I began thinking about this topic on Sunday, February 14, 2016 after receiving an email from a Newton First Baptist Church member regarding Courtney Kosiorek (Daughter of Pastor Robert Scott Boger), and her Husband Josh. At that time the Kosioreks were requesting the church family pray for their unborn son, Eli (February 19, 2016 – August 27, 2016); The email I received indicating that the Kosioreks were making a worldwide prayer request via Facebook, as well. While my heart went out to Pastor Boger and his family; I couldn’t help but wonder if God really saw this as a situation where social media had been such an amazing tool, used for “His” glory.
While it was wonderful to think that countless Facebook users around the world were praying that Eli lived through all his heart surgeries; I felt deeply troubled upon reading that prayer requests were being distributed in this way. Amid my swirling and troubled thoughts Matthew 6:5-6 came to mind. For whatever reason; I was then compelled to read the guidelines laid out for prayer in James 5:13-20, as well. Then the biblical account involving the city of Babel took up residence in my head; clarifying all that was troubling me about making prayer requests on Facebook.
Genesis 11:1-9 tells us that at one time the whole earth was of one language. This enabled the people at that time to work together easily; figuring out how to create things like brick and mortar, which they could then use for construction. Apparently; the Lord didn’t mind His people being able to do this. However, He became concerned when the people decided to build a city, and a tower; the top of which would reach heaven. The intention of God’s people in building the city and tower was to make themselves a name; elevating their status.
After the city was built God looked upon it and thought, “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” So, God confounded their language; causing His people to speak in different tongues before separating them from their creation; scattering them throughout the world; causing their city to be known as, “Babel (babble),” to this day.
It is clear from this biblical account that God never intended for his people to do whatever they wanted; putting safeguards in place to slow things down; effectively preventing communicated thoughts from solidifying into reality, on a global scale, at the speed of light. But… In our own arrogance and disregard for God’s wishes… We have thwarted God’s design through technology.
God obviously wanted His people to be restrained in biblical times. So why would the Lord want us to be unrestrained now? When you measure what can be accomplished through Facebook and other social media sites against the story of Babel alone; even this Average Joe can see that making prayer requests on Facebook is a bad idea.