If I want more people praying for the people I know and love, how can I ask others at St. Francis to pray with me?
Prayer is certainly more powerful when being exercised in community. St. Francis is committed to this way of praying. We state the first names of those who have asked to be prayed for publicly in our community prayers in worship every week, both in Sunday services and daily in the Morning and Evening Prayer offices. So, we pray for friends and loved ones at our public worship service. We also have a dedicated group, the St. Francis Prayer Circle, who pray for people as requested. Their work is confidential, though many of the names being prayed for by this group are offered in our public prayers.
Some further guidance might be helpful in knowing how to ask for prayer. First, the Saint Francis Prayer Circle was created to address prayer needs as they come up. That may mean for someone who has suddenly fallen ill, been diagnosed with an urgent medical condition, or is going to the hospital for surgery, either routine or emergency. That may also mean to pray for someone who is struggling with mental illness, addiction, or job loss. The Prayer Circle’s purpose is to address a broad range of prayer needs, immediately and continually. The facilitator of the Prayer Circle is Cathryn Lee, a long-time parishioner of St. Francis. The best way to request prayers from the group is to email Cathryn at email@example.com. Tell her the name of the person being prayed for, the thing the person is asking for (i.e. healing, support, comfort . . .), and whether the person wishes to be prayed for confidentially or publicly.
A second means of requesting prayer is to ask the Parish Administrator, Lynn Fallon, to add a name to our worship prayer list. That list is what you hear on Sundays and weekdays. In our public prayers we use first names only, in order to anonymize the requests. There is an overlap between the worship prayer list and the Prayer Circle’s list, but they are not exactly the same. If someone wants to be on both lists, we will happily make that happen. So, if you want a name on the publicly prayed for list, contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know the person’s name, the prayer concern, and how long you wish to pray for the person. We generally check-up on prayer requests every month in order to affirm names on the prayer list.
Finally, there is also the route of involving clergy. The Rector and the Associate Rector can both be reached by phone or email, and by appointment. To reach us by phone, call the office and follow the instructions on the phone message. The Rector’s extension is 102 and the Associate Rector’s extension is 103. Calls are forwarded to where we are and if we do not answer immediately, we will call back. Our emails are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. We, too, will follow your direction as to anonymity or public sharing, and if directed to do so publicly will let the Prayer Circle and the Parish Administrator know to add a name to the lists they maintain.
As a summary, praying using the power of the group is important. To be added to the Prayer Circle, email Cathryn Lee. To add a name to the list of people prayed for in worship, contact Lynn Fallon. For more pastoral support contact the clergy by phone, or by email. Tell us the person’s name, the concern, and if public prayers are requested.