They’ll Say a Prayer for You

Paul M. Soper

DeWolfe residents, left to right, Mark T. Silvestri ’05, R. Curtis Miller ’05, Jay R. Minga ’05 and Andrew Chi ’05 take requests to pray for other students.

The four residents of DeWolfe 31 would like to say a little prayer for you.

Andrew Chi ’05, R. Curtis Miller ’05, Jay R. Minga ’05 and Mark T. Silvestri ’05 say they are happy to add the prayers of others to their daily talks with God.

The four run a start-up prayer service through which students can e-mail, call or send a request via the juniors’ website asking them to bring their concerns before God.

The roommates say they decided to start the prayer service last November because they wanted to use their private prayer to help others.

“The Bible says you should pray for everybody, so we thought as long as we’re praying for everybody, we may as well know what we should pray for, know what people’s concerns are, instead of just making a general prayer,” Miller says.

So far, the roommates say they have received around 23 e-mail prayer requests, ranging from students concerned with their futures to friends dealing with medical issues.

Minga says that none of the prayer requests have been trivial or selfish, even in the midst of exam week.

“You could tell they were really anguished about this stuff,” Miller added.

While requesting prayers through the Internet may seem more high tech than the traditional style of prayer, Minga says he and his roommates wanted to provide those in need with an anonymous way to reach out to them.

Their website, to which the Christian umbrella group Campus Crusade for Christ provides a link off its homepage, has attracted requests from beyond Harvard as well.

And now their idea for the service is being picked up by other pockets of Christians around campus.

Four other groups of Christian students—a female blocking group in Winthrop, two Quincy groups and a group of first-years—have started their own websites devoted to gathering prayer requests from the student body and bringing them before God.

All strong believers in their Christian faith, the organizers say that prayer is one of the most powerful tools available to them to address a variety of issues.

“We pray because it works,” Minga says.

The four roommates met through Christian Impact, a group that provides a forum for Christians to discuss their beliefs and to socialize with each other, and are now leaders of the group.

Signs of their Christianity are scattered around their common room, from a sign on their television quoting the Bible to a poster featuring Jesus.

Silvestri says their service is not meant to imply that the Christian Impact leaders are better at prayer or have any special religious power that other students don’t.

And they say that their service is not intended to streamline the prayer process for all students—they still encourage other students to talk to God themselves.

The students say they are pleased with how the service is developing and that the idea is being carried on by others in the Christian community as well.

“The reason we pray is not only because it works but because of love,” Chi says. “We love the people in our community, and we find that prayer is one of the most powerful ways of showing that.”