New digital toolkit to help churches elevate prayer

NASHVILLE (BP) – In accordance with the SBC Executive Committee’s new prayer ministry assignment given by SBC messengers, a new technology toolkit devoted to elevating prayer through the convention has been launched today.

Titled, “Pastor’s Prayer Toolkit,” the new resource allows churches to be assigned a phone number where they will receive updates and things to pray for each day.

Once churches have been assigned a phone number, they have the option to invite church members to text the phone number to be added to the group to receive the updates and prayer requests. The toolkit also allows church members that join a specific group to offer updates and prayer requests of their own.

The Executive Committee’s emphasis on prayer ministry comes in response to messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting voting to a seventh ministry assignment to the EC calling for it to serve churches through elevating the ministry of prayer.

Specifically, the EC is tasked to, “Provide strategic leadership to lift up and promote coordinated prayer for spiritual awakening, ministry effectiveness, and the completion of the Great Commission.”

The EC partnered with and commissioned Gloo, a company focused on serving churches through technology, to create the digital resource.

Ronnie Floyd, Executive Committee president and CEO, said the toolkit will be extremely useful for churches wanting to increase an emphasis on prayer.

“The assignment given to us by the 2021 SBC messengers charges us to elevate the ministry of prayer in our churches, and this release today helps us do this for any pastor or church that wants the assistance,” Floyd said. “It is practical and helpful in every way.

“It is user-friendly, easy to understand in the way we have designed it, and overall, it will inspire people with tangible actions on how to elevate prayer in your church. I pastored churches for years, have led prayer gatherings for churches and for conventions with thousands in attendance. I understand what will move pastors and inspire them to elevate prayer in their church. This resource will help churches.”

Floyd added that the power of prayer is the key to unlocking a move of God throughout the convention.

“Living the Christian life and doing church in today’s world is impossible to do without the power of the Holy Spirit,” Floyd said. “Effective prayer occurs when we pray and when churches pray standing upon the authority of what God says in His Word and we talk to God about our need for Him and His power to be upon us. When churches pray, God moves His people to have a greater heart for Him and this leads to a greater spiritual power occurring in and through the churches.

“Churches need to be houses of prayer for the nations and be places where people really pray and talk to God individually and together.”

Steele Billings, Gloo vice president, said the toolkit will be a much needed practical resource to call church members to pray.

“The most practical way to call people to pray is through communication,” Billings said. “Text messaging is catalytic because it’s a very simple call to action. Text messages are the most effective and simple form of communication today, which is why it is really the perfect thing to be using to call people to pray. They can then be led by the Holy Spirit to feel the conviction to take the action they see in your message.”

He said the toolkit was created through Gloo’s text-messaging and communication tool named “Thryve,” and is a much more effective means of communication than email since 98 percent of all SMS text messages are opened.

Although the toolkit provides a variety of different resources and prayer strategies for churches, Billings said the resource is designed to be personalized for each church using the resource.

Once signed up with a phone number, churches can choose a template with which to get started, but can immediately begin editing and designing their own messaging plan according to their prayer needs.

Billings said he is passionate about trying to help churches teach their people to pray, because of his own personal experience growing up in church but struggling with prayer.

He said one of the goals of the toolkit is to provide churches with a digital resource that can help them join in prayer together, and also learn about how prayer positively influences their relationship with God.

Billings said Christians often say they don’t know how to pray. “They may feel inadequate many times because they don’t feel like they can do it correctly. Yet all throughout Scripture God tells us “speak to me, talk to me, cry out to me. … He invites us into a prayer relationship with Him regularly. This resource can help people gain heightened sense of awareness to the things God wants to join them in. We need to call our people to pray more, and the technology exists for us to be able to call our people to pray daily.”

Churches can sign up to use the toolkit by clicking “launch” at this link.

Timothy Cockes headshot
Staff Writer
Timothy Cockes
Baptist Press
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