One family member is suspicious of technology and assumes it has some vague connection to a massive super power. He shies away from using the Internet, even using computers.
Regardless of those who hold back, communication technology is here to stay. Perhaps it started with Gutenberg’s printing press, invented over five hundred years ago for the mass reproduction of books. This technology revolutionized the way people communicate and learn.
In a few generations, we have seen other amazing changes in communication methods. Our grandparents used fence phones; we have call-display cellulars. Our parents understood Morse code; our children understand satellite conference calls, complete with large-screen video displays of those in attendance. Communication technology changes so rapidly that even experts struggle to keep on top of the latest inventions.
In another segment of this vast field, the Internet is now reported to draw hordes of consumers away from their television sets. Some are predicting that digital broadcasting soon will replace television systems around the world. They back up their claims with surveys that show many people prefer to be on the Internet rather than watch the tube.
Others claim the ‘Net is just a novelty that will wear off’ but maybe they need to think again. In 1943, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, reportedly said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” He had to eat his words. This technology is here to stay, at least until something new is invented.
Changes and growth in our technology is awesome yet God has a system that is more amazing. He offers us a means by which we can connect with Him that has never been declared obsolete and anyone can use it with very little instruction. Further, no matter where we are or what condition we are in, we are still able to communicate with Him.
Yes, prayer is never outdated or upgraded. It provides an instant link with the One who hears and answers our pleas. He understands it, whether we speak in English, French, Chinese, Russian or any other language. He hears us when we offer our words in silence, from the heart.
Prayer is also instantly translated into the correct request. Romans 8 explains, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. . . the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
Genesis records the first instance in the Bible of man talking to God when Adam offers his excuse for why he was hiding from Him. The last prayer is the closing verse at the end of the Bible that says: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
In between these utterances, the history of man’s sin and the story of God’s grace and redemption can be traced in the prayers of His people; prayers of contrition and confession, of pleading and complaining, of submission and also praise.
God remains in the business of hearing and answering prayer. My prayer journal is a personal reminder that He does what seems impossible to me, even that He takes time to hear (never mind grant) the requests I place before Him.
Book lovers know books will never be obsolete and radio and television have their usefulness. We value our computers (but don’t curl up in an easy chair with them) and the Internet provides a wealth of information, saving many trips to the library. Yet none of these can match the timeless efficiency and value of prayer. It is a marvelous “technology” from God that is in a class all by itself.