The (Lutheran) Church of Sweden is inviting people to post prayer and intercession requests to a new interactive web page.
"Prayer, my heart's conversation with God, is an important part of the Church's faith, life and work," said the Rev Eva Brunne, newly-elected bishop of the diocese of Stockholm in a Church of Sweden statement about its 18 August 2009 launch of the site.
Visitors can post prayer requests on the online page - www.svenskakyrkan.se/be/ - or send them as text messages from mobile phones. The online prayers can also be directed via the Web site to one of the church's 13 cathedrals throughout Sweden.
"The web page is open to all, believers, seekers and cynics," Marianne Ejdersten, the Church of Sweden's programme director for national communication, told Ecumenical News International from Uppsala, where the church has its headquarters.
"Prayer has no boundaries, specific forms, locations or special language. Anyone can pray, at any time, anywhere and about anything."
Visitors to the site can search prayers by keyword and using hyperlinks, and then place a link to the prayers on blogs, or social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Together the intercessions form a hyperlinked "universe of prayers" that the church says is the first of its kind in the world.
Ejdersten described the web page as an electronic variant of the intercession boxes in many churches where people are able to leave requests for prayer.
"We have always prayed. Where and how has changed over the centuries," she noted. "All are invited to pray, whether you want to get your prayer published on the web site or simply sent to a church service."
Organizers said prayer requests in English are welcome. To leave an intercession, visitors should select the "Skriv bön" ("write a prayer") tab, and then click on "Skicka" (send) when the prayer is completed.
The site has been launched in advance of churchwide elections on 20 September when about 5.6 million church members are eligible to vote for representatives on governing bodies at various levels from parish councils to the general synod.
The online venture complements a television advertising campaign on prayer that aims to raise awareness about the Church of Sweden and its work in advance of the elections.
Online "universe of prayers": www.svenskakyrkan.se/be/
Information about the church elections (in English) can be found here: www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?di=198263
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]