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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 19:55 GMT
Dial-a-prayer hotline at church
Elim Church, Caldicot
The service is described as "vital ministry" by church officials
A church has set up an answering phone messaging service for people to leave their prayer requests.

Worshipers at the Elim Pentecostal Church in Caldicot, south Wales, can now call Prayerline to ask for prayers "after the next beep".

The idea came from Pastor Jim Davies, who said: "Prayer requests can be made known to the church by anyone at anytime for anything."

He said it was a way of "bridging the gap" between worshippers and God.

"Church attendances are dropping and one of the things I've got to do is bridge that gap so that people still knows that God still cares about them," he told the BBC Wales News website.

Pastor Jim Davies
Pastor Jim Davies has set up the prayer request service

"Prayerline is an opportunity for people at any time of the day to make a request for help - one of the first things people say in times of trouble is 'oh my God' and this is a way of getting some spiritual help."

Mr Davies said the service was regularly monitored and there were members of the church who had "specifically committed themselves to this vital ministry".

He described the service as a way of letting people stay in touch with God in times of crisis.

"We could get a call from someone on their way to hospital asking if we can pray for aunt Nellie who has been taken to hospital, for example," he said.

The idea came from a similar scheme in his previous church in Devon which set up a telephone support service.



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