This is the sixth and final post in a six-week Lenten series on prayer and social media.
To draw this thought-provoking series on prayer and social media to a close, today we offer a summary of resources cited and mentioned in the series, additional resources from our blog archive, and a few new articles on prayer and social media discovered during Lent. We hope this final post might help readers consider how to use the series educationally with groups interested in social media and Christian practices such as prayer.
As I wrote in the series introduction—“What you won’t find in this series is a list of websites that offer prayer resources”—this is not a list to look up prayers, but rather a list of resources to help readers think about how prayer happens in a world shaped by social media, about how we might be prayerful when using technology, and how to make our use of technology prayerful itself. We hope this is helpful.
Series citations and mentions
From “Prayer and social media: Series introduction,” by Verity A. Jones, February 20, 2013
- “Webs of interconnectivity: Inhabiting the world of The Young Clergy Women Project,” Verity A. Jones, New Media Project, 2012. “I have a friend who stopped posting Facebook statuses and reads them as her prayer journal instead … ”
- The Meaning of Prayer, by Harry Emerson Fosdick, Association Press, 1920. Prayer is “neither chiefly begging for things, nor is it merely self-communion; it is that loftiest experience within the reach of any soul, communion with God,” writes Fosdick.
- “Case study report on House for All Sinners and Saints,” by Jason Byassee, New Media Project, 2011. Quoting a member of the church: “Thanks for all your prayers and support. It’s my first experience with the support of a Christian community (well, any community for that matter) and its pretty … amazing.”
From “Prayer and social media: An Anabaptist perspective,” Jim Rice, February 26, 2013
- “Four lessons from my Lenten social media fast,” Casting Out Nines, by Robert Talbert, April 27, 2011.
- “On Social Media Fasting for Lent,” PeaceBang, by Victoria Weinstein, February 13, 2013.
- “Sacrificing Social Media: My Lenten Fast,” Revelife, by underhiswing7, February 15, 2013.
- “Facebook fast, media fast, digital fast,” Dictionary of Christianese, February 23, 2013.
- “Why I’m not giving up Facebook for Lent,” Patheos, by Helen Lee, February 18, 2013. Rice: “For Lee, social media is a base, and a milieu, for her prayer life.”
- “Laying down and taking up for Lent,” The Femonite: Musings from a Mennonite Feminist, Hannah Heinzekehr, February 13, 2013. According to Jim, “For her, the challenge is to take up a spiritual practice that helps her ‘just be’—with her daughter, with nature, with a work of art—and to be attentive to God’s word in that moment.”
- “Mennonite Prayer: An attitude or technique?” Sacred Listening Ministries, by Miriam Frey, 2004. She writes, “For centuries, Mennonites have made their lifestyle their prayer.”
From “Prayer and social media: A Catholic perspective,” by Kathryn Reklis, March 5, 2013
- “3-Minute Retreat,” Loyola Press. Catholic daily prayer resource that emphasizes visual and aural possibilities of digital technology.
- “Sacred Space: Your daily prayer online,” Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Another daily prayer resource that emphasizes visual and aural possibilities of digital technology.
- Rosary Miracle Prayer, Pauline Books and Media. I “listen to the daughters of St. Paul chant the Hail Mary through my earphones, eyes cast down to the icon on my screen, while the world rushes by on my morning commute.”
From “Prayer and social media: Call and response,” Lerone A. Martin, March 12, 2013
- PrayrList: Lifting up the world one friend at a time. According to Lerone, the site allows for a “resounding” social media experience of call and response. “Prayrlist seeks to cultivate the spiritual practice of prayer by automatically generating a daily prayer lists from a user’s Facebook friend list.”
From “Prayer and social media: A liberation perspective,” Monica A. Coleman, March 19, 2013.
- Gofundme.com. A website Monica mentions as an example of how helping someone in need is like “altar prayer” in the church of her youth. “The page not only revealed the money donated, but had space for comments. I saw encouraging notes about how some friends managed through similar periods in their lives. Other people said they were glad that she asked for help when she needed it. Others said they wouldn’t want her to struggle alone.”
Blog posts from the New Media Project archive
- “’Oversharing:’ The new confessional,” by Robert Saler, August 24, 2012. Guest blogger Rob reframes “oversharing” on social media as prayers of confession.
- "Text and confess," by Lerone A. Martin, September 25, 2012. Lerone chronicles a reformed Rosh Hashanah worship service in which congregants, instead of traditional prayer and confession, anonymously text their prayers and penitence onto a scrolling screen for all to see.
- “Having cancer in a digital age,” by Deanna Thompson, November 9, 2012. Guest blogger Deanna tells how friends were inspired to pray for her through social media. In a subsequent post, “The top ten reasons to use CaringBridge when bad things happen,” December 4, 2012, prayer figures prominently.
Other articles we found interesting
- “Praying Between the Lines: The Prayer Practices of ‘Religious Nones,’” Reverberations: New Directions in the Study of Prayer, SSRC Forum, by Elizabeth Drescher. Check out the essays and exchanges on this fascinating subject.
- “The Papal Prayer Machine: Do Twitter devotions change the meaning of prayer,” Religion Dispatches, by Peter Manseau, March 6, 2013. The writer explores the meaning of prayer as the first Pope to tweet retires: “The catechism teaches that Jesus “hears the prayer of faith expressed in words or in silence”—but what becomes of tweeted prayers if God’s account is inactive?”
Verity A. Jones is the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, and project director of the New Media Project which is now part of this new Center.
The New Media Project is a research project helping religious leaders become theologically savvy about technology. To request permission to repost this content, please contact email@example.com.