Our Praybook – Like Facebook, Only More Prayer

Written by  //  June 10, 2011  //  Church Social Media  //  9 Comments

Last week, another new church-focused social network launched called Our Praybook. I’m a huge proponent of Christians sharing faith online both as an outreach and as a way to stay connected to other believers, however, I’m not sure it does the Christian world good to copy secular trends and devote them Christians. I’ve blogged quite a bit about how to harness Facebook for ministry.

I think it’s important to note that we are called to be encouraged by other believers as well as bring hope to non-believers. This can be done on any website or social network.

Here’s a bit of info on Our Prayerbook and what it seeks to accomplish:

Our Praybook, a new social network dedicated to prayer, humbly launches during the 6th Week of Easter 2011. The ecumenical, web community aims to inspire people of all faiths to come together and to devote more time to sincere “prayer with the heart” by providing multiple interactive features utilizing the latest in social media technologies.

Our Praybook is a completely free service, where members or “ePostles” are encouraged to share prayer petitions as well as to pray for the intentions of others in a way that is similar to updating one’s status. These prayers are shared on the “Love Stream” allowing other ePostles the opportunity to read and pray for them as well. Our Praybook is also formatted specifically for mobile devices including the iPhone and iPad, as well as some Android and Blackberry devices, so ePostles can share a prayer any time, anywhere.

In addition to status updates, prayers are encouraged and can be shared in a variety of ways like:

  • Engaging in LIVE “Pray Chats” or faith-sharing groups through webcams and microphones with friends and family members that can be set to either public or private
  • Earning “Rewards’ for increased prayer activity on the Love Stream
  • Linking one’s Facebook & Twitter accounts to share prayers on all 3 sites simultaneously
  • Saving the Pray Bookmarklet to one’s bookmark toolbar, enabling the user to share a prayer (and update Facebook and Twitter) from virtually any website
  • Sharing longer prayers and novenas on a community prayer board

26-year-old Charlie Wedel, developer of Our Praybook, shared that he was inspired, “since status updates and tweets are so popular right now, we thought it would be cool to create a social network to engage people in prayer where instead of updating your status, you’re updating your prayer intentions. Sharing prayers is so much more powerful than simply sharing a random thought.”

So what are your thoughts? Love to get feedback!

About the Author

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, consultant and blogger who loves the Lord and desires to encourage churches to better use technology to improve every aspect of ministry. Her blog, ChurchTechToday, was born out of a need to find a place to discuss how technology can impact the Church in positive ways.

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9 Comments on "Our Praybook – Like Facebook, Only More Prayer"

  1. Antoine RJ Wright June 10, 2011 at 7:43 am · Reply

    While I like the idea behind this, the quote in this article from the developer seems in direct contradiction of Matthew 6, where Jesus explains that prayer shouldn’t be handled in the public space but in private one’s. Any chance someone from Our Prayerbook could chime in on that to clarify please?

  2. Meredith Gould June 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm · Reply

    Speaking on behalf of @Virtual_Abbey (on Twitter), I note that we were initially happy to see yet another online community of prayer come into being. But that turned to concern when, after reaching out to the folks at @ourpraybook, we never received a response — not even to the invitation to join us for Vespers one evening! Odd.

  3. michael June 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm · Reply

    Hello! First I would just like to address Antoine’s valid concern, as we are very familiar with that passage and this is just a short response to our understanding of Christ’s teachings on prayer. We at Our Praybook believe that all forms of prayer are important and essential in life and the three forms of prayer we would like to promote include private prayer, family prayer and community prayer. We are not bible scholars by any means, and so we can not really comment on the Gospel or Christ’s teachings, however if you look at the Gospels as a whole, you will see that Christ Himself prayed with his family (as when he went up to Jerusalem with Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph for the feast of Passover when he was young), Christ also prayed with His disciples (with some especially beautiful prayers recorded in John’s Gospel) and Our Lord Jesus also withdrew to pray privately many times as well.

    Our Praybook is not trying in any way to replace private prayer, or prayer in the families or even community prayer such as the Holy Mass or a Vespers Service. We are instead trying to provide an additional form of community prayer online so that our members, along with their friends and family members, can be connected in a powerful way to instantly share prayer intentions with one another. Our Praybook is meant to serve in addition to the prayer life (private/family/community) that one already has so that one is prompted to pray even more. Our Praybook is also an invitation to start a prayer life if one does not yet currently have one.

    Please note that I also have a deep devotion to the Holy Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy and so each night on Our Praybook we pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy LIVE for all of the prayer intentions shared on Our Praybook knowing that God will also infinitely bless the prayer intentions shared on our Love Stream through these very powerful prayers.

    As for Meredith and @Virtual_Abbey… I am so, so sorry, but we did not yet receive your invitation to Vespers… if you can, please resend the invite to info@ourpraybook.com. I am so sorry you were concerned by not receiving a response from us, but please know we do answer each email that makes it through to our inbox and we would love to receive your invitation if you can resend it.

    Thank you both so much for your interest in Our Praybook. I hope you will consider joining us in this new form of community prayer.

    Peace,

    Michael Kaczmarek

    • Lauren Hunter June 13, 2011 at 9:55 am · Reply

      Hi Michael, Thanks for posting a response answering questions that were posted here. Most of my readers are Protestant, so I would like to ask if your mission for Our Praybook includes all Christ-centered Christian faiths, or if it is focused on prayer for Catholics. I appreciate your call to pray over all the prayers posted to your site and welcome any opportunity available for Christians to support, love, and pray for one another. Blessings on your ministry!

      God Bless,
      Lauren

  4. michael June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am · Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    I appreciate your follow up, thank you for your support! And in response to your question about Christians of other denominations other than Catholic becoming “ePostles” on Our Praybook, please know that we are an ecumenical, web community aiming to inspire people of all faiths to come together and to devote more time to sincere “prayer with the heart.” Our Praybook is open to everyone who would like to pray, and I am honored to already have members of multiple Christian denominations on the site, as well as a close Jewish friend who is now posting prayers with us. I am a practicing Roman Catholic, but Our Praybook is not in any way trying to prothselytize or promote one particular religion or faith, rather we are providing a new online “space” for lack of a better word, where people can come together and pray together as part of the “human family” which unites us all under God. You will notice if you create a free account and become a member that unlike Facebook, or other Social Networks, we don’t even ask for our ePostles to name their respective religions or denomination, as we are simply encouraging prayer without division.

    Aside from the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy which I am praying and broadcasting LIVE each night, please also note that we offer the ability to create unlimited prayer and faith sharing groups within Our Praybook. All ePostles who have webcams or microphones can instantly broadcast themselves on in the Pray Room as I currently am each night to host their own LIVE Prayer services. These broadcasts can be set to public or private, so if one does not want to be seen by everyone, and would prefer to simply pray LIVE with one’s own friends or family members, then that is possible too. Our hope is that as we gain more members, across all denominations, then people will utilize this service to create additional prayer groups and faith sharing groups which meet online to pray in whatever way is most traditional for them.

    I hope this encourages your readers, of all Christian denominations, whom we very much respect, to consider praying on http://ourpraybook.com . Please let me know if you have any other questions! Thank you and God bless you!

    Peace,

    Michael

  5. michael June 15, 2011 at 1:29 am · Reply

    Hello everyone, I just wanted to share some additional press we’ve thankfully received on Our Praybook – http://www.smdp.com/Articles-c-2011-06-14-72001.113116-Facebook-for-the-faithful-.html Thank you and God bless!

    • Lauren Hunter June 15, 2011 at 9:19 am · Reply

      Thanks for sharing the article, Michael. Great story!!

  6. Brian April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am · Reply

    There is this Christian application called Halluco which allows users to record prayer requests, update them, and record testimonies of how God answered them. Hope the suggestion is useful.

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