Spirit-filled content creators test theological limits on social media.
Michael Paul Corder says he “cut his teeth” praying in public by going around to grocery stores and striking up conversations, asking folks if they wanted to pray. But even in the Bible Belt of East Tennessee, he found people were often hesitant or embarrassed.
Not so, he said, on TikTok.
Corder does a livestream open prayer every day, in which he prays for the hundreds of people who hop into the virtual chatroom without embarrassment. Many of his nearly 165,000 followers who join express feeling relief or calm when he prays for them. Their pain or healing is not something that can be verified, Corder admits, but still, he believes their presence testifies to something missing from their churches.
“At those churches, they’re not praying for the sick, or if they are, they’re not seeing results. At mainstream churches, you get more of a philosophical lecture,” Corder told Religion News Service.
Sometimes on his livestreams, Corder will pray in tongues—a practice popular among charismatic and Pentecostal Christians who say the unknown language is a gift from the Holy Spirit, as described in Acts 2.
“I think words are not the greatest at describing the sensation,” Corder said. “It’s being filled, it’s being baptized.”
“It’s a little mysterious,” he added, saying he speaks in tongues when the Holy Spirit moves him.
Pentecostal or charismatic TikTok is a thriving community of diverse Christians. It’s multilingual and multicultural and spans generations. Its hashtags have millions of views. Here, Christians who identify as charismatic, nondenominational, Assemblies of God, or Pentecostal all gather to share encouragement and witness for …