Beginning an Online Prayer Ministry
By Rev. Eric Swensson
Prayer encourages us to have hope in struggles. Those who have been blessed spiritually want to encourage others, especially to experience firsthand the deep well of Jesus Christ's blessing. Have you or your congregation considered making encouraging prayer a major focus of your spiritual life?
Perhaps you have already discovered the amazing way God has answered prayers through an online prayer ministry and you would like to know if it would be possible for your congregation to do the same. How would you begin?
Actually, it is very simple if your congregation already has a web site. The main idea in my congregation is that we want to encourage people to pray. The word "encouragement" is one of those words we use every day without thinking where it came from or what it really means. En-courage-ment: to place courage into another! How wonderful it is that God has given us such a part to play in the spiritual lives of others! Encouraging prayer is practicing the fruit of the Spirit: to help another know of the Spirit's power for strength, perseverance and long-suffering. Encouragement goes way beyond using kind words (though we all know how much we have been helped by a well placed encouraging look or word).
How do we encourage prayer more effectively? First, just by letting others know that prayerful people are there around the clock praying for them, regardless. That goes for any prayer ministry, but especially here. Next, by identifying a team of people to pray for the requests you will receive. If your congregation already has a web site, all you need to do is to begin a page, write a succinct description of your intent, and possibly make some additional information on prayer available.
Then begin! In the meantime, you have plenty to pray about by asking God to bless the new prayer ministry, to guide some people in your congregation to participate in the online prayer ministry, and for some to become the people who will be blessed by participation in an online ministry.
If you want any more info or ideas, go to my prayer page: http://www.holytrinitynewrochelle.org/prayer11890.html
We have quotes from spiritual giants to en-courage people to pray more. You can copy any of the material there.
You can contact me through it, and yes, I'd love the opportunity of praying for your new online prayer ministry of encouraging prayer.
May God richly bless you, Rev. Eric Jonas Swensson