Today’s “Digital Prayer Chain” — Chime in and Win!

In preparation for my weekly radio segment this week on the Sonrise Morning Show with Brian Patrick, I need your input. The topic we plan to discuss is “creative ways to use social media as a modern prayer chain”. I must give credit where it’s due: this theme is the brainchild of the ever-awesome Matt Swaim, author of the phenomenal book Prayer in the Digital Age (stay tuned to learn how you can win that!)

What Matt and I have been mulling over is the very real ways in which we pray together these days, involving our social media connections in our intentions. To share just a few examples:

  • I join Matt and countless others in tweeting a #gratefultweet prayer of thanksgiving as my first social media interaction of the day
  • Thousands of friends have connected to pray for little Fulton Poppe, a recent burn victim. Love for this family and prayers for Fulton’s healing are coming from literally around the world.
  • One of our Facebook friends routinely invites invitations each week prior to heading out for his shift in his perpetual adoration chapel. He carries this intentions with him before the Blessed Sacrament and prays for his online friends.

Today, I ask you to chime in below with your thoughts on how you use social media in your prayers. And let me just say that it’s also fair game to say, “I don’t!” To entice you to participate, I am going to randomly select one commenter to win a copy of Prayer in the Digital Age by Matt Swaim. Here’s a blueprint of this awesome resource:

The digital age is an age of information overload. In this noisy, technology-driven world, full of important news and urgent messages, spending silent time in prayer can seem impossible.

In his second book, Matt Swaim brings to light the obstacles to prayer inherent in our digitally-connected culture and explores both the challenges and benefits of living a Christian life in the 21st century. Drawing on the spiritual wisdom of such masters as St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Therese of Lisieux, and Venerable Pope John Paul II, Swaim provides practical suggestions for learning how to “unplug” and incorporate prayer into one’s daily life.

To enter to win Matt’s book, leave a comment by midnight Pacific time on Wednesday, January 30th. One winner will be randomly selected. I hope we’ll all learn something from this conversation!

Update: Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to Mary T., our winner. Be on the lookout for another contest very soon!


About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at

  • John Clem

    I like to share the Saint of the Day with my parish from Franciscan Media. I also share Tweets of prayers from many great spiritual leaders including Bishop Coyne, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal O’Malley, Fr. Roderick. There also many stories sent through social media that demand us all to pray, from natural disasters and personal tragedies. Lisa Hendey is a super example in helping her friend recently who had a child who was burned in a fire and who still needs our prayers.

    God Bless,

  • Rodney Asebedo

    I use the digital age i.e. twitter, facebook or flocknote for prayer inspiration. like these and some that im sure others mention allow us to render prayer aide.

    I also use the links and articles in these for reflection, spirtitual growth and instruction in my faith journey. The problem I have is focus, I find so much information here I bounce from reflection to reflection and find myself really distracted as when I started. I then remove my self from the distratction and with the messages that made their way through to me I focus and pray for them in silence.

    I can also use the reasons for prayer as discussion at the family dinner table. Which allows us to open foucs of prayer to another generation.

    Also on my Iphone I have the several apps including IBreviary Catholic Bible, AMR Radio and GRN radio to name a few these and a set of headphones help me when distracted by the filth of the world.

  • Naomi

    My boyfriend and I use Skype to pray morning and evening prayer together, as we don’t live near each other it’s a very special time in the day. I also share little reflections on my blog.

  • Bethany

    I don’t really use Twitter (not really sure if that’s a computer thing or smart phone thing), but I do ask for prayers via Facebook and email, share prayer requests, and respond to prayer requests via Facebook and email. All of my family members live out of state, and this is a pretty easy way to reach out.

  • Melanie

    On Facebook: Impromptu prayers of support, etc…when people share needs, problems, illnesses, etc; asking for prayers for different reasons; sharing Bible verses and reflections, sharing One Bread One Body posts/links; Ignatius Press 3 Minute retreat; and recommending the free app, Laudate.

  • Martina

    We do a variety of things. In my women’s group we (try to) have a daily thread called Dying to Self where you offer up your list of daily sufferings for whatever/whomever. Ex. I’m having a tough day with the kids and offering it up for the souls in purgatory OR I’m having surgery tomorrow and will be offering up my anxiety and pain for all your intentions.

    Another is a prayer beach ball. One person says a prayer and posts what they prayed, next person says what prayer they prayed and so on and so on. In online communities it’s referred to as a beach ball because each new post bumps that thread to the top of the wall.

    Another is praying the rosary or DMC together. One person starts with the first prayer by posting it, then the next person posts the next prayer until all five decades have been posted and prayed. We actually did a public DMC on our Catholic Sistas fan page after the Newtown shootings. It was amazing to see everyone come together to pray online.

    I am a HUGE believer in the power of prayer, especially having seen many lives transformed through both my community and the website. I’d love to talk more about this. Let me know if I can help! :)

  • Karee Santos

    My husband and I both use the Laudate app on our smartphones. My favorite is the pray-as-you-go podcast under the Daily Readings section. I like to listen and pray while I wash dishes!

  • Stacy h

    Facebook is how I often know friends or family are in need of prayer. As I scan posts I make a note and add them to my list or say a prayer at that time.

  • Barb S

    I use the Divine Office iPad app for Liturgy of the Hours. As many here have noted, I pray along with family and friends who express a need on Facebook or Twitter–and sometimes I’ll just skip right to the text message. Also, I usually participate in the #gratefultweet meme, since it really does help start the day with an attitude of gratitude. I’ve found that social media has been a wealth of inspiration for prayer in many ways.

  • BD Matt

    I have found the Irish Jesuit suite useful for an Ignatian influenced meditation. Alas, it does not display well on an e-ink Kindle.

  • MaryAnn T

    I have been surprised at how much more I pray thanks to the many social medias I use. I often find myself praying for people all over the world who have requested prayer. I am more aware of what is going on with my global church community thanks to Facetime updates. When on Pinterest, i have come across many scriptures and quotes from Saints, that I also Pin and can look at later. I can also ask for real time prayer from friends and groups on facebook. I have found it all to be a blessing and had enriched my faith life.

  • Emmy Krueger

    I don’t use social media much outside of commenting back that I’ll pray for someone when they post an issue or problem they’re dealing with (or just flat out request prayer for unidentified intentions). I do however use the Laudate app as an assist woth praying the Rosary or to look up prayers or locate a bible verse I see mentioned somewhere. I do occasionally #gratefultweet also, but not necessarily everyday or as my 1st social activity of the day.

  • Sean McGaughey

    I am in a couple of facebook prayer intention groups, and we try to support each other in prayer there. When I pray the rosary or the liturgy of the hours (not often enough) I often follow along with recorded audio rosaries by Greg and Jennifer of the Rosary Army and pray the liturgy of the hours using or the ibreviary app for my phone.

  • Suzie

    Every morning my husband and I listen to the readings. It is very nice to start our day together in prayer. Not only do we listen our children start their day with prayer. Also I love listening on Podcasts.

  • Kenny Baptista

    When I read a prayer request on Facebook I immediately reply ” Jesus Mercy”

  • Nick Alexander

    Forgive me if this sounds self-promotion, but I created a podcast for this very purpose. It’s called “Prayer Meeting Podcast” (or at , or . I basically lead music with my guitar (words are provided), a plethora of old hymns, spirituals, contemporary worship songs, and Gregorian chant. After this, there is a time of articulated prayers, spontaneous but based off the readings of the week. There’s a sharing and a song-of-the-week after that.

    Again, didn’t want to just promote, but you asked, and that’s how I’ve been praying online.

  • Stefanie Battaglia

    I connect with friends on Facebook to pray – sometimes in a private message and sometimes via a post. I also use various apps like Laudate and The Year of Faith. My FB feed is filled with posts from priests, youth workers, and everything Catholic! I love that some of my friends started reading the catechism daily for the Year of Faith – and haven’t given up! Social media isn’t my preferred way of prayer (nothing beats quit time in a chapel or in a garden) but it keeps prayfullness alive – in an unexpected way!

  • JCD

    I have been praying Liturgy of the Hours using an App on my iPad. Not Spam- google surgeworks divine office

  • Lily Laval

    On a saint’s feast day, I read about their life and post my favourite quotes that they have said to my blog or Facebook status.

  • Lily Laval

    Or sometimes, I just tweet a line from the reading, psalm, or Gospel- something that has really spoken to me that morning! I share it in the hope it speaks to someone else too!

  • Katie

    I like to ask my facebook friends and Twitter followers to join me in my novena prayers by sharing a link to novena reminder ( :-)

  • sarahlcc

    I wondered what the #gratefultweet was about. I like to post random short prayers on twitter. I’ve thought about inviting others to pray a Rosary every day at a set time on my blog, but haven’t been able to make the time commitment yet!

  • Jessica

    Whenever a friend or family member writes a post on Facebook requesting a prayer I stop and say a prayer right then and there. The ladies on my message board and I have also started prayer chains for each other for various reasons. They always comment on how much comfort it brings them to know that over 100 people are taking a minute to ask God to be with them.

  • jen

    I use the Laudate app at Mass and other times. I also receive the Saint of the Day from St. Anthony, Novenas from pray more novenas, and the Catechism from Flocknote. I read all of those before Mass starts (we go daily and arrive esp. early since my son serves. I regularly pray for people I’ve heard about on the internet (Fulton and Tricia (@pattysue on Twitter). Also, Elizabeth Foss allows people to post prayer concerns every Sat. with the readings for that Sunday.

  • Melanie

    Correction to my earlier post: Loyola Press 3 Minute retreat not Ignatius

  • Mark Alves

    I tweet a daily reflection and a link to the day’s readings through the Twitter account @todaysreadings as well as through my parish’s Twitter and Google+ accounts. It started as a whim during Advent one year as a way to get myself to read them daily. A parishioner asked that I continue them after Advent and so I did. The daily commitment has served me well!

  • Bible Tweet Chain

    Have a look at . It’s a Twitter chain of the bible. Be part of the endless chain and recite the next verse of the bible to your followers, simply by clicking the recite button on the website. Daily, as often as you like! It’s a movement of faith, love and support!