The History of The Presidential Prayer Team by historyman


									      The History of The Presidential Prayer Team
        Mobilizing and encouraging Americans to pray daily for the President, his Cabinet and other
                                         leaders of our nation.

         My family and I have been blessed by the prayers of countless of Americans. We have felt
                            their sustaining power and we're incredibly grateful.
                                        --President George W. Bush

Following the contentious election of November 2000, a man in Scottsdale, Arizona felt concerned enough
to encourage his adult Sunday School class to pray for the newly elected president. Having taken up bronze
sculpting after retirement from a successful career in business and the Navy, Bill Hunter created a prayer
reminder coin using the image of our first president, George Washington as he knelt in prayer at Valley
Forge. The coin was a hit with the members of the class, and the effort to pray for the president grew.
Hunter soon realized that the idea had a bigger future than just his class.

He shared his vision with pastor and Christian leader Dr. Corkie (Cornell) Haan, of nearby Cave Creek, who
heartily agreed with the vision of prayer for the president, supported by prayer reminders like the coin. The
men saw what seemed like a nearly unattainable goal—to enlist 1% of the American population,—2.8 million
people,— to commit to pray daily for the president. Haan took the idea to potential backers who agreed that
the time had come for a national prayer team. A November launch was planned.

Then came the tragedy of September 11. On September 12 a unanimous decision was made to launch the
effort at the earliest possible time. With staff working around the clock, the website was created, additional
staff hired, and support for the ministry was sought from many corners. The Presidential Prayer Team was
launched on September 18th with a website and some emails.

Word of the new group quickly spread—largely via the Internet,
as people passed on a viral email that informed them of the
effort and invited them to join. In the aftermath of the
horrendous attacks, Americans were deeply concerned for
their nation and their leaders, especially the President. As
millions lined up to donate blood, others realized that their
prayers could offer the greatest help and support for the
President, his cabinet and others in leadership. Beginning with
a few thousand signups a day, the months following that
launch saw as many as 15-20,000 new members a day, and
on some days, 25-28,000 new members joined.
                                By November 30, 2001 The Presidential Prayer Team was ranked the
                                world's #1 most-visited religious website. And on December 15, 2001, the
                                membership reached one million people. Membership continued to grow as
                                on February 15, 2002 the PPT created American Inspirations, a free, one-
                                minute radio program detailing the lives of Americans who made a difference
                                because of their faith or reliance on prayer.

On September 1, 2002, The Presidential Prayer Team for Kids was launched as a way of teaching
America's children about the godly heritage of their nation as well as the responsibility they have to pray for
their leaders. Widely used by Christian educators and home school families, PPT for Kids now has a weekly
circulation of over 20,000.

On December 1, 2002, seeking a spokesman and key leader, the Board
of Directors hired Mr. John Lind as the President and CEO of the team.
Bringing a strong background in non-profit development and ministry
management, Lind had previously served with an impressive array of
ministries including Youth for Christ, Promise Keepers, and Childhelp

As the prospect of war in Iraq loomed, PPT's leadership believed that if
they were to support and pray for the Commander-in-Chief of our nation
then they must support and pray for his troops. Convening a special
advisory panel, including a retired four-star General, a military chaplain
and a young Air Force cadet, advice was sought on how to best
accomplish the goal. The Adopt Our Troops initiative was launched on
February 8, 2003, swelling the membership to over two million and                 John Lind, President and CEO
causing so much activity on the website that the server crashed on               of The Presidential Prayer Team.
March 19—the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom—when it hosted
                                  more than 9.8 million hits.

                                 Responding to the wildly popular Adopt Our Troops effort, hundreds of
                                 thousands of new members swelled the ranks of the team. On May 1, 2003,
                                 the 2.8 million member mark was reached—just 600 days after the PPT's

                                 As the nation continued to reach for strength and hope through prayer, The
                                 Presidential Prayer Team created an inspirational, patriotic CD, with the title
                                 song, Somebody's Praying Me Through which quickly soared to #1.

                              The influx of new members was a welcome addition, but the expense of
                              distributing membership materials to so many in such a short created
                              financial hardship for the team. In September of 2003, the Board of
                              Directors decided to bring all of the ministry's efforts in house. A new office
was opened and many of the original staff joined the new team.

The History of The Presidential Prayer Team                                                               Page 2
After a period of transition, PPT's goals of stability and growth were quickly realized as on February 16,
Presidents Day 2004, the first ever Virtual Prayer Rally was held. More than 37,000 people committed to
pray for a half-hour or more by virtue of the Internet. Downloadable materials were offered, and the site
experienced a huge number of visits.

On the first anniversary of Adopt Our Troops, a great variety of new features was added to the AOT web
pages giving a means by which updates on registered troops could be logged and then viewed by

                                                           In May 2004, The Presidential Prayer Team
                                                           launched Pray the Vote to stimulate prayer for the
                                                           presidential elections on November 2. Believing
                                                           that the prayers of nation would open a window for
                                                           God to work in our country as never before, tens of
                                                           thousands of Americans joined in this
                                                           unprecedented prayer movement. They
                                                           participated in two Virtual Prayer Rallies, dozens of
                                                           Prayer Parties in which members invited family and
                                                           friends into their homes to pray for the upcoming
                                                           elections and many simply prayed daily, faithfully
anticipating the fulfillment of God's promise to bless the nation that calls on Him. Through the efforts of Pray
the Vote along with a number of other initiatives, the presidential elections of November 2004 may
possibly have been the most prayed-for elections in our nation's history.

In January 2005 members will be invited to join PPT's new Ambassador
program, serving as representatives to their circles of influence and
inviting others to join the effort. After completing the selective application
process, Ambassadors will receive training in recruitment and promotion
and will be able to create their own customized web page that tells others
about their passion for prayer for the president and the nation.

The future of The Presidential Prayer Team is bright. As the cutting edge
leader in stimulating national prayer for our elected officials, and with the
ever-growing marvels and capabilities of the Internet, there is no limit to
what we can envision for the years to come.

The History of The Presidential Prayer Team                                                             Page 3

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