Healing Thoughts

What do you say when acquaintances mention on social media that they or someone in their family has a major health issue? Often, I see some version of this phrase, “Sending you healing thoughts.” I’m curious about this trend.

In recent years prayer seems to have morphed. People used to say, “I’ll pray for you,” meaning I’ll ask God/Yahweh/Allah to intervene on your behalf. Now when trouble strikes, the default phrases often are, “Thinking of you. Sending you healing energy.” 

I wonder if the change comes from a wish to be respectful of another’s spiritual beliefs, however informal or nontraditional those might be?

Or maybe people say those things when they aren’t sure of the recipient’s religious beliefs or if old-fashioned prayer will be appreciated.

Perhaps our language of concern has changed because fewer people practice the faith they were raised in. Judging from statistics, that’s a lot of Americans. Church membership is declining.

For formerly religious people, “Sending healing thoughts” may be more accurate than saying, “You’re in my prayers.”

Or perhaps social media just doesn’t feel like the place to mention something as personal as religious beliefs.

As a no-longer-practicing Catholic, I’m likely to say, “Sending you strength.” As if I can (I have no idea how or why this would work, but I want it to). At very least, I hope my friend will hear my sympathy and concern. 

Have you noticed this shift? How do you respond when you learn an acquaintance is dealing with a health issue?

9 thoughts on “Healing Thoughts

  1. I usually send prayers on social media. These days sending prayers seems to be occurring all too often.

  2. Yes, it is a trend and I think you touched upon a couple key reasons. One is the decline of religious belief/attendance, and also trying to be PC when one isn’t sure of another’s beliefs. I hope that the recipient understands that it is the caring thought and not how it travels to them.
    I believe that thoughts/prayers hold an energy of attraction (‘that unto itself is drawn’), so as long as that ‘energy’ is sent forth, it will be received. There are many double blind studies that verify this. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/enlightened-living/201007/the-science-psychology-and-metaphysics-prayer It is fascinating stuff!

  3. It is true, prayers seem to be more insignificant to those who change with the so called times.
    I am not embarrassed to say the word prayer, but I also like to say can I help, do something? I will check on you, etc. and simply put….love.

  4. I think the trend is interesting and says something about a cultural shift—certainly nothing to be “guilty of”! I know what you mean about social media responses being one of several ways we express concern.

  5. I have noticed (and am guilty of) this exact trend. While I often do send such responses, I also try to send a card (or several) so the person knows they remain in my thoughts.

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