Thursday, February 18, 2010

Prayer and the Blogosphere

So, last night was an amazing experience...  For the past week or so I've been trying to find a Bible verse EVERYWHERE and was about to give up, assuming that I had been making it up.  I go to mass last night for Ash Wednesday, and what do you know?  The Gospel was the passage I had been searching for.  I really felt spoken to.  And what is this verse you ask? 

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
"Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

This has been on my mind because of the prevalence of people posting on blogs or facebook that they are "praying for you".  I certainly am not against prayer, and certainly not against comforting those in need, but I do worry that too often people post this message to demonstrate their holiness.  It has bothered me to the point that I have begun to avoid leaving "I'll pray for you" messages.  If it is a close friend, I may write a personal email, but then I face a dilemma when it comes to blogs I read, but don't personally know the writer.

I already feel vaguely stalker-ish for reading other people's blogs, though I certainly welcome the random reader here.  But, I do know that I would appreciate people lifting up prayers for me if I were in need.  I just really don't want to be someone waving my arms saying, "Look at me and the good I do!"  So, maybe an anonymous comment?  That always feels like it's not really meant, though...  And I don't feel comfortable sending the unsolicited stranger email.  I have no answers, just some internal ramblings.  Let me know if you've come to any revelations on the matter. 

1 comment:

  1. I've always felt that someone telling me that they're praying for me was sort of passive aggressive and a way of them showing that they've passed judgement on me. Therefore, if someone gives me an unsolicited "I'll pray for you" I get REALLY irritated. I liked last night's verse too for that reason. It made me glad to know that I wasn't totally out of line in my thoughts. I'm glad I'm not the only one! :)