The Instant Prayer Request System
Today I’m going to show you a new strategy for boosting prayer requests at your church – it’s called The Instant Prayer Request System.
First, I’ll show you how to accept prayer requests at any time – 24/7.
Then, I’ll help you automatically send those prayer requests to the right people.
Sound good? Let’s dive right in…
Prayer can and should be possible within our churches any time, anywhere
No doubt about it, prayer is an integral part of what we do as churches. So why just leave it to Sunday mornings only?
Think about it this way…
There are 168 hours every week, while the average church service is just about 1 hour long. That means there are 167 hours every week beyond your Sunday service!
But you’re probably wondering, why is this so important?
Simply put, you and I are living through the single biggest communication shift in the last 500 years. We now have the opportunity to reach the people in our churches – not only on Sunday mornings during service – but also in the 167 hours beyond our Sunday services.
How can we do this? Online.
I like to say it this way: Seize The 167.
The Greatest Mission Field Of Our Lifetime
To make a point, according to Pew, in the year 2000 just about 5 in 10 American adults were online.1
Fast forward to 2018, and that number has ballooned to 9 in 10 American adults.2
It gets crazier though because for those younger than 50 years old, more than 97% are using the Internet.3
On the other hand, if you think the Internet is just for younger people, consider the following…
According to a report from Google, Internet usage amongst Boomers and seniors is massive as well.
For instance, for Boomers and seniors, the Internet is their number one source for finding information – more than friends and family, television, magazines, and newspapers.4
It gets better…
Boomers and Seniors also spend more time online than they do watching TV in an average week. How much time online in an average week? About 19 total hours online each week.5
Here’s the bottom line:
Just because your church’s demographics skew a bit older (which is very common in churches), don’t fall for the misconception that older folk haven’t adopted digital media and the Internet.
The average person in your church is spending 20X more time online each week than they are in church.
Because here’s the kicker: how much time are people spending at your church every week?
In my experience, a generous estimate is about one hour weekly.
Now, compare that single hour each week, to the amount of time a Boomer or Senior is spending online. One hour each week compared to nineteen hours. And that’s a comparison for Boomers and Seniors! We know Internet usage is even more prevalent with younger folk.
So as a baseline, it’s not a stretch to say that the average person in your church is spending 20X more time online each week than they are in church.
So what does this mean for you?
It means that the Internet is the single greatest mission field of our lifetime offering us unprecedented, unrivaled access to our churches and communities – unlike anything else we have ever seen in human history.
Let’s stop demanding people come to us – and instead, start going to them.
The Instant Prayer Request System is a great place to start.
The Instant Prayer Request System
The Instant Prayer Request System has two parts:
- Part #1: Allow your church to submit prayer requests beyond a Sunday service – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – any time, anywhere
- Part #2: When a prayer request is submitted, that request is instantly and automatically sent to a person in your church so they can begin praying and initiate follow-up if necessary
Now, the first step to introducing The Instant Prayer Request System in your church is to add a prominent ‘Prayer Request’ page to your church’s website.
Below you can see what this looks like on our example website: lifeabundant.ca
Nucleus is a new kind of church website builder that we built and one of the coolest features of Nucleus is that it comes with single-click page templates.
One of the page templates included with Nucleus is our ‘Prayer Request’ template. So within Nucleus, you can literally create an entire ‘Prayer Request’ page with just one click – that includes pre-written copy, a full prayer request form, confirmation messages, and more.
The Prayer Request Page Framework
Now, there are a couple of notes to make about our ‘Prayer Request’ page [shown below].
Firstly, I like to keep the ‘Prayer Request’ page short and sweet.
At the top of the page, you’ll see a simple message explaining why we think prayer is important, followed by a brief privacy disclaimer, and then we’re right into the prayer request form.
The prayer request form itself consists of just three fields: name, email, and the prayer request box.
Of course, you can add more fields if you choose, but this is how I like to structure my prayer request forms.
Also, notice that the entire page is incredibly short and concise. Because I want prayer requests to be easy for my church to submit. So I don’t like to weigh down this page with extraneous text or additional elements.
That’s not all though…
There’s one more element to the ‘Prayer Request’ page that is highly important – an element that is actually invisible until a prayer need is submitted…
The confirmation message.
The prayer request confirmation message is highly important because it offers immediate feedback to the person submitting their prayer request.
Upon submitting their prayer need, I want a person to know that we’ve received their request and that the team at our church will begin praying for them as soon as possible.
To accomplish this, we display a simple confirmation message [shown below].
Again, this confirmation message is key, because it offers immediate feedback to the person submitting their prayer need, and it lets them know the church will be praying for them.
So that’s what it looks like to submit a prayer request on the front-end, but how does The Instant Prayer Request System operate behind the scenes?
Behind The Scenes Magic
What I love about The Instant Prayer Request System is that it’s easy to share a prayer need with your church any time, anywhere.
But it’s in the behind the scenes that this process really shines.
Let me show you what I mean…
First, we need a database where all of our prayer requests are stored. Within Nucleus, we call this the ‘Submissions’ dashboard – it’s here where we’ll find every one of our prayer requests submitted and stored [shown below].
And this is a great first step…having a database to sort through our church’s prayer needs each week.
But remember, this is The Instant Church Prayer Request System and the operative term in that title is “instant.”
Because when it comes to prayer requests, sometimes a need is immediate. Of course, I don’t want to force my church to wait until Sunday to submit their prayer need. But I also don’t want our prayer team to wait when a new request has been submitted.
What do we do?
We activate email notifications for every prayer request submitted.
Within our prayer request form settings, we’ll first activate the ‘Enable Notifications’ toggle, followed by the email address we wish to send our prayer request notifications to.
But you’re probably wondering:
“Who should I send my prayer request notifications to?”
Here are a couple of options:
- A pastor or member of your lead team
- The head of the prayer ministry
- A rotating schedule of volunteers (similar to how musicians tend to rotate on Sunday mornings)
Here’s one innovative way to configure email notifications for prayer requests:
Let’s imagine there are five people on your prayer ministry team. Knowing this, every fifth week, each individual would be in charge of responding to prayer requests that come in through email.
When a prayer need is submitted, the person serving that week would instantly receive an email with the request detailed inside, and they can begin praying right away – as soon as they see that email.
It gets better…
Because you can configure email notifications for as many email addresses as you wish! You’re not limited to only one.
Seize The 167
The Instant Prayer Request System is a perfect example of seizing the 167 hours beyond your Sunday service.
Prayer is an integral part of what we do as churches. So why isolate it to Sunday morning only? Or to dedicated prayer nights only?
Prayer can and should be possible within our churches any time, anywhere.
With The Instant Prayer Request System, not only can the people in your church submit prayer requests with the touch of a button – but your staff and volunteers can be instantly notified and begin praying right away.