A prayer chain is a list of people who agree to pray for a loved one during a troubled time. Prayer is among the most ancient of human practices, and to this day billions of people believe in its power.
Prayer transcends religions, denominations, sects and belief systems of all kinds. It is used in a multitude of ways: to seek comfort, make a request, ask for guidance, heal and restore, express sorrow, celebrate joy, give thanks.
Prayer: Simply Talking to Someone
At its most elemental level, with everything else stripped away, praying is simply talking to someone (importantly, someone who’s always happy to listen).
A prayer chain kicks it up several levels, because it is a group of individuals who’ve decided to pray together. This, theoretically, amplifies the power of prayer.
Praying as a group also fulfills another of our basic human needs: to connect, both with a power greater than ourselves, and with one another.
How to Start a Prayer Chain
Here are some guidelines that will help you and others in your sphere have an effective prayer chain — one that’s ready to pray for any person, or any care, at any time.
1. Decide Whom to Include in Your Prayer Chain
They should be dependable and willing to join in prayer, at a moment’s notice. These individuals can also expand the chain, even more, with like-minded people they know. Think about including your faith community, family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.
2. Communicate Prayer Requests
You used to be limited to phone calls and word of mouth. Now you can post requests on someone’s CaringBridge site or other social networks, or build an email list that allows you to send prayer requests to everyone with one click.
3. Respect People’s Privacy
Prayer requests may not always come with an explanation. A patient or caregiver may prefer privacy. A request can just be a top-line explanation, such as, “Please pray for a woman who’s moving into long-term care on Monday.” Or “Add Kathy to the prayer list.”
Being discreet is important, if that’s what your loved one wants.
4. Share Information Right Away
If you get word that the situation of one of your prayer recipients has changed, communicate it to everyone on your prayer chain so they can adjust their prayers.
Care to Share Your Own Tips?
Tell us how you’ve used prayer during a healing journey in the “Comments” section below.
Start a CaringBridge Site
A free CaringBridge online health journal allows you to update everyone at once and offers a scheduling tool to help you coordinate caring tasks.
(SOURCE: Hope Conquers All, by Sona Mehring, Copyright 2013, Page 172.)