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UK News

Premier survey reveals '#prayfor' social media campaigns don’t work

by Tola Mbakwe

Only 14 per cent of the UK responds to social media hashtag appeals to pray.

According to a poll commissioned by Premier Christian News, only one in seven say they have ever prayed as a result of a #prayfor online campaign.

Jonathan Oloyede, leader of the National Day of Prayer, told Premier having support structures for corporate prayer is more effective than hashtag social media campaigns.

“I think more people will pray in churches locally when they meet, in their home groups, in their cell groups, Bible study groups… and coffee mornings,” he said.

However, Oloyede said technology does have a place in facilitating prayer.

“I think more people can use technology to pray using conference calls and one to one phone calls.

“I think there are many ways and various platforms which more people can engage in prayer, if they, and the churches that they attend, facilitate and support that kind of platform.”

Oloyede also said he believes social media campaigns are targeted toward the younger generation which may alienate a group of people who are more prayerful.

“Social media is kind of geared towards a particular generation. Many of the prayer meetings I attend, it's usually the older generation… that are usually going to prayer meetings.

“So there should be more gatherings on Sundays, during the week, and over the phone, as opposed to hashtag campaigns because sometimes we don't respond the way we should to these hashtags.

“But we would respond to a phone call, we would respond to an invitation to a coffee morning, we will respond to the church leader on Sunday morning saying ‘can we stand to pray for the Australian fires or pray for this particular issue or pray for China?’”

The survey of over 2,000 adults in Great Britain also found of a list of major events from the past 12 months, the most prayed for was the Australian wildfires (18 per cent), followed by the London Bridge Attack (18 per cent) and US/Iran conflict (11 per cent).

Just one in ten Brits prayed about Brexit.

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