HARRISVILLE -- One year ago on April 12, Ascension Lutheran Church, 1105 N. Washington Blvd., began a new prayer ministry, Drive-Thru Prayer.
The concept was received with mixed feelings, as some didn't understand the motivation behind the endeavor, according to a news release from Arliss Zimmerman, who is on the church board.
"As the ministry continued," Zimmerman said, "we experienced many positive reactions. Our first parking lot encounter was a mom with a sick child suffering with a high fever, on their way back to the doctor to figure out why this fever had not broken.
"A few weeks later, that same mom and little girl drove through again to thank God for His healing powers. The Prayer Partners felt so blessed to be God's hands folded in prayer for this little girl."
The Prayer Partners have kept a journal of all the people who have asked for prayers.
"Kleenex is an important part of our time," Zimmerman said, "since many tears flow as people tell us what they want to talk to Jesus about. Young and old, male and female, some without a church home, some from our own Ascension family, all seeking answers to daily crises. We also have had people drive through to simply thank us for being there."
The prayer ministry is a community outreach, Zimmerman said. "Jesus people doing Jesus things."
She said, "The Holy Spirit is so powerful to send people by and give us the words to pray. We only know first names, and confidentiality is of utmost importance. It is our hope that many have been blessed as we share God's love with strangers and friends, but the Prayer Partners are also blessed."
As the church begins its second year of Drive-Thru Prayer, more Prayer Partners are being trained. Drive-Thru Prayer time is being extended to every day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., in addition to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
"As you drive by, take a few minutes to pause from your busy schedule and talk to Jesus about your concerns and seek His guidance -- also to thank him for all your blessings," Zimmerman said.
"You can 'come as you are and stay in your car' -- as simply put by one of our church members."
Zimmerman and the other Prayer Partners emphasize that confidentiality is a priority, and everyone in the community is welcome to participate in Drive-Thru Prayer.