by Morgan Wood, KTIS Director of Listener Engagement
It was a very personal experience that led to the creation of PrayerWorks
I was on my way to KTIS for a job interview when my cell phone rang. It was a dear friend, knowing how much I wanted this job, calling to say he’d pray for me. When I got home there was an e-mail from my friend. It began, “You know how people say ‘I’ll pray for you’ and you hope they do, but you never really know? Well, I wanted you to know. Here’s the prayer I lifted up on your behalf...” And he wrote out what he had prayed.
I was so moved. At that moment, prayer became very real to me.
I did get the job at KTIS, and one of my first questions was: what happens to the prayer requests people submit through our website? It took some digging to learn that although everyone desired to pray, there was not a good system to collect, monitor and ensure each request received a prayer.
I understood how the busyness of a workday could make that possible, but to me it didn’t seem right. When someone has a prayer request, they need it now. I thought about my own experience—effective prayer was timely, tangible and encouraging. And I wanted to help create something that would be just that for our listeners.
The idea was simple: use our radio reach to connect listeners who have prayer concerns to other listeners willing to pray. On most Internet prayer sites, the person submitting a prayer simply posts... and hopes. The vision I had for KTIS was that someone would receive notification every time someone has prayed for them.
This was one of those ideas that I couldn’t let go, so I shared it with Manager of Network Interactive Media Carl Bliss ’94, and he began using his technical skills and computer knowledge to make PrayerWorks® a reality.
Now when a listener posts a prayer online through PrayerWorks®, they can choose to receive an e-mail whenever someone notes through the system that the request has been prayed for. In addition, many listeners actually send a note of encouragement to the person requesting prayer.
In September 2010 we began sharing this tool with our colleagues in the industry so they can have their own private prayer community, with no IT or development costs, paying just a small subscription fee to cover the costs associated with hosting the program.
In addition to the Northwestern Media stations, we currently have 82 other radio stations, churches and ministries subscribing to the PrayerWorks® tool. On Sept. 1, we hit ONE MILLION PRAYERS prayed across all of our affiliates. At KTIS alone, over 35,000 prayer requests have been posted, over 574,000 prayers have been prayed, and over 15,400 anonymous notes have been sent!
Its real impact, though, is immeasurable.