Prayer on the Bluff
May 9, 2017 / By Pastor Sandi Pearl, Bluff Point UMC
Editor’s Note: Bluff Point UMC uses two unique methods of praying for members of their congregation and beyond: One Call Now and Prayer Cards.
One Call Now
Bluff Point UMC uses One Call Now to communicate with members of our church family. Any family can sign up to be added to the One Call Now list. At Bluff Point the One Call Now technology allows the Pastor, or someone designated, to inform the congregation of prayer requests occurring outside of worship. The prayer request will come to Pastor, through email, a phone call, text message, in person, etc. and within minutes the prayer request can be sent out to the church family.
This is how it works. An app is on my iPhone (I am sure there is an app for all phones), I record the message, choose the group of people who are going to receive the prayer request, schedule the time it is to be sent and the message goes out to those on the list. Everyone gets the same information, at the same time! Later in the day I receive a report telling me how many people answered the phone call and how many messages went to a voicemail or an answering machine.
My messages simply state what the request is (a condensed version of the request) and then I pray with everyone for the request. One Call Now is the way to go to ensure everyone gets the same message and everyone takes a moment to pray for the situation.
One Call Now can also be used to cancel meetings, send out reminders of events, ministry opportunities, team meetings, and has a feature for simple surveying of members. This process can also be used from a regular phone through a system of passwords. At Bluff Point we give the information to all team leaders, the choir director, and other key people who use the building. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During worship, prayer requests (celebrations or concerns) are written on prayer cards and brought to the front of the church where they are read, out loud, by the pastor and the person who brings the cards. After the cards are all read through the pastor prayers for the group of cards, ending with a congregational Lord’s Prayer. The cards are then sent back out into the congregation for people to take and add to their daily devotions. I am careful with the process for the cards coming back into the congregation every week to ensure visitors know they can take a card and have a responsibility.