Online prayer is becoming more popular and common. It provides an important opportunity to connect with others, as well as encourages new members and younger generations to become involved in the church community while separated during the pandemic. Moreover, it allows you to pray with other people at any time of day, from anywhere in the world.
If you’ve never taken part in online prayer before, it can be daunting knowing where to begin. Here are some steps I took on my journey into online prayer that I hope will encourage you to embark upon your own journey.
Begin With Private Online Prayers
I began my journey into online prayer through the private prayer option offered by my church. I was able to send my prayer to a designated email address and in due course, I received a response. As I became more comfortable with this, I moved on to public prayer posts.
“For many people, especially members who are older or more reserved by nature, the prospect of posting a public prayer can seem really intimidating. The key is to remember that the other members posting their prayers are just like you. They are there to support and encourage you,” says Trent Hoff, a blogger at Paper fellows and OX Essays.
Use Anonymous Prayer Requests
Perhaps you want to know that there are others praying with and for you, but are not ready to reveal your identity publicly. I found that many churches offer an anonymous prayer request option or have an alternative which only uses initials, which is ideal for such situations.
Check The Prayer Guide
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming knowing what to pray for, especially in a public prayer. My church offers a prayer guide, which I found both inspirational and educational. It provides a list of common topics other people have prayed for, as well as a guide on how to pray. I found this was really comforting and very useful, especially for new members.
Share Your Prayers To Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool and an increasingly normal part of daily life. As well as posting your prayer publicly within your church’s website, consider sharing it to your social media pages as well. This allowed me to reach out to more people and also helped me to boost my church’s profile and reach in the public domain.
Participate In A Prayer Chat
Not all churches have this option, but I would highly recommend making use of it if yours does. It is a beautiful experience to partake in a prayer chat with other members of your church community. It’s very reassuring to know that whatever time of day, I can access this feature and find someone who I can talk to.
Participate in a Weekly Live Liturgy
Many churches, including mine, have been forced to move their services online due to the pandemic. Participating in their live liturgies has helped to make me feel less disconnected and allowed me and my family to come together, alongside our church community.
“Weekly live streams where the pastor leads a prayer session have been a fantastic way to boost morale and allow communities and individuals to reconnect with one another during the darkest times. Some churches even host multiple live sessions throughout the course of the week, with some sessions lasting for longer periods of time or live prayer sessions being held at different times of the day. Crucially, this allows for flexibility so that more members can participate,” says Charlotte Ratcliffe, a spiritual writer at State of writing and Essay Roo.
Engage With Prayer Updates
Prayer updates have been a real comfort for me. Often, you have the option to provide updates on your prayer requests. This is a really powerful way to let others in the community know how things turned out. Personally, I think this helps to make the online community more social, as well as providing closure for those who have engaged with your prayer.
At a time when we are unable to physically come together in a church, technology can be used as a positive tool to bring us closer together. Although it is not a replacement for worshipping in person at church, online prayer provides a flexible tool and opportunity to reach out to others, find comfort and know that you are not alone.
How has your prayer life changed during the pandemic?
Kristin Herman is an experienced marketing writer at UK Writings and Academized. She has written for a number of online magazines and blogs, including Boom essays, amongst others. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys participating in her church community, especially supporting new members as they begin their journeys.