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How To Start A Church Prayer Chain With Text Messages

Learn how to turn your traditional prayer chain into a modern communication solution lightyears faster than what you had in place before.

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Strengthening the power of your prayer chain through SMS is not only possible—it’s simple.

Reach your parishioners with the gospel no matter how far they are from your church. Share updates with your congregation and bring your community closer together, all through the power of prayer.  

In just a few steps we can show you some easy ways to automate your prayer chains as well as some sample messages perfect to get your text chain going. 

Why Use Texting For A Church Prayer Chain?

In our Text Marketing 2020 Report, we found key insights that explain why texting can be such an effective tool for an activity like a prayer chain. 

  • 60% of the people we surveyed reported answering messages within 1-5 minutes of the text coming through. 
  • 68% of respondents say that checking, sending, and answering text messages is the activity that they’re most engaged with on their phones throughout the day.

Some general industry insights also show us that 98% of text messages are read, compared to just 22% of emails.

For messages as intimate and urgent as prayer requests, you want a delivery system that nearly guarantees your messages will be heard and acted on. 

How To Start A Church Prayer Chain With Text Messaging

There are two primary ways you can invite parishioners to join your text chain.

1. Web Forms

Does your church have a website? If so, you can put a customizable web form on your homepage for visitors to enter their phone numbers.

Once they’re signed up, they’re able to receive all your important updates as well as text in their individual prayer requests! 

You could also use a mobile sign-up widget to easily turn mobile site visitors into contacts. Design and customize your graphic in a few simple steps, add the code to your website, and presto! You’re ready to start capturing numbers.  

2. Keywords

You can also invite your parish to join your text chain by keyword. A keyword is a short word or phrase that, when texted in to a number or short code, signs you up to receive messages.  

In the photo above for example, “PRAY” is the keyword being texted into the short code 94090. 

You can share your keyword on your website, social media, across newsletters, and in weekly bulletins. Even your pastor can announce it at the end of each mass or service encouraging people to pull out their phones and text it in, something you don’t get to do at just any old church!

This is a strategy our friends at Central Church use (with great success).

Text Message Prayer Chain Examples

Your prayer texts can do everything. From sharing community needs to community news. Here are a few sample church announcements to get you started. 

1. As many of you know, Pastor Lawrence is ill and in need of our support. Please keep him in your and your family’s prayers.


Be sure to check your emails to find this month’s offertory sign-up sheet!

3. Thank you all for the prayer requests you’ve sent in. Know we are praying for you all and holding you close to our hearts. 


Prayers and congratulations to John and Jane Smith on the birth of their healthy baby girl! 

6. First communion is next weekend. Please pray for the boys and girls receiving the sacrament. 

7. Merry Christmas, and have a blessed holiday. Love, your St.Bishop family. 


Our youth group leaves on their mission trip to Costa Rica today! Please keep them in your prayers this month 🙏

Final Thoughts on Creating An Automated Prayer Line

If you plan to send prayer chain texts on a regular basis, you can automate your messages to save you and your team time. 

For example, you can schedule messages so they’ll send at the exact time and date you need them to.

You could also use autoresponders—a series of automatic messages that each member receives after subscribing to your list—to send drip campaigns.

These campaigns can ask contacts what type of messages they want to receive from your church, how many times a week they want to pray, what they’d like to pray for, how they want to get involved with the church, and more. 

Draw your community closer and spread your prayer requests lightyears faster than a traditional phone tree. Give us a try free for 14 days to see what church text messaging can do for you!

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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