Privacy In Prayer Lists
By John L. Orterberg
Churches usually have an individual’s best interest at heart when placing a health concern of personal struggle on the church prayer chain. In 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) made it illegal for health care providers to share information about a person’s medical condition. While a church isn’t liable under this Act, ministries must look at their prayer ministry practices to ensure information they disclose isn’t offending the prayer recipient or breaking the law.
* Get permission. When a family requests prayer for a sick child, get their express consent before putting the child on the prayer list. In addition, ask the parents specifically what they’d like to include in the prayer request and if they want the information shared only with people on the prayer chain or if they want it printed in your church bulletin.
* Keep it simple. Even with consent, it’s a good practice to convey limited information to the public. It’s better to say, “Jacob has been hospitalized; please pray for his speedy recovery,” rather than “Please pray for Jacob; he’s having surgery on his bladder.”
* Ask for a spokesperson. If a child is experiencing a long-term illness, suggest to the family that they appoint a close friend or relative as a family spokesperson. The spokesperson should have a good pulse on the situation and a better sense of what information to divulge.
* Use caution with staff. Take special care when revealing health information about church staff. Sharing information about an employee or an employee’s family member is protected by law, so less is best. Do not reveal any health information without the person’s express consent.
This article “Privacy in Prayer Lists” by John L. Orterberg is excerpted from www.childrensministry.com/leaders.
Tennessee Revival Fires Prayer Meeting
By Daniel Stirnemann
If I were to ask you, “What is the one thing in the life of a Christian that the devil would like to stop?”, what would be your answer? For most Christians, it is very simple – prayer! So, whether we need to start or whether we need to be reestablished, let’s make a concerted effort to tap into the benefits of a consistent life of prayer.
Pastor Chester Wright of Baltimore, Maryland, stated that early morning prayer is like adding fasting to your prayer. Likewise, concerning the whole kingdom of God, if individual prayer is good, then churchwide prayer must be more powerful. But what type of prayer is even more powerful than church-wide prayer? The answer is – the unified prayer of several churches gathering together in one mind and one accord. That’s what Tennessee Revival Fires Prayer Meetings are all about!
These sectional-focus prayer meetings will begin their Fall schedule soon and their continued success is dependent upon each saint’s participation. We have been receiving many favorable reports from across the Tennessee District. We appreciate the effort of our network of sectional prayer coordinators and presbyters. A big thank you is due to all the people of God from across the district who have gone out of your way to help make these powerful meetings successful.
This article “Tennessee Revival Fires Prayer Meeting” by Daniel Stirnemann is excerpted from Pentecostal Voice of Tennessee, June 2008.