In our blog, How to Start a Prayer Chain Digitally, we set the stage for this FAQ. It might be a good idea to take a few minutes to ready it before getting started.
As you read, Chad shared: “Younger users want text. The elderly want a voice message. It would probably be good to create separate Keywords to create two separate groups, or create a follow-up question that allows people to specify what sort of prayer alert they prefer to receive.”
He suggested that it might be more effective to “create separate Keywords to create two separate groups, or create a follow-up question that allows people to specify what sort of prayer alert they prefer to receive.”
So, we are going to do that in this FAQ, using Praytext & Prayvoice.
Step 1: Set up your two groups.
From the Groups and Keywords page, Add two new groups one at a time:
Group Name = Pray Text Prayer Request, Keyword = Praytext
Group Name = Pray Voice Prayer Request, Keyword - Prayvoice
You may want to add a few misspellings as alternate, acceptable keywords such as praystext, praytest, praysvoice, and prayvoic.
For your Autoreply, perhaps write something such as: Thanks. Happy to have you in our Prayer Chain.
For the alternate autoreply (people who try to join again), perhaps use: Thanks. You are already in this Prayer Chain.
Save each new group in turn.
Now, you can work with these Prayer Chain groups just like any other group.
Step 2: Make people aware of your prayer chain.
One excellent opportunity to do this is during your weekend church service.
Option 1: Below is a slightly modified form of the text/email from above. Make a [PPT] slide and post it on a screen.
We are setting up a digital prayer chain. Are you in? Which type of prayer alerts would you prefer to receive? For text alerts,text PRAYTEXT to 888-777-6543. For voice alerts text PRAYVOICE to 888-777-6543. ~Pastor John
Option 2: Use one of our free templates at https://pastorsline.com/free and complete it with your information. Remember to tell your audience about the difference between the two keywords, i.e. choosing the type of prayer alert the team member wants to receive.
You can also put this information on your church website and in your church bulletin.
Step 3: Send Prayer Chain guidelines.
Set up a few basic, but important ground rules to keep things on track. Consider the following:
- Be discrete—Prayer alerts are for prayer chain members only. They are not information to be shared in general.
- Pray often but authentically—Offer your prayers as frequently as you can but only when the Spirit speaks to you.
- Include yourself—Everyone benefits from prayer, especially when they are trying to help others.
Put your prayer chain guidelines on your church website and/or social media page(s) (i.e. Facebook).
Send your PrayText group an SMS with a message such as "Here are our Prayer Chain guidelines [link]."
Send your PrayVoice group a voice message such as "Look on our [church website/Facebook page] for our Prayer Chain Guidelines."
Step 4: Send Prayer Requests.
Each time you receive a prayer request (or several, as you prefer) send the information to your two groups, one via text message and one via text to voice. For example: "Please pray for Bob's mom who is in the hospital." or "Please pray for our new Family Study groups which begin next week."