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Adapting Congregations’ Prayer Practices (Learning from the Lab)

What’s working for online and at-home prayer
by Lee Ann Pomrenke | January 8, 2021

In the midst of all that is happening, people of faith are certainly still praying. Yet, the ways we share prayer requests so that we might pray together have grown and changed due to the pandemic. 

We asked participants in the Learning Lab, How have your congregation’s prayer practices shifted during the pandemic? How can we best share prayer requests?

Here is some of what we heard.

We have enhanced the ways to submit prayer requests online:

  • Created a button on the church website specifically for prayer requests
  • Form includes permissions to use names publicly in online worship
  • Being intentional about using only first names in public communications of prayer requests

We gather prayer requests live during online worship:

  • Using the chat function on Zoom, requests can be sent generally to the entire group or privately to the administrator so that names can be altered
  • While premiering a worship video on Facebook live, prayer requests are written in the comments in real time

We add extra weekly contact specifically for prayer requests:

  • Sending a weekly e-mail with updated prayer concerns 
  • Outdoor prayer meetings 
  • Confidential prayer team prays through requests

Congregation members have set up home prayer stations:

  • Candles
  • Prayer books and journals
  • Bible
  • Prayer rock

Guided prayer Zoom sessions and recorded guided meditations offer new ways to pray

  • One congregation hosted a “prayer smorgasbord” leading a variety of prayer practices in one month so that members might discover new practices that are meaningful to them
  • Short weekly or daily prayer services over Zoom streamed to FaceBook live
  • Creating our own devotions of writing, artwork and videos from members is a way to lead each other in prayer

Your Turn

Do you have an idea that was not shared here? We’d love to hear about it! Join the free Learning Lab to share your ideas, participate in Dwelling in the Word, and build community. 

About the Author

Lee Ann Pomrenke

Lee Ann M. Pomrenke is an interim pastor in the St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA, digital content editor for The Faith+Leader, and author of Embodied: Clergy Women and the Solidarity of a Mothering God (Church Publishing, Inc, 2020). She also blogs at leeannpomrenke.com.

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