Facebook Releases New Prayer Request Feature

By Bill Galluccio

August 9, 2021

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Facebook has released a new feature that will allow users to requests prayers from their family and friends. The new feature is available in Facebook Groups and lets users create a post asking members to pray for them. Group members can respond to the post by pressing a new "I prayed" button.

Facebook began testing the feature last December and has now rolled it out for all users.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen many faith and spirituality communities using our services to connect, so we're starting to explore new tools to support them," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

Religious leaders hope the new feature will help them reach younger generations.

"Facebook and other social media platforms continue to be tremendous tools to spread the Gospel of Christ and connect believers with one another — especially during this pandemic," Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas told USA TODAY. "While any tool can be misused, I support any effort like this that encourages people to turn to the one true God in our time of need."

Other religious leaders welcome the new tool but caution that it does not replace the need for in-person worship and coming together as a community to help people in need.

"We need to join our voices and hands in prayer. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and walk through great moments and challenges together,' Rev. Bob Stec, pastor of St. Ambrose Catholic Parish in Brunswick, Ohio, said.

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