Each week, a group of Adventist Health chaplains and volunteers in Portland comes together to pray aloud for community prayer requests, one by one. It’s all part of Adventist Health’s commitment to demonstrating the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
“My dream is that people begin to know Adventist Health not only for the quality of our care or the kindness of our providers, but as the hospital that prays for them,” says Terry Johnsson, executive director of mission integration at Adventist Health in Portland, Ore. “In the competitive health care market, people mistakenly think hospitals are all about the money. Prayer is a gift we’re giving to the community — a gift of spiritual and emotional support — just because we care about them.”
It’s this vision that has inspired Adventist Health to launch a new program that makes the power of community prayer available to all, whatever their need and wherever they are.
Adventist Health’s PrayerWorks is a virtual prayer community, accessible from any computer or smartphone. On the PrayerWorks website, visitors post requests, concerns or struggles. They can read other people’s requests and stories as well as acknowledge praying for them or share a message of encouragement. There is even an ongoing tally that lets the person who made the request know how many times it has been prayed for — providing a tangible reminder that a community of faith is invested in these concerns.
According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Americans say they pray every day. While the majority of Americans may be praying, it’s a solitary act for most of us. We do it in bed, in the shower, as part of our morning devotion or before heading into a tough work meeting.
If we only pray alone, we’re missing out on a powerful component of worship. Matt. 18:20 reminds us that where two or three are gathered, God is there. PrayerWorks brings the power of community to people who might not know where to find it in their daily life.
Adventist Health’s mission is to provide physical, spiritual and mental healing. Patients who leave the hospital may be healed physically but often have other ongoing worries. With PrayerWorks, patients can stay supported spiritually and emotionally long after they leave an Adventist Health facility. Even though the majority of people living in the Pacific Northwest do not belong to a religious community of any kind, many still believe in God and more than 20 percent say they pray every day.
“When I visit churches throughout the Northwest, prayer is one thing that all churches can get behind. They appreciate that Adventist Health is developing a robust prayer network that will support our communities,” says Johnsson. “Ultimately, they know that PrayerWorks may be the first step on a journey that ends as part of a physical spiritual community.”
To put your prayers into the hands and hearts of people who care:
- Go to www.AHPrayerWorks.org.
- Click the Submit a Prayer button in the top right corner of the page.
- Type your prayer and click the Add Prayer Request at the bottom.
Or, if you want to support this growing prayer community, visit the website to read requests and let people know you’ve prayed for them.
Watch the video at bit.ly/AMCprayerworks to learn more.
Adventist Health in Portland is looking for volunteers to support this prayer ministry. If you’re interested in learning more about being a PrayerWorks volunteer, contact the spiritual care office at 503-251-6105.