Online prayer groups seek healing despite social distancing

By John W. Coleman

Churches and church groups are busily using online videoconferencing services—especially Zoom—and also free conference call services during these social distancing days for worship, meetings, Bible study classes, and increasingly, for prayer. Now, even larger groups are engaging in Zoom prayer meetings to broaden their reach.

Clifton Hubbard, president of the Eastern PA Conference UM Men, invited other conference members to join him on a new, two-hour, online Power for Prayer meeting on Zoom, sponsored by UM Men of the Northeastern Jurisdiction.  Bishop Peggy Johnson joined in a recent call, which “was very inspiring for all the men present,” said Hubbard. Others—men and women—have also participated, most of them to listen, some to talk, others to pray. It’s held on Sundays at 2 PM. Contact Hubbard at chub21@aol.com if you want to join.

David Piltz, CLM

Meanwhile, the Rev. David Piltz, the conference’s Coordinator of Young People’s Ministries, will launch a new weekly, 30-minute prayer meeting on Zoom for all conference members on Tuesdays at 12 noon, starting April 14.

“I felt called to organize this and shared it with the Bishop and Cabinet,” he said. “It will be a time for silent prayer, prayer requests and sharing spoken prayers and scriptures. It’s a time for our Eastern PA United Methodist community to gather and pray for healing during this unprecedented time of difficulty and distress for many.”

Piltz expects it to last until “the virus isn’t an issue for us anymore,” and he adds that all ages are welcome. Indeed, such a conference-wide virtual gathering focused on prayer might draw true diversity in ages, races, viewpoints and other characteristics among participants. And as the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic become more dire those participants just might grow in number.

Conference-wide Prayer Meeting
Tuesdays, starting Apr 14, 2020, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Zoom access information:

Join at: https://epaumc.zoom.us/j/591129374?pwd=dElpMUdVd09VTTBoRDZxTm9zejVqdz09

Meeting ID: 591 129 374

Call in: +1 646 558 8656