You may have a prayer wall in your church or home already. If you have seen the power of prayer transform lives through that physical prayer wall, why not extend that ministry to online spaces?
Online prayer walls have become easy to set up. But how do they work? And how do we make them a success? Also, what do we need to consider as we launch and maintain one? Keep reading to find out!
A virtual prayer wall works much like a Facebook Group. It gives people a digital space to post about their prayer intentions. As others visit that page, they can pray over the needs others have shared and add their own needs.
Depending on the software program you use, people may even be able to leave comments on other prayer requests, effectively turning it into a social media platform for prayer.
As the administrator of the prayer wall software, it will be up to you to ensure it is maintained, that trolls cannot leave unwanted posts, and that your members feel their information is safe.
There are three ways to make one for your church.
Your website already has a lot of "digital real estate" for a prayer wall. Adding a page to the site to display prayer requests is an easy addition.
There are apps dedicated to giving your church a digital version of a prayer wall.
Some church software companies have created very modern customizable prayer wall apps that look great and offer a wide array of features that you may find useful for your ministry.
The app you already use at your church can likely give you exactly what you need.
The best option is to use the app feature that is part of your church management software. That way, you can give your church an app and a prayer wall within the same software you use to schedule volunteers, record giving, and send mass texts.
A great way to start a prayer wall online is to add a page to your church website.
Before you can display your prayer requests, you need a way of capturing them. The best way to do this is to create an online prayer request form that can be filled out by your church members. This form can be on your main wall and even linked to other areas of your church website.
You'll want to ask for the individual's name, email/phone number, and prayer request. Here's an example of an online prayer request form:
Pro Tip: Ask for consent to post a prayer request on your online wall.
As you gather the prayer requests, you'll want to post them. A simple way to add a prayer wall to your website is to create a custom page that displays a prayer list with all your individual prayers. You can even categorize prayers into ongoing prayer requests as well as praise reports.
There are some software platforms dedicated to giving your church a digital prayer wall. Some are free plugins, while others have a monthly cost to use them.
Pro Tip:Make sure that as someone requests prayer, a volunteer or leader at your church is monitoring the site so they can either pray over it or pass it along to the prayer team coordinator.
Today, many church websites and apps can incorporate a page to display prayer requests that members can post themselves.
There are software companies that make it easy to set this up. Some will even integrate with your website platform or your church management software. Or the ChMS you use may have what you need already.
Most church app software companies at least let you add a page to the app. Prayer requests can be added there by the administrator. However, there are some companies that exist to give your church an app where they can share their requestsand connect with other members.
Whatever program you use, begin announcing this new opportunity to your congregation every week for a few weeks before launch. Have your leaders add prayer requests so the page is already populated as members jump on board. Share about it on social media as the launch approaches and for a few weeks after.
Pro tip: Have a QR code for your church app? Add it to a sermon slide or announcement slide and prompt members to scan it and add their prayer requests, especially during service prayer time.
One pastor I spoke with told me:
I have a prayer wall on our website and a prayer request form on the app. People submit prayer requests through the app all the time, but no one uses the prayer wall on the site. I can't convince people to use both!
The reason for this is that these two things are NOT the same!
A prayer request form feels much more private and the members likely know the request is being sent directly to a ministry leader. A digital prayer wall is public and can be seen by the entire world.
If you have both and want to see engagement with one increase engagement with the other, here is the best way to do it: Include a field in the form asking if the person would like their request added to the digital prayer wall so that more people can pray over their need. You should also include the option for the sender to remain anonymous.
This field can also include asking if the prayer request can be read aloud and prayed over during service. Regardless of what you want members to do, make sure you get their consent first. But giving members this option will help increase how many requests are shared via every medium your church has.
Before you begin the work of setting up a digital prayer app, we have to know our people will use it and that it can be properly monitored.
There is one use case that shows how prayer walls can be a resounding success and definitely worth the time and resources to create one...
Many Christian radio stations have a prayer wall. And there are always people submitting prayer requests.
Here is what they do that leads to such a high level of success:
If you want people to use the prayer wall at your church, you HAVE to promote it constantly and incorporate it into your messaging. Otherwise, it will be like that exercise bike I bought two years ago - something I got with the highest intentions, but now just takes up space in my garage.
If your members are going through a difficult time, the best gift you can give them is an avenue to share urgent requests your prayer warriors can lift up to Jesus. It also makes it easier for your prayer team to know the needs of the congregation.
A prayer wall on your website or smartphone app can help foster a prayer focus in everyone's daily life and keep your people connected to the church throughout the week.