Intercession Without Limits
Each week, a group of chaplains and volunteers come together to pray aloud for each request they have received one at a time. It’s all part of Adventist Health’s commitment to demonstrating the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Adventist Health is a faith-based, not-for-profit health care network consisting of a 302-bed medical center, 34 medical clinics, and home care and hospice services in the Portland, Oregon metro area.
“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 Dr. Terry Johnsson, Executive Director of Mission Integration at Adventist Health in Portland. “In the competitive healthcare market people 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,” Johnsson says.
It’s this vision that has inspired Adventist Health to launch a new program that makes the power of community prayer accessible to people throughout the Pacific Northwest, whatever their need and wherever they are.
Adventist Health’s PrayerWorks is a virtual prayer community, accessible from any computer or smart phone. On the PrayerWorks website visitors post requests, concerns, or struggles. They can also read other people’s requests and stories and 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. It’s a tangible reminder that a community of faith is invested in these concerns.
More than half of Americans say they pray every day, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey. While the majority of Americans may be praying, for most of us, it’s a solitary act. We do it in bed, in the shower, as part of our morning devotion, before heading into a tough work meeting.
If we only ever pray alone, we’re missing out on a powerful component of worship. The Bible says 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.
“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.”