Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 31, 2012

An electronic instrument in the Lord’s hands


CNHI

— It started with 26 e-mail addresses, most of them of fellow members of his church. The year was 2000 and Ray White had answered the call to publish a daily prayer chain via a new medium called electronic mail or e-mail.

His goal was simple: keep others informed about the need for prayer for those struggling with medical problems and other personal issues.

Today, his ministry of hope and comfort reaches out via the Internet to more than 1,000 individuals who apparently forward it to countless others all over the globe.

Those daily messages energize “prayer warriors” from all walks of life who not only pray for those in need but often respond with other acts of kindness to help individuals and families cope with their fear and despair.

Ray White starts his day by sorting the 15-20 messages that arrive daily asking for prayer and compassion for specific persons or “unspoken requests” for those desiring to remain anonymous.

And on those rare occasions when Ray can’t do the Lord’s work on the Morehead Prayer Chain himself, his sister, Jan Dacci, or others make sure the word gets out through seven different e-mail lists.

This personable, genuinely humble man is reluctant to take credit for the good he does. He says he is merely an instrument in the Lord’s hands and that the work has defined him and blessed him beyond measure.

Prayer requests and a daily devotional have been part of the Morehead Prayer Chain since the beginning but Ray found another way to reach out a few years ago.

He started posting obituaries so that grieving family members and friends could be comforted by those learning of the death of someone else’s loved ones.

Ray says his ministry has grown because we live in a special, even unique, community where individuals truly care about each other and believe in the power of prayer.

And he says witnessing the challenges and hardships endured by others helps him keep life in perspective, to appreciate the real priorities in our lives.

He knows from others of positive results, seen and unseen, that are linked to the efforts of those who don’t hesitate to kneel in prayer for someone in need, even a stranger.

Even when survival of a loved one is not in the Lord’s plan, Ray is told often that the comfort and support experienced by those left behind can change lives for the better.

Thanks, Ray. You are loved and appreciated.

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Keith Kappes is a columnist for The Morehead (Ky.) News. Contact him at kkappes@cnhi.com.