First there are some common trends I want to talk about. The one thing that sticks out the most to me is how many of the post that ask for prayer end with, "Amen", "thank you", "God is good", and "In His name". At the end of a prayer you usually see these type of endings, not in a normal conversations. So their post are more of a prayer type question to everyone, will you please pray for me about this _____ Thank you, Amen. Amen standing for "so be it" makes this more interesting to me. The example from last week of the guy asking for prayer because he has cancer and is not doing well at the end he says in the since "so be it", if you think about it he has left this prayer in Gods hands and saying so be what comes of it. It seems to be important for people to post on their pray request "Amen" because it shows that they are leaving it into Gods hands and that is what prayer is all about. I also find a trend in trust. I say that and it seems kinda broad but what I mean is that, people put a lot of information on these two pages about their life and trust that people will pray for them and also not going talking about them. They make it feel like a sacred area of where if they cant post it on their wall then they can be open and post on this page. This trend I find more in the Prayer Warrior Prayer group and the Prayer Request Group.
The Trend that I find in the Four Men Prayer Group is one of positive and uplifting messages. This groups is completely different than the two groups above. People that are in the group do not post prayer for themselves but the owner of the group post uplifting messages and bible verses everyday, and some more than once a day. I find also interesting that this one has the most "friends" but they have hardly any likes are comments. I can see that the two above are more personal and more friendly to open up your heart and say want is needed to be prayer for then maybe in this one that is ran consistently by the owner.
Second is the common message. Its sad to think that they common message is that they are in pain and need help. But many of these stories are so sad and all they can do is pray. I see this everyday when people are talking about their life and they have no idea what to do but to pray to God and hope something happens. If I look at this more positively, I see that the groups were made just for these kind of reasons. People are consistently in pain and need people to pray for them and feel supported. Some do not have family that understand how to pray or do not believe in prayer, these sites have opened up a prayer family to show that they are cared for and help them be lifted up to God. With the "Amen" at the end of their request is a message in itself. Its not like your asking for the new toy for Christmas and if you do not get it you will be mad. The Amen states that whatever comes even with the prayer is what is in God's will and you are at peace with it. That message by itself is amazing.
The Four Men Prayer group though it is completely different than the Prayer Warrior group and Prayer Request group, still has a great purpose and message that comes with it. Those people that follow that page may not want to post on its wall, maybe they are more private and just need constant reminders of God's blessings on them. The messages that they post are uplifting and encouraging, what other Christians should be to one another. The daily reminder that you are not alone and here is a bible verse to help you out can make someone feel powerful aging. Also if they have a prayer in mind and then see a verse, that could be an answer to their prayer, a little note from God.
Third is there any competing messages? I am still not sure but I think that the Four Men Prayer Group is Catholic and I am not familiar enough with the religion to know how they deal with pray. The comparison between the Four Men Prayer Group and the other two is, one is more closed and just post to remind you about your belief and the other two are more open so that you can communicate your problems and find people to help you lift your prayer up to God. Pray to me is the most basic thing in a religion and the messages that I have found have all been the same, people need help and asking others to pray for them, lifting it up to God and being at peace with the result.
The real question that has come out of this research is: With Facebook, how do people live out their faith by asking for prayer through a community and trusting in God for their results that He has in plan for them?
Some key traits that I have found is that pray is a community based action. People want others to pray for them and pray with them. They peace to know that not just you are prayer for you helps them get through the day. Another is that saying "amen" really shows your belief that God is almighty and what happens is because it is part of his plan and you can be at peace with that.
These findings help me look more at how people are asking for prayer and what might their intentions maybe in the end. The question that I have come up with is not what I thought it would be when I started. I was looking for a more self centered way to ask for prayer and less meaning but now I have seen that people need that kind of connection and community to feel that their prayers will be heard by God.
In the end, I feel as though I have invaded some of these peoples lives with some of the things that they post. I would never post anything near what they posted, but I also realize that my family is big into prayer and are always praying for me. This community on these 3 Facebook groups have created a home for those who have none, a community for those who need someone to talk to. I enjoy reading some of the post about the praises and joys that happen in peoples lives through these groups and I think that also encourages others to post prayers because they see that prayers have been answered!