Last week I announced on Facebook to my family and friends that I was headed to surgery again on my back. More about that later, but the response I received on Facebook made me realize why Mark Zuckerberg has become the fourth richest man in the world.

My list of Facebook friends responded to news with best wishes, but more importantly with promises of prayers for my healing and well-being. This is not an uncommon experience on Facebook when people share challenges such as mine. Some of the people I am friends with on Facebook are from high school. Some friends I have not seen in 36 years. Some I see every week.

Facebook accounts, which had 1.59 billion active users as of December 31, 2015, is an amazing tool that connects people on so many levels with thoughts, well wishes and prayers among them. It is an interesting twist for a website that was originally used by Zuckerberg to rate Harvard students as “hot or not.” Today, the service is perhaps as much an example of the power of social media as it is of human power to change things around us.

It is my contention that in Facebook, Zuckerberg has created the greatest single tool for the increase in prayer that the world has ever seen. Prayer is now exponentially greater because people from all times and places of my life, whom I am connected with on Facebook, can stop and pray for me.

If you were told that someone could exponentially increase the amount of prayer taking place around the world, from country to country, from billions of people, what would that be worth? I think it could be worth a fortune, and so it is part of the value of Facebook.

I do believe in the healing power of prayer, its positive energy and love shared with the person hurting, and the positive impact that has on their emotional state while healing. Love shared can make a difference among friends, family and even strangers.

With this support, I have great hope for a successful surgery and recovery. It gives me hope and determination to work hard to come back from this latest health challenge. So I thank all of you who may also include me in your prayers and thoughts.

On Tuesday I will undergo a second surgery on my back, this for a recurrence of spinal stenosis on the vertebrae just above where the previous surgery was. This is not an uncommon experience, and could be expected for someone like myself who is predisposed to arthritis. I will be in the hospital for three or four days, then off to a rehab hospital for a week of recovery and instruction on the right ways to recover from back surgery.

While I am away we will once again feature guest editors for this newsletter, as it’s almost a tradition since my knee replacement surgery in 2013. Don Wilson of DRW will be our guest editor the first week of March and Martin Mosbacher will return for another turn as guest editor the week of March 7. We will announce other editors soon.

In the meantime, the staff of John Lothian News shall continue to produce high quality newsletters, video content and work on our wikis.

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