How to pray for and encourage performers through social media
You’ve decided to take the Prayers for Oppa Performer Prayer Challenge and pray for a performer and encourage them through social media. But how exactly do you do this? Chances are you don’t know the performer personally, so how can you be sure the messages you’re sending them are relevant to their circumstances and pleasing to God?
In addition to the more specific guidance you’ll find in my Prayers for Oppa performer/fan devotional book, here are a few practical tips to guide you on your way:
Tip #1: Look at the performer’s most recent social media posts before you engage them.
This will give you an idea of what’s going on in their life and help you to tailor your prayers and encouragement accordingly. For example, if they’re doing a concert tour, you can pray for safe travel and performances, good health, and their overall physical well-being. Send them Bible verses and encouraging words on those topics and let them know you’re praying for them.
Reading the performer’s most recent social media posts may also give you a hint as to their current emotional state, which should also shape your interaction with them. Say, for example, that the performer has recently shared a photo of their family and mentioned that they’re feeling lonely. You can remind the performer of how much God loves them and that He is always with them and let the performer know you’re praying they’ll have an opportunity to see their family soon.
Tip #2: Allow for differences in the areas of the Christian faith that are flexible.
Say the performer shares a picture of himself or herself out at a nightclub with friends or enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Some Christians go to nightclubs to dance with their friends, others do not. Some Christians drink alcohol responsibly, others abstain completely.
If an activity is not expressly prohibited in the Bible, refrain from criticizing or judging the performer as though it is. An occasional beer does not necessarily indicate alcoholism, nor does an evening of dancing indicate a lifestyle of wild partying.
Tip #3: Remember that you don’t know the whole story.
What a performer reveals on social media and in interviews is a small percentage of their real life. As such, it’s impossible to know the details of how God is working in a performer’s life and what’s going on behind the scenes in their career. A few examples will be helpful here.
If a performer hasn’t recently shared about their faith in interviews or on social media, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve fallen away and no longer believe in God. Encourage them to post a Bible verse or let them know you’re praying that God will give them opportunities to share the hope they have in Jesus Christ, but refrain from passing judgment on the current state of their relationship with God.
Likewise, if a performer comes out with a project that’s in conflict with their Christian beliefs, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve turned their back on their faith. Unless the performer offers an explanation, it’s impossible to know what went on behind the scenes. They may have expressed their concern about the project and been told by their agency that they had to do it, or they may have requested changes that resulted in the project being more God-glorifying than it otherwise would have been.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold a performer accountable for their work. There is, however, a godly and respectful way to do this, which you can read about in my blog post, aptly titled, “What to do when you disagree with a performer’s work.”
Tip #4: Remember why you’re doing this.
This is not about manipulating performers to live according to a particular interpretation of the Christian life or manipulating God to bring about certain outcomes in a performer’s life. Rather, it’s about showing performers that they have steady prayer support and offering them godly, Bible-based encouragement. In an industry (and a world) that can be harsh, critical, and downright destructive, such things are badly needed.
– Teresa Santoski
Looking for even more specific guidance on how to intercede for performers? Check out Prayers for Oppa, my performer/fan devotional, which features prayers and Bible verses on Good Health, Performance Safety, Loneliness, and other topics of interest to performers and their fans. For more information, including a sample chapter and how/where to purchase, click here.