Like, love, care, and prayer: Facebook offers up a new ‘prayer post’ feature

Terry Collins, USA TODAY
Published 5:03 a.m. ET June 4, 2021

Among the many Facebook has been utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic includes being a platform for prayer.

The world’s largest social media company confirmed on Thursday that it is expanding a feature called “prayer post, ” which lets users of certain Facebook groups ask for and respond to prayer requests.

Citing its 2020 Year in Review blog, Facebook said the week of Easter and Passover last April – the first month of a global shut down due to the pandemic – the platform saw the most group video calls ever on Facebook-owned Messenger as well the most Facebook Live broadcasts from spiritual Pages.

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The feature came when many became more reliant on social media to connect with family, friends, and others, as COVID began spreading worldwide, forcing many to be homebound. Meanwhile, Facebook and YouTube dominated online usage at the time, according to a Pew Research Center study released two months ago. 

In a statement Thursday, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company started testing the feature last December in the U.S. to give users the option of requesting prayer from their Facebook Group. A group administrator had to turn it on for users to use the feature. 

“Once a prayer request has been posted, group members can choose to indicate they’ve prayed, react, leave a comment, or send a private message,” the Facebook spokesperson said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many faith and spirituality communities using our services to connect, so we’re starting to explore new tools to support them.”

The spokesperson did say how many Facebook users have used the prayer post feature. 

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