circles” around people. Perhaps this is a good thing, but then again, it sounds like this person is competing with the person they’re praying for in how much they will pray for them. Let the praying begin!

5. Prayers Can Be Heavy     

I discovered that some prayers can be lifted. I’ve seen it said, “Prayers lifted.”

I have a sneaky suspicion that these prayers come with a warning sign, like, “Be Careful: Bend Knees When Praying.” (Hopefully this is just wishful thinking.)

6. Prayers Are Like Dropping the Mic

Some people come across your Facebook account, say, “Prayers on,” drop the mic, and then walk away. It’s like they just out performed everyone expressing prayers on your status.

7. Prayers Don’t Actually Have to Be Prayed

When someone says, “Praying right now,” my response is, “No you’re not. You’re commenting on my status.”

Requesting prayers through Facebook is not a big deal at all and I think people should do so if they feel so inclined. I just find it interesting what we learn about the prayer taking place in a social network like Facebook.