A Florida church is now offering drive-thru prayer service for its community as a way to fulfill busy commuter's spiritual needs on the go.
Motorists along U.S. highway 41 in Southwest Florida can pull over once they spot a member of Estero United Methodist Church, carrying large signs that read "Need prayer? Turn here," where close to a dozen volunteers are waiting in the church parking lot to offer prayer.
"You'd be surprised by the tears of joy from people when they come through, because they know God's there for them and He is listening to their concerns. It's really neat," Pam Sebby, drive-thru prayer leader at EUMC, told The Christian Post.
The group offers prayer each Wednesday and has seen a spike in interest from drivers stopping by each time they host the convenient service, says Sebby, who also notes that they do it because "it is our mission to reach, connect, nurture, disciple and commission ourselves for the Lord."
John Halley, EUMC Discipleship Director added, "Our drive-thru prayer is simply a service, not an enticement to join the church that boasts about our 1,100 members…it's not a church-growth strategy for us, it's really an outreach to share God's love with our community."
Sebby tells CP that the church came up with the idea after reading an article about another church that was doing the same four years ago. They then began the drive-thrus and were successful in getting many to stop for prayer. However, construction along the busy road halted their efforts before beginning again in February.
The prayer warriors, as Sebby calls them, get attention by wearing orange safety vests, waving and smiling and so far, motorists have been overwhelmingly positive, many even honk their horns, bringing more attention to their efforts, she explains.
While most drivers who pull into the church parking lot have a variety of prayer requests, some simply seek solace for their heartfelt needs.
"We had a gentleman stop who said the signs offering drive-thru prayer spoke to him on a higher level," said Sebby. "(He said) 'I saw the signs and honestly, right now I'm going through some trials and tribulations. It seemed to be the Lord speaking to me…'"
Another family of five pulled over last week, whose request was one of the most touching according to Sebby. The father of the bunch confided in the volunteers that he had been out of work and was hopeless but after praying with the group admitted that he felt hopeful once again.
"Our team knows that the Lord is listening and we are hoping a job comes his way soon," said Sebby. "We also prayed blessings over the entire family and we hope to hear back from him."
In the meantime, Sebby and her group of prayer warriors hope their drive-thru service can be an example for other churches to follow.
"We hope this spreads throughout the entire United States of America. A lot of churches can do this. Spreading prayer is a great start and is what it's all about," said Sebby.