Lori Love of Columbus knew her breast cancer was in an advanced stage.
But so was her support network. In a matter of days, members of multiple churches, including friends and strangers alike, were lifting her situation to God daily.
“I just knew there were lots and lots of people praying,” Love said.
Five years later, Love enjoys a clean bill of health — and also enjoys sharing with others the power of prayer chains and prayer teams. She first saw such an impact 18 years ago when her mother recovered from a brain aneurysm while surrounded by multiple churches’ petitions.
Then, a brother dramatically bounced back from the same diagnosis — after doctors originally thought they would have to remove a part of his brain and drastically alter his life.
If he even lived.
Nancy Lewis, director of First Christian Church’s women’s ministries and a liaison for the church’s prayer team, said she explains the importance of joint prayer with Scripture.
“It says in God’s word that, where two or more or gathered in his (Jesus’) name, he’s there,” Lewis said.
She also is part of a loosely organized, 110-member Facebook group called Prayer Warriors. Requests range from recovery from heart attacks to family members to come to faith.
One woman asked for God’s help to break an intense food addiction.
At Columbus’ Westside Community Church, Care Ministry prayer team members prayed in 2011 for one fellow Christian as he underwent surgery for a tumor removal. Only one problem surfaced well into the procedure.
When the surgeon looked inside the patient’s body, the tumor — so easily visible on tests and x-rays — had disappeared.
“I think numbers (of people) praying can matter,” said Westside coordinator Joe LaFauci, referring to Scripture speaking of two praying people chasing away more demons than just one in prayer. “But it also can depend upon who’s praying.”
At Westside, prayer requests are disseminated to about 200 people mostly by emails and text messages. Prayer team members and others also gather monthly for a prayer breakfast to bring others’ needs to God.
LaFauci understands that many are skeptical of prayer’s power in a sometimes-cynical world.
“But prayer is active,” he said. “And it makes a major difference in God bringing his will to pass.”
LaFauci and his wife, Leah, believe in joint prayer enough that they have also formed a prayer team in their subdivision, and lift up neighbors’ needs.
Terrace Lake Community Church’s Jeff Jewett mentioned that privacy sometimes can be an issue for some when submitting a request to a team of volunteers or staff. But he said positives outweigh negatives among those reaching for help.
He remembered one family who recently thanked members for prayer that brought them peace when a relative was rushed to the hospital with seizures.
“They found it extremely comforting,” Jewett said.
A prayer group of 10 to 12 people at Second Baptist Church resulted from a midweek Bible study, according to Roxanne Stallworth, coordinator of women’s ministries. Petitions are shared via email and texts.
She herself has offered her own prayer requests.
“Have I seen prayers answered?” she asked. “Absolutely. Do I have some requests still to be answered? Absolutely.”
eight years — a list for both prayer and praise. Started as a phone tree
But everybody’s schedule is different.
“If they don’t have a lot going on, they can really pray.”
“Sending something by text or email is far quicker than a phone tree,” said LaFauci.
“The only disadvantage to using someone’s cell phone is, at least with my carrier, it cuts off parts of the text message,” he said. “But it at least alerts you so you can later get the full message from the email.”
“My Bible tells me that God wants us to pray,” La Fauci said. “And prayer is active. It makes a major difference in God bringing his will to pass in our lives.”
primarily use email that reaches about 200 people
some send them directly to him and then send them out
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!comments powered by Disqus
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.