By Krista Pfunder
A South County church believes it has found an innovative way to provide spiritual resources for its community—beginning with a small wooden box on its property. South River Bible Church in Davidsonville has built a Prayer Box, modeled after the popular Free Little Library, that is an exact replica of the church.
The Prayer Box is a secure place for people to insert their prayer requests and the congregation will gather and fulfil the requests weekly.
Leaders at the church say the idea for the prayer box began over a year ago.
“Members of our little church came together because we sensed that many in our community were feeling anxious, isolated and afraid,” says church member Dave Sacks. “Between the COVID-19 pandemic, job uncertainties and distrustful feelings that reared up, our church wanted to do something about it.”
The group discussed a variety of options for spiritual outreach to anyone in need —whether their church was closed due to the pandemic, or they didn’t attend church at all.
“Within the church, we have leaned on one another more and more throughout this past year,” says Pastor Chris Lieb. “We talk with one another, meet with one another and pray for one another. We want to encourage people outside of the church as well.”
An afternoon brainstorming session of a few dedicated church members resulted in the idea for a box open to all.
“Juli Railsback suggested the idea for a prayer box, and you could almost see our collective light bulb go on,” Sacks says. “Christopher Lieb took on the design duties and the bulk of the finish work. He and a group of members built the box. The night Christopher pulled up to the church with the finished product was special indeed.”
The box not only offers a private place for people to insert prayer requests, but also contains free materials such as Bibles, daily devotionals filled with encouraging words and practical help and informational sheets. Prayer request sheets and pens stand at the ready.
“We gather up the requests each week and earnestly pray those requests,” Sacks says. “Requests came in before we even attached our sign.”
“God truly cares for us, and prayer is how we reach out to him for help,” Lieb says, recalling an example from his past. “While I was a missionary in Haiti, we needed blood bags for blood transfusions for the local hospital after the 2010 earthquake. Members of our mission came together to pray, and then I set out to search for bags. I drove throughout Port Au Prince for hours, but several of the hospitals had been destroyed. People were lining the streets seeking medical help. I drove to the airport and was about to give up, but found an organization that had just received a shipping container. They didn’t know what was in the container, but when we opened it, we found several boxes of blood bags.”
Lieb says that it is essential for the community to come together, especially during times of crisis.
“God designed us to connect with one another and to thrive in our families and in our communities; not to be isolated and face every difficult situation on our own. We as a church want to foster strong relationships with the people in our lives, and we want to offer them a very real hope. That’s what the prayer box is all about—giving people hope.”
South River Bible Church is located at 744 W. Central Ave (214) in Davidsonville, across the street from Homestead Gardens.