The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Wired to the word

From prayer groups to Bible study, more Americans are using computer networks to enrich their spiritual lives

It's 7 p.m. on a weeknight. About a dozen women from sites scattered across the United States gather via computer for weekly Bible study in a "chat room" on America Online. Suddenly a woman with the screen name SFrazl0271 interrupts to beg the group to pray for her only child, 15-year-old Timothy, who is using drugs.

Pray for my son please please she types.

The chat room host types a reply telling SFraz to stick around, prayer requests will be brought up at the end of the study hour. The host continues to lead the discussion for another 40 minutes. When she finally asks for prayer requests, a member suggests: Let's pray for sfraz10271. Soon the chat room host is leading the group in on-line prayer, typing in capital letters to make it easier for older members to read:

Lord, we bring before you tonight our dear sister Fraz and her son. We ask that you might embrace Fraz right now with you love and peace.

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