Church starts prayer request ministry

Published 10:34 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Clanton church has an unconventional way of accepting prayer requests.

Heritage Church of the Nazarene, located on Dennis Street, has placed a drop-off box in front of the church building into which people can leave anonymous prayer requests.

The idea came from church member Gene Sanders, whose family joined the church about eight months ago.

“A lot of people pray but don’t go to church,” Sanders said. “This is one way we can reach out to the community. It’s there any time for them.”

The box was set up last Wednesday, and within three days people had submitted at least four requests.

Sanders said requests can be anonymous or very detailed, depending on the wishes of the individual. Only the church pastor will have access to the requests, unless someone asks specifically that an item be read aloud to the church.

“It’s all confidential,” Sanders said.

Two local business have OK’d the church to set up drop-off boxes on their property. These are Love’s Travel Stop on County Road 28 and Petro on Highway 31.

“We believe in the power of prayer,” said church member Bill Collum. “If it can work in the church, then it can work for the community.”

Church Pastor Gary Aldridge said he sees the ministry as one way of fulfilling the church’s God-given vision.

“There should be an urgency about trying to reach the community,” Aldridge said. “We sit in our churches every Sunday and wait for people to come to us, but it’s not supposed to be that way.”

All requests will be prayed for collectively during each worship service, Aldridge added.

– Scott Mims can be reached at