Piper's Twitter Tweet: What?!
This morning I studied French, read my Bible and perused a book about art. It's part of my ritual.
Later I will go on Twitter and see what my friends are chatting about. As a work-at-home writer, editor and mother, Twitter is like a nice trip to the coffee shop that would be hard for me to otherwise manage. I can go to this "coffee shop" between frying onions and stacking dishes, planning my next speaking assignment and writing an article.
Just because I go to Twitter doesn't mean I didn't study French, read my Bible and look at a book about art. It's not a replacement for those things; it's a separate and pleasurable part of my life.
I'd be willing to argue that the social connection of Twitter alone is valuable, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. On Twitter I've become part of a poetry group that writes poetry together for an hour straight every other week. (A handful of those poems even made it into my book InsideOut, and they are actually some of my favorite poems.) On Twitter, I've connected with readers in a way that I wouldn't if they simply read my books (which is one-way relationship, after all). I've made and solidified business connections all over the nation. I've even promoted charitable efforts like The $10 Challenge (which, it could be argued is itself a form of prayer-in-action).
And this is why John Piper's Twitter tweet strikes me as simplistic, reductionistic. Twitter is just a tool, a pastime, like any other. If a person doesn't want to pray, it's not like Twitter is the enemy. I know people who hike, garden, drink, watch TV, write books, speak at conferences, exercise, and do any number of other things that lead them into or away from prayer.
Do you want to pray? Tweet your prayers if you like. Or plan a daily morning ritual, the way I do to study French, read my Bible and look at books about art. Oh, and if you pray on Twitter, I think it would not be a bad idea to include a little @JohnPiper, in case he has time in his schedule to pray with you.
Or just have a nice hot cup of Twitter coffee. After all, Jesus himself liked a good party. He even provided the wine.
Tspoetry Twitter Screen photo, by L.L. Barkat.