So, you want to organize a prayer chain? Well there are several things you need to do in order to organize one that will be effective, and will last for as long as you intend it to. This is especially true if you want to form an endless chain that has no limit set, along with whether you want it to be a daily chain or a 24 hour non stop chain of prayer. Perpetual prayer has been around for many thousands of years (if you would like to know more – Click Here for the History of Prayer Chains).and will continue to be around for thousands of years; this includes all religions and denominations.
The first thing you have to do is to determine whether you want it to be a local prayer chain, a national prayer chain, or one of those international prayer chains that facilitate world wide prayer requests and world wide volunteers. Some of the largest in this respect belong to the Catholic Church, with catholic prayer chains extending beyond all borders and being international – they facilitate millions upon millions of catholic prayer requests. So for your prayer chain, you need to decide whether it is going to be a local group that will form a perpetual prayer, or in the case that you are shooting for online prayer requests, how far do you want to reach everyone. Just know anything is possible, from local – all the way to world prayer requests and prayer chains. You need to decide whether you wish it to be for your denomination only or if you want it to be a nondenominational prayer request and prayer chain site or list. Even if you do not use the internet you can still make a prayer chain that is non denominational, meaning anyone who believes in God can participate. This is one of the other founding steps in deciding how you want the chain to be set up.
If you do choose the online prayer chain option, you will likely wish to create a website that has interactive updates, and automatic mailings. Additionally you may wish to include a simple yet effective prayer request form for ease of use. One of the benefits of using an online site based organization layout is that you will be able to have lists in a database. If you get a site designed well enough, you could literally have thousands willing to participate, and also have a system in place for backups should someone be unable to pray for the time slot. Tracking, organizing, and all other aspects can be extremely effective – and it is scalable from the smallest chains to the largest chains. Many popular Christian prayer chains use websites to do this .
After this comes the larger and bigger part of the project… the list itself. You will need to have a master list of volunteers. You should consider scheduling it out, and decide if you want a 24 hour operation or a 12 hour operation (both are perfectly acceptable). Once you have decided, it would be a good idea to print out a sample prayer request form which people can fill out (when it comes to the online request form you probably should consult someone). With this request form you should also make a volunteer form, that way you will kill two birds with one stone! Once you have enough volunteers, start calling and emailing them to see what times work best, and then start entering the data on the master list.
The master list can be a simple as a chalk board, or it can be a database with names, phone numbers, email addresses, and screen names for internet messaging applications; it could be all of that with automated notifications. It is important to have a master list and then to issue it to a few people who will help in reminding others of when they are to devote to the 12 hour or 24 hour prayer, and also to keep a list of backups. Who knows, perhaps eventually you will have an online world prayer center at the end of this – but we’re still at the beginning of the operation.
Now it is time to begin – start off the first hour or half hour of prayer yourself to lead by example. Maybe you can dedicate a room at your local church should they have the space and be willing, or perhaps you can have it done at home. Anyways, locations are no longer the biggest issue anymore – getting people to pray is the issue. You have to have a certain amount of trust in people because some may say they will pray – then forget – then say that they did when they didn’t. It is impossible to control this; however with numbers it can be avoided. The bigger operations might have two or more people praying in time slots, to cover if something like that could happen. Usually though, people will fulfill their obligation 99 out of 100 times.
Here is a startup checklist:
1. Decide on whether you are dedicated.
2. Decide on whether it should be non denominational
3. Decide on the total time per day (12-24 hours is usually good)
4. Decide on the technology you will use (chalkboard to internet)
5. Create a prayer request and volunteer form.
6. Start gathering information (volunteers, prayers, etcetera)
7. Set up the lists, have the master list, and keep it updated.
8. Begin the prayer chain yourself (sets a good example) 9. Read the next guide on running the prayer chain.
Alternately, you may just submit a prayer request on this website. One reason we set it up this way is to give people a fast and easy way to get others to help with prayer.
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