– the site for sore knees
Prayerfeeder (http://prayerfeeder.com) is a simple, powerful and free internet tool, designed to help friends, families and communities pray with each other.
When the idea first floated into my consciousness during springtime this year (2007), I was most surprised to discover that such a website didn't already exist. I was anticipating a period of mass upheaval in my life, involving a new job and house move. My wife and I have been involved in a great home-group for a long time, and we wanted to find ways of staying in touch with the people we would leave behind. We looked for an on-line forum for sharing prayer requests, news, and, let's face it, gossip.
Well, the long-hoped-for job offer didn't quite come my way, but the idea for Prayerfeeder wouldn't go away, so I decided to set it up.
So far in my life, I've spent rather longer than is healthy working in IT. Most of my time has been spent writing software for a large Pensions company, so I know a lot about accuracy, client confidentiality and large databases. What I didn't know about was anything to do with programming for the internet. I've had to learn that from scratch.
At present, it's only me working on Prayerfeeder, and I get to spend most of the working week developing it. As well as programming, there are the branding, marketing and promotional aspects. Designing beer-mats to hand out at this years' Greenbelt festival was a particular highlight.
How does Prayerfeeder
Once you've sorted the basics, there are a few frilly bits too. To save getting inundated with prayers, you can choose whose prayers who see in your prayerfeed on each day. You can have your prayerfeed e-mailed to your Inbox regularly, and proper web-heads can have it exported to their newsreader or personalised home-page (we try not to tie you to the site itself). You can set up groups; so if there's a bunch of you in an emerging church community you can all see each other's prayer requests simply by setting up a little space for yourselves on Prayerfeeder. You can even target specific prayers at specific friends – particularly useful if you want to share confidential stuff with only one or two people.
Why should we use
Prayerfeeder in our group?
The great thing about Prayerfeeder is that it exists outside of any particular group or community. You can easily 'fence off' an area within it to share prayers amongst your emerging church community, but at the same time you can share prayers with your family, or the community you used to be part of before your moved house, or indeed anyone else you care about. If you do have a great website for your church with a members-only area, then you can import the prayers from your Prayerfeeder group (via Atom) and display them there, too.
The whole idea is to encourage prayer amongst existing groups, and also to enable us to be outward-looking, to recognise our interconnectedness with the whole body of Christ.
Haven't you heard
What does the future
Prayerfeeder is not an Emerging Church, but I'm hoping it will provide a useful service to members of emerging church communities all around the galaxy. Please do visit the website, register with your group, and let me know your thoughts.