Recently the Florida Southern College Chapel has implemented a new system known as “Prayer Line” where students can submit prayers via their smart phones.
Students can call or text 952-222-7729 to submit a prayer.
Church chaplain Tim Wright and Associate Chaplain Bryant Manning were the ones who came up with this system. However, this isn’t exactly a new concept.
Many churches have a prayer line and have had one for decades. A prayer line is a way for people in need to reach out to the pastoral staff of a church to let them know that they have something going on in their lives that they feel they need prayer for.
The pastor can then let other members of the church know, and everyone can be praying for this person. Usually how this system works is that there is a number tied to an answering machine, and individuals can call that number and leave a message expressing their prayer requests.
“We wanted to do something like that, but make it more useful to for college students,” Wright said. “So ours enables text messaging, which is the way most college students use their phones.”
Students can simply text in anything they want the church to know about or be in prayer about.
“Students can text in prayer requests, joys or concerns, and Tim and Bryant will pray for them throughout the week,” Amy Scroggin, member of the Hospitality Team and Campus Ministries, said.
This hotline also provides an anonymous option for students. Wright and Manning set up a Google Voice account that can send either a text message or transcript of a voice message.
“The phone number is there, but if a student wanted to maintain anonymity, they could,” Wright said. Wright is currently doing a sermon series in Chapel called “Masquerade,” which focuses on removing the figurative masks that people tend to hide behind.
“I invited students to share things that they might be struggling with, and the Prayer Line was another way they could do that,” Wright said.
“A lot of people have trouble being vulnerable or want to maintain an image,” Scroggin said. “The sermon series Tim has been preaching is about unveiling the mask we put on, not just as Christians but as humans. I think this hotline is a good start.”
This prayer-texting hotline is a system that is accessible to college students who want their prayers to be heard.
“I have heard of anonymous prayer boxes where congregation members can write a prayer, but never a texting service,” Scorggin said.
“I think churches who want to be in ministry with this generation have to stay up to date with the way this generation communicates,” Wright said. “That means having a presence on social media and utilizing the way that they use their smart phones.”
Wright and Manning are always looking for new ways to reach out to students and would like to encourage students to try Prayer Line out. If you would like to learn more about Prayer Line and how it works, contact Tim Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bryant Manning at email@example.com.