Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, former newspaper columnist, licensed/ordained minister, and founder of two outreach ministries.
Mythological on duty prayer warriors
Perhaps you, as an individual scroll your Facebook newsfeed searching for people who are asking for prayer. There are not however legions of prayer warriors standing by in shifts as some suggest. Multiple times a day for the past few years I have been seeing a growing trend on Facebook where people will post: "Calling my on-duty prayer warriors." Sometimes they give a reason why they seek prayer and other times they will say they have an unspoken prayer request. Those who call out in this manner on social media give the impression that there are people who are “on duty“ watching their news feed, awaiting someone to ask them to pray. The use of the word "My" implies that the writer of the post has specific people stashed in their personal corner, awaiting their every command. No one owns a group of people who are on duty waiting to pray. Those who use Facebook log on randomly and because of the new algorithms, there is no guarantee that the praying folk will see the post. There is also no way to know if those in your newsfeed who see the post are those who are willing to send up a prayer. Even so, this has caught on and more individuals call on the mythological warriors to pray. The bottom line is to pray for yourself and be a prayer warrior instead of pleading for others to pray for you.
Break free of Christian myths
Believers in Christ are commanded in Luke 18:1 to pray at all times, but thanks to social media trends it seems more Christians desire someone else to do the praying for them. Many say they trust that prayers are answered but it’s obvious this is related to the prayers of others and not their own. If you trust that He hears your voice and answers your prayers, there will be no need to seek the mythological on duty warriors. You will instead be sharing your testimonies of the prayers He has answered on your behalf.
Some of the confusion comes in because of misunderstanding of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 18:19-20 "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them". Christ spoke of the agreement between two and it is duly noted that he later sent out His disciples two by two. For some reason, it is taught in some churches that the more people praying indicates more power but that is not what the Bible says and evidence indicates otherwise. Thsi is why it is important to break free of myths and Facebook trends.
I have noticed a disturbing trend that continues to repeat and it is related to celebrities. When Bobbie Kristina Brown was in a coma, Prophet Kim Clement was dealing with the aftermath of a stroke and Aretha Franklin was gravely ill, people were all over social media asking for prayers from around the world and the world complied. Sadly all three of these individuals died in spite of all the global prayer. There were multiple Facebook pages put up dedicated specifically to declaring and decreeing that Whitney Huston's daughter would live, but she did not. A preacher interviewed on CNN reported that a prayer vigil with hundreds was taking place at the Queen of Soul's church and even as he was speaking she was dying. If answers to prayer were because of how many people prayed, then these individuals and others would still be in the land of the living. This speaks volumes yet Christians continue to seek the on-duty prayer warriors who are only in the recesses of their minds. Tony Evans is a world-renowned preacher who had people surrounding his house 24/7 praying for his wife to be healed of cancer, but she passed away. Round the clock prayer, and great numbers praying did not move the hand of God to heal her and restore her to her family.
Christ prayed for Himself
There is not one scripture where Jesus asked the multitudes to pray for Him, The Bible indicates that He often went alone to the mountains or the desert to talk to His Father in solitude. Even when he was about to be brutally tortured, nailed to a cross and crucified, He prayed all by Himself. Matthew 26 tells us that he took three of His twelve closest followers with Him to the garden of Gethsemane and asked them three times to watch as He prayed alone. He gave an example of how those who follow Him should be people who do they praying, not the asking.
This is why the notion that there are Christians on Facebook, round the clock ready and waiting to pray for other believers who are not praying for themselves is absurd. A former pastor of mine taught that every single believer in Christ has the right to go to the Father in prayer for themselves. He said that was why, when people came to him seeing prayer, he refused and always asked what they had already petitioned the Lord for. Once they told him he gladly added his agreement based on Matthew 18:19.
Don't faint, lose heart, or give up
Prayer should be as simple as breathing for every believer in Christ. Luke 18 Amplified Bible tells us: 1 Also [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).2 He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man.3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary.4 And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or consideration for man,5 Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or at the last she come and rail on me or assault me or strangle me.6 Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says!7 And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf?
Perhaps the reason so many Christians are not seeing their prayers answered and are seeking the mythological on duty Facebook warriors to pray for them is because they are not obeying the words of Jesus to always pray themselves, and therefore they are fainting, losing heart and giving up.