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PrayForMe is a ministry of United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd (UCB Australia). A confidential service, it offers immediate and ongoing prayer support through a network of Australian churches committed to praying specifically on behalf of those who ask for help. Prayer requests can be submitted by text, email, letter or phone at any time. Over 15000 contacts were received in 2010, mainly by email or through a freecall number.
Churches involved with the service agree to stand by those requesting prayer until a resolution of their problem is achieved or until asked to stop praying.
In 2004, Brisbane pastor Russell Barton was dropping his son off at kindergarten when he saw a note on the front door about a young mum who had had a massive heart attack in her kitchen while making sandwiches. Her kids had spent the day trying to wake her up.
Russell wondered how to help. He knew that a fridge-full of home-baked dinners would be a practical way but the question nagging him was: how can you walk alongside and help a family during such a time of emotional and spiritual turmoil?
This incident was the catalyst behind PrayForMe. Along with his wife Jenny, Barton developed the concept with a desire to create a non-threatening ‘connection point’ which would enable people who did not attend church but who still had a foundational belief in God to reach out and ask for prayer. Although the majority of Australians claim to believe in God, only a small minority regularly attend church services.
It was Russell and Jenny’s aim to ‘create a doorway’ to link these people with those who would be willing to pray for them when they felt ready.
Only a year after starting PrayForMe, the Bartons felt called to Uganda to work with war-displaced children. On taking up a position with Operation Uganda, they handed the administration of PrayForMe to UCB Australia.
By the end of 2010, the service was reaching over 1800 contacts each month, with an overall average for the year of just over 1400 contacts/month.
The four key values of PrayForMe are: Believe, Have Faith, Be Specific and Persist.