And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
When Ellie Dowling, age 12, wrote a note on her bulletin tear-off and dropped it in the offering plate, she had no idea that soon thereafter a card filled with the prayers and signatures of her church family would make it’s way to her home. Ellie had asked for prayers for her grandmother, who has been ill for some time, and in response, our Prayer Card team wrote a note of prayer and encouragement and then placed it on the Prayer Card table so that congregants could share in the privilege of praying for Ellie’s grandmother as they signed the card. The next week, Ellie dropped this note in the offering plate: “Thank you for answering my prayer requests! It is amazing that you read every one. I am going to tell my grandmother!”
"We wanted to find a way to let folks know that they were being prayed for..."
One of the ways that this big church feels smaller is by sharing each other’s burdens. This was the hope of Sarah Reiter, Director of Care and Community, and Pastor Holly Wilson, when they first began the Prayer Card ministry. Sarah says, “We wanted to find a way to let folks know that they were being prayed for, a tangible response to the requests that were made each week. And also, so many people were willing to be a part of our prayer ministry, desiring to pray for and with others in need. Prayer Cards allow us to lift each other up and share our hopes and our sorrows.”
In February of 2017, Sarah asked her talented friend and co-worker, Alyssa Carroll, to design cards for the specific use of the Prayer Card Ministry. By late February, Sarah and Pastor Holly were writing the first notes on Prayer Cards and placing them at tables for folks to pray over and sign. At both Traditional and Contemporary services on Sunday and now at the Wednesday night and Thursday morning Pastor’s Bible Study, Prayer Cards are an important part of worship.
“My family and I wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your thoughtful note and generous prayers…Your prayers have been felt—it’s the reason we have been able to smile.”
Sarah estimates that they have sent over 600 cards since February, and each week, she receives notes and words of thanks from the recipients of prayer cards. Upon the unexpected loss of a family member, our church family prayed for and sent a prayer card to Allison Cornwell, who wrote back with these words: “My family and I wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your thoughtful note and generous prayers…Your prayers have been felt—it’s the reason we have been able to smile.”
In James 5:16, we are promised that “the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” Believing this truth, we will continue to be a people who pray for one another. To be a part of this ministry, look for the Prayer Card tables in both Traditional and Contemporary worship spaces as well as in the Pastor’s Bible Study on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.