A spiritual Internet connection
Fred Stephens sits in front of his computer to pray with people.
A St. Petersburg-based
ministry is reaching millions of people worldwide one computer screen at a time.
Bill Keller said since his Internet-based ministry started six years ago he
and his team of retired pastors have responded to about 60 million prayer
requests with no slowdown in sight.
"Our ministry is really geared towards people outside the four walls of
the church," Keller said.
Reverend Fred Stephens donates his time sitting in front of a live web cam
praying. The ministry is online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"People that have immediate needs often will log on," Stephens said.
"A live prayer partner is there to read their e-mail and literally pray
for them right there over the air."
Keller said they respond to a couple hundred prayer requests a day from around
"Whether it be financial issues, health issues, relationship problems, an
employment problem or your dog ran away," Keller said.
Keller said no request is too big or too small and no one is turned away. He
said it's one of the only live, interactive video feeds of this type in the
"What we've been doing for the last six and a half is something nobody
other than pornography people are doing," Keller said.
He also responds to thousands of daily prayer requests via e-mail. He said the
ministry is classified as a non-profit organization, meaning it's funded
through donations and anonymous backers. He said he will not plead with his
flock for money. His web site only includes a small link for donations.
Some Christian media experts are calling liveprayer.com
the next big thing in faith-based outreach, but Keller said his mission is
simpler than that.
"The whole purpose of live prayer is to be that oasis of hope.
In addition to the Internet ministry, Keller is publishing a book of daily
devotionals he plans to hand out free at several bookstores. He also hosts a
late-night television prayer show that's slated to go national in July.
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Saturday, February 18, 2006