Sometimes we feel that our prayers are inadequate; we may feel overwhelmed by an issue that faces us, or too close to a problem to see what God might be doing. At such times we may want to ask others to pray for us.
Some may be fortunate enough to have Christian friends to ask, and who can be entrusted with the details of the issue; but sometimes one wants to look further afield. Many churches meet this need by offering confidential intercessory prayer, and a prayer chain is an effective way of organising it. The chain at All Saints comprises:
|Fr David Billin
0794 660 9387
020 8669 6510
020 8395 9022
020 8669 2278
020 8647 6831
0794 050 4679
Anyone can ask for prayer by contacting anyone in the chain directly, by phone or email. The request can include as much or as little detail as the requester considers appropriate, but it helps to give a Christian name and some indication of the type of problem that needs prayer (health, relationships, money, etc), to inform simple prayer. God always knows more details than we do. It is not normally necessary to disclose the surname of the person needing prayer.
The message will then be passed around the prayer chain from member to member, and they will each pray in their own way.
It is not essential to tell the prayer chain people afterwards what happened in response to their prayers, but it helps them to know when to stop praying, and how God is working.
Most of the time we sail through life in a fairly orderly fashion, but there is always the possibility that one day we might be taken ill unexpectedly and others will want to help.
We have a Contact List to provide All Saints' staff with people's personal details, in case we need to contact someone if an emergency happens at church. (This is not the same as the Electoral Roll, which does not provide the necessary information.) To check whether you are on the list, contact Fr David Billin. But when an emergency happens elsewhere, we are often the last to know. We seldom visit people in hospital because we generally do not learn that they were there until they have been discharged!
Should you be admitted to hospital, the hospital staff are not allowed to pass your details to someone else without your specific permission, and may anyway be too busy. But there are two ways to make your details available.
Firstly, if you seem set to stay in hospital for a few days, you could tell a nurse or doctor that you would like to see the hospital chaplain. The chaplain, with your permission, could contact the church and we could plan a visit. Secondly, should you be unconscious the emergency services might look to see if you have put personal details (and perhaps relevant medical information, see http://www.caringhandscharity.org.uk/bottle_in_the_fridge.htm) where they can easily find them: they might look in your handbag or wallet, in the fridge for a glass jar with papers in, or check your mobile for a number listed as ICE (In Case of Emergency). By putting brief details where they can be found, you can help people to help you.
Anyone in the parish can ask for a visit. The clergy are not always available at short notice, so we have trained a small team of lay people to make visits on behalf of the church; to arrange a visit contact Fr David Billin telephone 0794 660 9387. But perhaps the best way to make sure you receive help when you need it is to make friends with fellow worshippers. Provided we know each other's contact details, and look out for anyone who goes missing, we can show God's love to each other.
We have selected the sources above on the basis of their reputation and the services they advertise, but we cannot endorse them from direct experience.