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Christian prayer network sees surge in requests during lockdown

by Heather Preston

A Christian prayer initiative says it's had over 80,000 people respond to prayer requests during the coronavirus pandemic.

Neighbourhood Prayer Network encourages Christians to take spiritual responsibility for their communities. Its members care for 2 per cent of UK streets - which represents 1.3 million people.

The project has set up an online forum to offer prayer support as well as encouraging participants to distribute prayer request cards through people's doors. 

CEO Carl Brettle tells Premier they've seen a huge response: "We set up a Facebook group back last October, asking people if they needed prayer, and that's just taken off, particularly in the last month. We've had over 80,000 people pray for prayer requests. 

"We've also distributed millions of prayer request cards and people have come back in swathes to say they have a prayer need, that's been amazing." 

It comes as a new study reveals the pandemic has made British people more neighbourly.

Research from Neighbourhood Watch found more than a quarter of people have checked-in on someone living nearby over the past two weeks, while almost half have started talking to someone from next door - while maintaining their distance.
Brettle says the crisis is uniting the country and restoring community to our neighbourhoods: "I think we've been social distancing for 20 years - before COVID you had to make an appointment to see your best friend. 

"So I think one positive outcome of all of this is that we can get back to the roots of knowing who people are, caring for their needs and society is being rebuilt almost from the ground up again, we actually talk to people," he said.

Brettle added that the crisis has led many to reassess their faith: "People are not in this circumstance, blaming God so much as seeking God's face, seeking God's help trying to understand God's heart in this."

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