Praying for the InternetDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
… one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
I’m going to ask you to start praying for the Internet.
(Which I promise you was never a sentence I thought I would write in my life.)
We are in need of witness over argument, testimony over talking points, and such work is not brought by better SEO or updated plugins or the latest typography, but by the Holy Spirit of God indwelling every last bit of what we do, including every last bit of the Internet. For it is to the Internet, too, the Gospel is come. If the Gospel is a light to search out every darkness, then blogs and online shopping and all the vile and cruel and wicked and the Youtube comments and the this and that and that other thing—all of this, too, is being brought into line under the One to whom all things must bend.
This is the work of prayer. It’s an obvious thing to say, except it isn’t obvious to us most of the time. There’s this real world and then this Internet world, and while we should be Christian in both, we pray for a country or a neighborhood or a market or a physical space as a place where God will be made known but we just hope everyone stays Jesus-y enough online to get by until the “real work” of face-to-face happens. But what if we prayed for the Internet like we prayed for our street? What if we prayed for the Internet with the same kind of fervor some of us used to have going door to door for Jesus?
Our digital neighbors are no less important to God. God, who is found in all places where we remember to look, is God of the Internet as much as everything else. So no open letters, no hard-hitting pieces, no critique response posts, not before, never before, prayer. What would it look like then? If we’re going to talk about the Internet as a community, then I think we have to start there: prayer. Pray like the Internet is a real space—because it is a real space. Pray like God loves it—because God does.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you pray for the Internet? Does the idea seem odd? If so, does praying this way suggest something new to you about what God cares about? How do you navigate the online space as witness over argument, testimony over talking points?
PRAYER: Blessed are you, Lord God, who is uncontained and yet wills to be contained, who comes near to us in gentleness to invite us into the wild. May you bless wires and cables and wifi signals as much as stained glass and bread bowl and watcher pitcher to be instruments of praise. O God, who is in all and through all, may these be in and through you, too, in the name of Jesus, in whom all things hold together. Amen.
Online community is a real thing. Isn’t it? Maybe it depends on whom you talk to. How important is it to spend time with someone face-to-face? Can you build meaningful and lasting relationships online? Where do you find your most significant interactions, and how do you make time for them? Jesus focused on building his deepest relationships with three of his disciples while he walked the earth. What can we learn about community from Christ’s example, and how do we translate his example to the digital age? In this theme, we are Rediscovering Community in old-fashioned and new-fangled ways. We’ll celebrate the gift of relationship while exploring ways to build community in the modern age. Join us!