Prayer without borders – defying social isolation

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26 March 2020 | Tallinn, Estonia [Mervi Kalmus]  

After suffering from a mild temperature (and psychosomatic chest pains, of course) a couple of days ago, I realised the only responsible thing for me to do was to isolate myself and bring my social contacts to zero. It’s a strange situation for a minister, since being around and with people seems to be one of the most basic principles of our work. So, my first instinct was to throw up my hands and sigh in resignation. “Oh, I have been rendered completely useless!”

And then I remembered my ‘prayer experiment’ from last year when I publicly offered prayer for my Facebook friends. And suddenly I realised this is not only an emergency option in a situation where better options are out of my reach but that this could be a golden opportunity for me to make a mental shift about ministry in general.

So last night I wrote a post to all my Estonian friends saying that by simply liking my post they would be on my personal prayer list the next day. I also added that I was willing to offer a prayer through phone call, if someone felt they needed it. I usually keep my Facebook posts within the circle of my close friends but for the first time, I made my post public to anyone on Facebook.

I clearly have no idea how Facebook works since to my great surprise; my post has started to get ‘likes’ from complete strangers. I didn’t know it was even possible!

I try and approach this prayer ministry systematically. This means that I meticulously write down all the names in my ministry notebook, making sure I don’t miss anyone. Then I start praying. But as I finish praying for someone, I open my Messenger and send them a short message. “Hey, I just wanted to let you know I’ve been praying for you this morning. How are you? How are you hanging in there?”

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