The purpose of Chain of Prayer is to offer a 24-hour Prayer Vigil for congregations and persons who want to share an opportunity for a time of uninterrupted dialogue with God.
A Prayer Vigil is continuous prayer by many persons during a certain period of time. It is a powerful force in spiritual preparation for expressing the evangelistic mission of the Church. These unusual days require more than the ordinary. Our strength reinforced by God’s power, through personal encounter, is required to meet the demands of our times.
When your congregation keeps its Prayer Vigil, it becomes an essential link in a vast Chain of Prayer. Disciples congregations are thus joined together in unbroken prayer from the early hours of January 1 until the beginning of Easter morning each year.
The number of persons taking part in the Prayer Vigil will be determined largely by the size of the congregation. If the time is broken into one-hour periods, at least 24 persons will be needed. When there are half-hour periods, 48 volunteers are required. Advance instructions to all participants should make it clear that each person is expected to arrive a bit ahead of time and remain until the arrival of the next participant.
A Prayer Vigil may begin at any hour and proceed for 24 uninterrupted hours. The enrollment form suggests a schedule from 6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m. the following day. Each congregation, of course, is free to set its own time span of 24 hours, but the prayer should be continuous.
Many congregations use an elder and a deacon, or a couple, to serve as captains for three-hour periods throughout the 24 hours of the Prayer Vigil. They wait patiently and quietly near the prayer room, always alert to the needs of all persons sharing in the Chain of Prayer. It is reassuring to all prayer participants-whatever the time of their vigil-to know that they are not alone in the church building.