Prayer and the Web
1. Prayer needs for IE Day
Our email newsletter (sign up on this page) will also bring you prayer points. Here are some ongoing needs:
- For many newspapers and magazines to focus in IE Day in the run-up to April, or to reprint our various free articles.
- That our Church Site Tool will be syndicated into other sites, and that it helps churches to understand the issues involved in making a site which is user-friendly to non-Christians.
- That our blog advice page will be widely used and syndicated into other sites, and that more Christians will start using blogs to share their faith.
- For the web evangelists whose stories we feature.
- For major ministries and denominations to partner with IE Day and make it known to their members.
- For more websites to link to the site, or promote it in email newsletters.
- For groups to take on promotion of IE Day in New Zealand and South Africa and other locations, and to translate it into other languages.
- Wisdom and protection for the Coordinator and small team involved in IE Day.
- That churches and other groups planning a Day will remember to tell us about it, and report back afterwards.
- Need for web outreach to the 10-40 Window.
- Many more outreach sites for Japan and China.
- Need for web evangelism training modules in Bible college curriculums.
2. Your own prayer coverWe also encourage anyone involved in web ministry to get regular prayer support. Just because you may be working at home in your spare time, or in an office, you are still in the front line.
“Stay alert, be in prayer, so that you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive.” (Mark 14:38 Msg)The Web has revolutionized prayer for evangelism. No longer do prayer requests have to wait for a prayer letter or printed magazine. Now urgent prayer requests can be flashed around the world within minutes to an audience of thousands. Missionaries are never more than an email away from their support base. Christians have never been better informed, or more in touch.
“I'd look at one of my stonecutters hammering away at a rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet, at the hundred and first blow, it would split in two, and I knew it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
– Jacob A. Riis
Prayer is relevant to online evangelism in two ways:
For the evangelistsIt is very easy to think that online evangelism, done in the safety of your own home or office, is not ‘real’ evangelism, and does not merit the sort of prayer cover that someone should receive when working in a front-line ministry, whether in their home country or overseas.
This is totally not true! Anyone sharing the Gospel online is in the dangerous zone, and needs consistent, ongoing prayer support. If you are involved in online evangelism (whether spare-time or full-time), make it your business to find a support base of friends in your church and beyond, who will pray regularly for you. Design a prayer card. Send regular email or printed prayer letters. Encourage your prayer team to feel very much part of your ministry.
The Enemy will seek to drag down any effective evangelist in numerous ways: attacking weak areas in their personal or family life, health, their appropriate use of time and priorities, temptation to view inappropriate online material, and sowing doubts and depression – the usual stuff. I know a number of web evangelists who have suffered considerably, and are certainly in need of ongoing prayer.
John Edmiston, a key worker in web evangelism, writes,
“I find my online ministry rises or falls depending on how much prayer is happening for it. Quite a few missions say that around 40 prayer partners is the minimum you should aim for. My safety net is: ‘Send weekly brief prayer points to at least 40 Christians who have chosen to pray for you.’ In my decade online I have found that this is the minimum amount of prayer needed to feel blessed and powerful in ministry. Less prayer than this seems to leave my ministry vulnerable to spiritual attacks, and nagging technical problems. Also frequent short prayer notes seem to work best and keep people motivated to pray.”
Online evangelists need prayer too for freshness in creativity
(2 Chron. 2:7,13-14),inspiration in writing (Ps. 45:1& Hab. 2:2),wisdom in counseling (2 Cor. 1:3-5),and insight into technology. Prayer is an essential part of planning an outreach site, as Doug's testimony shows.
Paul says...We see this dependence on prayer support in the life of the archetypal evangelist and church planter – Paul. He asks for prayer:
- that the message be effectively transmitted through him:
2 Thess. 3:1, Eph. 6:19-20.
- for clarity in use of words:
- for deliverance from danger and pressure, even despair:
2 Cor. 1:8-11.
- for specific opportunities:
In his writings we also see:
- how he honestly shares the personal pressure he feels under due to his ministry:
2 Cor. 11:28-29.
- the dangers of temptation, and the need to look out for each other:
- that our ministry is spiritual warfare and many problems and attacks will originate
at this level:
For seekersMany people contact evangelistic sites asking for help and counsel. While of course these messages are confidential and should be treated as such, many outreach ministries create a private network team of people who will pray for such contacts. This news can be circulated on a daily or weekly basis by email, with full names and addresses removed.
It can seem impersonal to pray for people you have never met, and situations which may be only briefly described. But God will honor such praying, which is essential to effective online ministry.
See Practical Prayer Evangelism – praying for individuals.
Follow-up of seekers needs counseling gifts and training.
Links on prayer
- that the message be effectively transmitted through him: