Prayer request threads: How to moderate them?

I get a lot of threads asking for prayer requests. What are the rules concerning them?

I feel bad closing them, but we do have a sticky thread for prayer requests. I have one that is a rosary thread for Edwin1961’s mom that is nearing 400 posts (since Oct 21) who died in 1994 which I thought was sweet of Maggie to start and left. Then there are the kinds like Pious’ prayers for his/her mom that are outright prayer requests as opposed to Cris7717’s post that seems to be soliciting advice and prayers. Is there an established protocol or is it just up to me to enforce?

Originally, prayer requests were popping up all over the forum. Many were not getting the attention they deserved, so a sticky thread in Spirituality was designated as the appropriate place for prayer requests. This offered a single point of focus for the prayer warriors. This worked well for quite awhile.

However, dedicated Rosary threads began popping up, especially during the trials of Terri Schiavo, JPII’s illness and death, and the recent natural disasters. These were deemed worthy causes and so were made into “stickies.” They were often quite popular.

Then additional rosary threads were started, many for more obscure causes. Some caught the attention of forum members. However, many did not get the attention the OP thought they deserved and so these threads faded from lack of attention.

Personally, I’m reluctant to foster multiple rosary threads because I think it just shows bad form to start a rosary thread for a particular cause and then not have it finish properly.

Now we are back to more of a free-for-all with multiple prayer threads popping up.

How about this:

Have a single continuous Rosary thread for personal prayer requests. People can add their intentions to the thread and post prayers as well. When the thread hits 1,000 posts, close it off and start a new one (being sure to note that past prayer requests are being carried forward into the new thread).

If anyone starts a new thread for their intention, you can just merge it into the current Rosary thread.

Alternately, you can have two stickies, one for prayer requests and one for prayers.

Sounds good. You raise another point. When is the rosary thread finished? The one for Edwin’s mom is now 400 posts long. Are they going through all the mysteries perhaps?

I’ve never been a rosary person myself, so you must forgive my ignorance concerning its public usage in a message board. The one going now just has post after post after post of Hail Marys. Wouldn’t prayer requests get lost in the rosary prayers?

I am just trying to figure out the implementation.

I appreciate your guidance greatly!

[quote=Catherine Grant]Sounds good. You raise another point. When is the rosary thread finished? The one for Edwin’s mom is now 400 posts long. Are they going through all the mysteries perhaps?

I’ve never been a rosary person myself, so you must forgive my ignorance concerning its public usage in a message board. The one going now just has post after post after post of Hail Marys. Wouldn’t prayer requests get lost in the rosary prayers?

I am just trying to figure out the implementation.

I appreciate your guidance greatly!
[/quote]

I recommend taking the moderator fiat approach and closing extraneous prayer threads, perhaps with a notation that prayer requests should go in the main prayer request thread and that intentions can be added to in-progress rosaries, along with the prayers. Alternatively, you could also merge prayer requests into the prayer request thread.

Thanks. I will go through over the coming days to clean it up across the forums, directing others to post in the prayer request thread. I’ll have one going for intentions and one rosary for all our prayer requests. I’ll leave other prayer request threads closed with directions on where to post so that they are seen for a while, then will start merging any new ones in.

For the rosary threads, Shoshana has been sending me a pm when one is finished and another begins. When she does, I unstick the completed one and stick the new one. I have asked FA to look into the possibility of single permissions so that perhaps Shoshana can do this herself when the need arrives. I think it is still being looked into.

TM did start a thread in Spirituality for prayer requests. It is still going strong.

Thanks AC! If FA doesn’t figure it out, I would be glad to do the sticking and unsticking for Shoshana. I’m sure you have a lot more on your plate than I do! I got a complaint the other day about the prayer request thread being too long (currently at 804 posts–I’m waiting to 1,000), but overall I think it is well received. Even people who post prayer requests in other forums seem to know there is a prayer request thread somewhere.

As to the rosary thread, I’ll just wait on Shoshana. I take that to mean that they are doing a set prayer list which has a conclusion (such as all 20 mysteries), but I still wonder if the non-sticky rosary threads are handled the same way. In looking at the one for Edwin’s mom I didn’t know if it would just keep going with a new decade as long as it was open or if it had a natural conclusion.

I’ve been placing this notice to close prayer request threads (which also seems to be taken well as the OPs are following up in the sticky):

I join everyone here in offering prayers for N. and thank all of you who have prayed.

We have several sticky threads in the Spirituality forum which might interest you including one specifically for prayer requests. I encourage the OP to keep us all updated through that venue.

N. was added to the prayer request thread, which you can see here.

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