Has the lockdown made you feel isolated and lonely? Are situations in the world making you fearful? Does remote schooling or working from home have you on the verge of madness? Are you experiencing health or financial stress? You don't have to face these issues alone. Vineyard will be offering two daily options for you to connect with the Holy Spirit's love and power to bring change through prayer.
On November 1, we will be rolling out text to pray all week long and a Vineyard prayer page on Facebook. When you text "Pray" to 98977 you will get a call or text back within 24 hours and someone will pray for you. On Facebook we will take prayer requests, and our pastors and congregation will be able to pray for you.
The pandemic has thrown a wrench into in-person prayer opportunities. I have talked with many of you who miss having an opportunity to receive prayer or pray for people.
However, we have seen the Holy Spirit powerfully touch people since the pandemic started. One person experiencing great loneliness received prayer over the phone and was filled with great love and comfort. A family juggling online schooling and working from home was filled with great peace and a sense of new strength.
The big question was how can we find a way to offer prayer to anyone during this unique season, so they may tangibly experience God's love and the Holy Spirit's power to change?
When COVID hit we started a care calling campaign whereby everyone in the church received a phone call from someone on staff to see how they were doing. At the end of the call, we prayed with many of you and saw the Holy Spirit act. People were healed and connected to God's love for them. These were powerful moments in uncertain times. We wanted you to have more opportunities to experience Jesus' love and power through the Holy Spirit.
During our online services, in the chat thread, many of us had opportunity to pray for people. One person was really struggling with depression, and I asked if I could call them. With permission, I called. Over the phone, on my back porch, I asked the Holy Spirit to come. It seemed the Spirit powerfully filled the person with His love for them, and the depression left.
We wanted to make connecting with the Holy Spirit through prayer more convenient for people who were interacting with our online services. Our technical experts on staff developed a system where anyone can text "pray" to 98977 during services and be immediately transferred to a pastor or person on our prayer ministry team's cell phone.
We now offer text to pray after every service, and our pastors and prayer ministry team are seeing God move in powerful ways. Pastor Diane Bauman shared that one person expressed feelings of hopelessness and despair when they first spoke. Diane said, "I prayed and invited the Holy Spirit to come bring her comfort and peace, and break the power of those feelings over her. She began to sob and expressed a powerful sense of being released from her sadness."
In mid-March, I thought of a friend who started taking prayer requests on Facebook last fall, and I wanted to try offering daily prayer requests through Facebook. Prayer requests started rolling in: people with cancer, in the hospital with COVID, financial and relational issues. My friends and I started praying for the people who were requesting prayer. One person requested prayer for an unemployed family member, and very soon after started a new job which they love.
On November 1, you will now have an opportunity on Vineyard Columbus' Facebook page to be connected to the Lord's love and power for change. We will have pastors and leaders praying for the prayer requests, and you will have the opportunity to request prayer and pray for others as you see the requests scroll in.
Remember, on November 1 you will have two ways to daily receive or offer prayer:
- text "Pray" to 98977, or
- visit the Vineyard Columbus Facebook page.
If you are on the prayer ministry team and would like to be part of this new ministry please email me.