What comes to mind when you think about a glass of milk?
Wholesome sustenance? Warm childhood memories of sitting around the dinner table? An afters-school snack with homemade cookies? Or Oreos? Memories of Mom or Dad wanting to ensure that you drink your milk so that you can grow up strong and healthy?
Prayer can be this same kind of nourishment for body and soul – its tendrils reaching deep into one’s spirit to strengthen, encourage, comfort, and fortify. At PlanHero, we have a front-row seat to efforts across the globe to bring people together in prayer: prayers for loved ones who are suffering, prayers for those venturing into new, challenging endeavors, prayers for refugees, prayers for political outcomes, prayers for local community improvements, and so many more.
Sometimes our lives and our world can make us feel as though we are impotent to make change…the problems just feel too overwhelming. Community prayer is a way to make us feel active rather than passive in addressing these problems. The first step is to determine what kind of prayer initiative will work for you and your community. Are people more likely to participate if the prayer time spots are shorter or longer? Do you want to invite just a small group, the whole congregation, or the community at large? If you’re considering the community at large, do you want to encourage participation from all faiths? Or stick to those who believe similarly to your own tenets?
Next, you will need to consider the duration of your 24-hour prayer. Is this a single event for you? For example, do you want to pray for a parishioner the day before and the day of their surgery? Or do you want to pray through the week following the surgery for continued healing and support? Note that you can use our Message Invitees feature
to provide daily updates to those who are praying.
If your prayer initiative is broader, say to engage your entire county, think about your ability to sustain your initiative. Do you have the bandwidth to keep the 24-hour prayer alive and engaging for a year? For several years? Can you cultivate a successor to take on the project when you’re feeling the need to move on?
For our part, we make the process
of creating community prayer easy. As can be implied from above, community
can mean a group of friends or family, a congregation, or an outreach to a broader group such as a city, county, or state. A 24-hour prayer signup can literally be created in minutes with our Signup Tool.
For longer term initiatives, the remaining challenge then is keeping the content current for the particular week or month’s prayer. You can include hyperlinks in the Description area of our signups to a prayer guide PDFs (or similar) as needed. But the key here is to consider your own limitations with respect to sustaining the initiative that you launch.
To get started, we recommend viewing with our short video tutorials. We designed PlanHero to be very user-friendly and intuitive, but the 2-3 minutes invested in watching the video(s) can give you a real head start.
(4 minutes) – this is the easiest type of prayer signup.
(3 minutes)- this is takes a bit more set-up time.
Once you’ve created your prayer signup, you can copy the signup link and paste it into an email blast, social media channels, a text blast, and your website. People can start signing up immediately. We will send them an email confirmation of their signup, as well as automatic email and text reminders.
We’d like to note that our dashboard, signups, email confirmations, and email notifications contain no advertisements…ever. We believe ads (the content of which you as the organizer have no control over) can be both distracting to the user and conflicting with your messaging. In addition, no account creation is required for a person to sign up. This can be another barrier to participation.
So what’s stopping you? Come on baby, drink your milk!
Want to learn more about prayer initiatives and hear from a church communicator who’s been planning them for a while? Check out the Church Comms podcast episode: Creating A 24-Hour Prayer Initiative. Listen here
or wherever you get your podcasts.
Use promo code churchcomms15 (case-sensitive) to receive 15% off an annual subscription!