Digital prayer groups

Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

This morning I had the following idea. I would try to gather a group of 2 to 9 friends around the world who agree to have a weekly voice meeting of about one hour where we would exchange, discuss and agree upon a written common prayer, which one of us would publish in a weekly prayer blog.

The main outcome of each meeting is to produce a text that summarizes what we ask from God, inspired by Matthew 18:19 where Jesus says “if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

The group meetings themselves are not public. The members should know each other personally, or at least get acquainted, and invest some part of their meetings to exchange about their personal real lives.

Here is how I imagine the agenda of such a meeting:

  • Arrival : How do you do? Who is missing? Who is going to lead the meeting?

  • Inspiration : Reading from a Holy Scripture, with explanations if necessary.

  • Share : every member shares what they personally heard from the text. The others just listen actively.

  • Meditation : remain together in silence for a minute or ten.

  • Brainstorming : collect answers to the question “What are we going to pray for?”

  • Discussion : the secretary (who shares their screen and is assisted by the others), writes their common prayer text and, when everybody agrees with the formulation, sends it by email to every member.

  • Farewell : When will be our next meeting? Who will choose the inspiration text?

My group would be a guinea pig or proof of concept for a world-wide network of similar groups. If it works, I would publish and maintain a “guide for digital prayer groups” and a list of all known groups. Each group would have a “secretary”, i.e. a volunteer who writes down their weekly prayers and publishes them in the name of the group. Prayer group members would be invited to follow the prayers of other groups, but that’s not a requirement, the important thing is to formulate our prayers, nothing more and nothing less. The members don’t need to be Christians, the system should work for any faith culture.

At the moment I seriously mean weekly, not just monthly. Not sure whether this rhythm will change after the pandemic.