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24-7 Prayer Content Style Guide

24-7 Prayer Content Style Guide

Copywriting, editing and proofreading  

Contents 

Introduction: Why We’ve Written This Guide
1. How We Talk About Ourselves 

Names

2. The 24-7 Prayer Voice 

Brand voice 
Tone of voice  
Our tone of voice principles: EARS 
How to write in our tone of voice 
Variations in our tone of voice

3. Our House Style 

Capitalisation  
Punctuation  
Spelling 

Quoting the Bible
Other references

Appendix 1: Word list

Appendix 2: A–Z of house style, language and grammar points  

Appendix 3: Flight checks

Appendix 4: Social media

Introduction: Why We’ve Written This Guide  

 
Over 25 years, we’ve grown from a small bunch of people praying non-stop into an influential, ecumenical and global movement of prayer, mission and justice.  

24-7 Prayer’s name and logo are now internationally recognised, and thousands of people all over the world have encountered our vision of helping people to pray.  

This means that the way that we’re represented and represent ourselves – from our logo to our tone of voice to our house style – should reflect the heart of who we are. We’re a movement of people who love Jesus and who are working to revive the church and rewire the culture through prayer, mission, and justice, and all of our communication should reflect these values and this vision. 

Because we’re an international organisation, we have national variations of style, which cover differences in vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. We’ll talk about our UK style below. If your national team doesn’t have an individual style guide, please use this one. 

1. How We Talk About Ourselves   

We’re 24-7 Prayer. Not 24/7 Prayer, 247 Prayer or Prayer 247.   

At 24-7 Prayer, we invite engagement by using the first person plural (“we”) to address the reader directly (“you”).  

That means that, where possible, we avoid talking about 24-7 Prayer in the third person. For example, we’d say “At 24-7 Prayer, we believe that prayer is powerful” rather than saying “24-7 Prayer believes that prayer is powerful”. 

When we do need to talk about 24-7 Prayer in the third person, we use third person singular. For example, we’d say “24-7 Prayer is a movement of prayer, mission and justice” rather than saying “24-7 Prayer are a movement or prayer, mission and justice”. 

In official mailings, the first person singular (“I”) may be used if the email is signed off by an individual person.  

Names

We areWe are not
24-7 Prayer 24/7 Prayer, 247 Prayer, Prayer 247 
24-7 Prayer Room 24-7 Prayer room, 24-7 prayer room, 24/7 Prayer Room 
Inner Room Innerroom, Inneroom 
Lectio 365
Lectio 365 Night Prayers
Lectio 365 Morning Prayers
Lectio for Families 
Lectio365, Lexio365
Lectio365 Night Prayers, Lectio 365 night prayers
Lectio365 Morning Prayers, Lectio 365 morning prayers
Lectio for families, Lectio 365 for Families 
The Prayer Course
The Prayer Course II: Unanswered Prayer (short version: Prayer Course II) 
The prayer course
Unanswered Prayer Course, Prayer Course 2 
 
Order of the Mustard Seed OMS (when speaking externally to audiences who aren’t familiar with the Order of the Mustard Seed) 
Community Networks Communities Network, Community Network 
Prayer Spaces in Schools PSIS (when speaking to external audiences) 
How to be (Un)Successful (the book)
How to be Unsuccessful (the course) 
How to be Unsuccessful, How to be (Un)successful (the book)
How to be (Un)successful (the course) 
the Lectio Course the Lectio course
Lectio Course 
Be Still Series Be Still series 
the 24-7 Prayer Podcast 24-7 Prayer Podcast, the 24/7 Prayer Podcast, the 247 Podcast, the 24-7 podcast 
The Gathering ’25 the Gathering, The Gathering’25, The Gathering 25, The Gathering 2025 

Note: We avoid the use of “24/7” or “24/7 prayer” to avoid confusion with our organisation’s name. “Non-stop prayer” or “day and night prayer” should be used instead. 

2. The 24-7 Prayer Voice   

Brand voice 

The 24-7 Prayer brand voice should show who we are: accessible, authentic and honest. We’re not restrictive, exclusive or religious.  

  

Tone of voice 

At 24-7 Prayer our standard tone is informal, friendly and uncomplicated.  

  

Our tone of voice principles: EARS 

We can express our tone of voice – the way we want to be heard – in four principles with the initials EARS: 

Edifying  

Communication should strengthen and encourage. It should be calm and confident and feel trustworthy, with a hopeful and optimistic tone, avoiding overly effusive, aggressive or casual language.  

Not: harsh, critical or flippant. 

Accessible 

Communication should be simple and easy to understand – not using unnecessarily complex words or concepts that could be misunderstood.   

Not: complicated, jargony or overly religious.  

Relational 

Communication should be written in a personal, warm and honest style that shows the authentic heart behind the movement.  

Not: formal, institutional or cold.  

Sincere  

Communication should be heartfelt and enthusiastic and point back to Jesus – the core of why we do what we do.   

Not: ironic, apathetic or goofy.

Examples

Example 1

This is accessible, informal language that’s both informative and easy to understand. The tone is edifying, empowering and relational. 

Not

This is edifying and professional, but it’s not accessible or relational. The complicated and formal language is harder for people to connect with, and it doesn’t convey the warmth or authenticity that we want to share. 

And not

This is accessible and relational, unlike the previous example, but it’s gone too far in the other direction and now it’s not edifying or sincere. It’s too informal and flippant, and it’s not adhering to our punctuation and capitalisation guidelines. 

Our tone of voice is in the middle: friendly and inviting while also remaining measured and professional. 

Example 2

These examples are edifying, clear and compassionate, talking about problems in an accessible and sincere way. 

Not

This is sincere, but it isn’t edifying, empowering or accessible. The language is religious and dramatic, pointing towards problems without hope.

Our tone of voice acknowledges pain and difficulty while always turning to Jesus for hope, and it is easy for people to understand regardless of their religious background. 

Practical tips for writing in our tone of voice 

Use plain language  

Keep sentences and words simple. In most cases, we choose the easiest word to understand: “eat” rather than “consume”, for example. 

Get rid of unnecessary words. We choose to say “plans” rather than “future plans”, “same” rather than “exact same”. 

Cut jargon. Obvious Christian jargon might be terms like “ecclesial” or “propitiation”. But also consider the sort of phrases that people with less exposure to church life might not understand or might find odd: “uphold in prayer” or “a word from God”.  

Use active language 

Avoid the passive voice. We choose “We prayed a prayer” rather than “A prayer was prayed”. 

Be informal 

Use contractions where it’s appropriate. “We’re praying”, “Don’t worry”, “God can’t forget you” sound more friendly than “We are praying”, “Do not worry” and “God cannot forget you”. But “cannot” has an emphasis that might be more appropriate for our message, so we don’t use contractions without thinking. We don’t use contractions if they make something unclear, even momentarily: “I’ve to go to church” is a contraction too far. 

Break the “rules”. These aren’t actually true rules, but especially in informal writing we feel free to start a sentence with “and” or “but”, or end a sentence with “with” or “to”. 

But don’t be too informal 

Don’t overdo exclamation marks. Exclamation marks go a long way in writing so we avoid them in most circumstances, particularly in web copy and certainly in reports and other “published” material. In emails, we can be more free with exclamation marks, but don’t use more than one at a time. 

Don’t overdo emojis. In emails, we might use one or two emojis in the subject line, but we avoid using emojis in web copy and published material. For guidelines on using emojis in social media, see Appendix 4. 

Variations in our tone of voice 

Just as you’ll change your tone of voice depending on the kind of conversation you’re having, our tone of voice will shift depending on topic and audience. Regardless of the topic or the audience, our voice should still be edifying, accessible, relational and sincere. 

Topic 

Our tone will change depending on what we are talking about. It’ll be more serious when we are talking about praying for world issues or crises, and it’ll be more light-hearted and excited when we are talking about (for example) events and products. 

Audience 

Mailing lists

When the audience is a mailing list of people who have signed up to be part of a specific challenge, sub-brand or community (e.g. the Prayer Spaces in Schools mailing list, a Lent challenge, the Community Networks), the tone of voice we use will often be more warm, informal and relational than the way we would write in a social media post or something public-facing. 

Familiarity with faith

When the audience is a group of people of all faiths or none (e.g. our “about” page, a “how to pray” guide, the prayer stations in a prayer space in a school), our tone will be very accessible and simple. When the audience is a group of people who are Christian and are familiar with faith-based jargon (e.g. attendees at The Gathering), our tone will be more passionate, with a few more words or phrases that work in a church context. 

Age

Most 24-7 Prayer content and communication is created for adults, but some is aimed at children and young people. The tone will change depending on the age of the intended audience. 

Type of organisation

Different organisations or institutions may require a slightly more formal tone – for example, when writing grant applications. 

Regional variations 

24-7 Prayer has teams all over the world, working in lots of different cultural contexts. Communication changes from culture to culture, which means that the tone of voice will change in different nations. For example, something that sounds relational and empowering in one culture might come across as cheesy and unprofessional in a culture that tends to value more formal communication. If we just copy and paste the same language everywhere without making adjustments, we’ll end up misrepresenting ourselves. 

The important thing is that our four tone-of-voice principles are expressed wherever 24-7 Prayer is represented in the world. 

You can think about the four principles in the EARS acronym as the four walls of a room. Everything within the walls – language that is edifying, accessible, relational and sincere – is our voice. Some cultures might be closer to certain “walls” than others – might sound more accessible and relational, for example, than a different culture. 

Let’s look at a hypothetical example of this: something a 24-7 Prayer team in India says might not sound relational enough for someone in Australia. That’s okay, as long as to someone in the Indian context it does sound edifying, accessible, relational and sincere. 

What we want to avoid is stepping outside of the “room” – language that does not convey these four principles within its own context

3. Our House Style 

In this section, we go over the main points around capitalisation, punctuation, spelling and references for writing in English. There is an A-Z list of language, punctuation and grammar points in Appendix 2. 

Capitalisation   

Deity pronouns: he, his, him, you, your   

Names of God: God, Father, Holy Spirit, Lord, Jesus, the Trinity, Son, King, Creator 

Gospel/s (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), gospel (good news)   

Bible, biblical   

Scripture (the Bible as a whole), scripture (passage of the Bible)   

King David, the king (Jesus: the King of kings)   

heaven, hell, holy, scriptural, biblical, godly, kingdom of God, psalmist, psalms (but Psalm 31), apostle, the cross, the devil   

Don’t use CAPITALS for emphasis (use italics instead) 

Headings: titles, first headings, and website page titles in title case (e.g. Pray for Peace); all other headings in sentence case (e.g. Pray for national leaders to end war) 

Punctuation  

See the A–Z list in Appendix 2 for more detailed guidelines, but here are the main points to remember. 

  • Don’t use full stops in a bulleted list  
  • Don’t use ampersands (&) instead of “and” unless there is a specific word or character limit (e.g. Twitter/X)   
  • When italics cannot be used for titles, use “quote marks”, for example for the names of books 
  • Use “double quote marks” with ‘single’ for a quote within a quote
  • Ensure apostrophes are used in the correct places on all email, web and printed copy, particularly where we’re addressing groups:
  • Leaders’ Day
  • Each other’s 
  • People’s faith 
  • Men’s, women’s, children’s
  • For names and words that end in “s”, an apostrophe without another “s” is preferred for the possessive: Jesus’, not Jesus’s 

Spellings 

Use British English spelling (with “ise” endings: organise, realise) for all 24-7 Prayer International web, social media and marketing content and 24-7 Prayer resources, PDFs, reports and fundraising documents written by the international team. Also, British English is the default where content is translated from another language into English.  

Use American English spelling for content featured on the website, social media, marketing and resources from the 24-7 Prayer USA / Canada team, plus reports and fundraising documents written by these teams for use within these nations.   

Below we have listed our preferred British English spellings. Refer to your national team’s guidelines for differences in your region. 

among (not amongst) 

benefited (not benefitted) 

cooperating (not co-operating) 

coordinating (not co-ordinating) 

focused, focusing (not focussed, focussing) 

while (not whilst) 
 

Quoting the Bible 

Bible translations 

Our default translation for use across international web content, resources and social media is NIV / NIVUK (in the UK).   

The only exception is where a specific translation is being used for emphasis, in which case it should be referenced. For example, “MSG”, “Passion Translation”. 

Bible translation permissions

Many Bible translations are under copyright, which means that their publishers have rules about how their translation is used. The NIV translation, for example, may be quoted up to 500 verses without permission. When we quote the Bible in any written work, we always make sure that we are respecting the publisher’s guidelines, and that we are crediting the translation by adding the correct initials after the text (eg “NIV”). 

Part of respecting publisher guidelines involves using a “notice of copyright” when we use a copyrighted translations. Whether this is on an app, a webpage, or a published work, there should be a notice of copyright present somewhere. We’ll include the NIV notice of copyright below for your convenience, but make sure you are including the notice of copyright for any other translation you may use, too. 

“Scripture quotations marked (NIVUK) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicised, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.” 

Citing Bible verses 

Matthew 5:3–12 

Not Matthew chapter 5 verses 3 to 12 or Matthew 5 vv 3–12. Use an en dash, rather than a hyphen, to indicate the range (3–12 not 3-12).

We prefer full Bible book names to be used in citations, but if they need to be abbreviated for length, the following can be used:  

Old Testament: Gen. // Exod. // Lev. // Num. // Deut. // Josh. // Judg. // Ruth // 1 Sam. //  2 Sam. // 1 Kings // 2 Kings // 1 Chron. // 2 Chron. // Ezra // Neh. // Esth. // Job // Psa. Prov. // Eccl. // Songs // Isa. // Jer. // Lam. // Ezek. // Dan. // Hosea // Joel // Amos // Obad. // Jonah // Micah // Nahum // Hab. // Zeph. // Hag. // Zech. // Mal. 

New Testament: Matt. // Mark // Luke // John // Acts // Rom. // 1 Cor. // 2 Cor. // Gal. // Eph. // Phil. // Col. // 1 Thess. // 2 Thess. // 1 Tim. // 2 Tim. // Titus // Philem. // Heb. // James // 1 Pet. // 2 Pet. // 1 John // 2 John // 3 John // Jude // Rev.

Other references 

There are a few different widely used systems for organising and displaying references to make sure that authors are properly credited. We use the MHRA system: superscript numbers in the body of the text linking to a list of full references at the end. Full references should follow this sequence: Author’s full name, “article or section”, name of book. (Place of publication: name of publisher, year of publication), page numbers.  

Example: 

Malcolm Guite, “Palm Sunday”, A sonnet from Sounding the Seasons. (Norwich, Norfolk: Canterbury Press, 2012), p. 32.

For material accessed online, use Creator’s name or username, Title, type of source, title of website (e.g. YouTube), date, <URL>. 

Example: 

Sarah Breuel, The Gathering ‘23 Main Session 3, online video recording of conference talk, Youtube, 6 Nov 2023, https://youtu.be/9587uGuBC1Y. 

Appendix 1: Word list 

24-7 Prayer terms: 

24-7 Prayer Room A physical space that is used by a community for continuous prayer, registered with the 24-7 Prayer Room Sign-Up Tool. The term “prayer room” may be used when referring to a prayer room that is unaffiliated with 24-7 Prayer, such as a multi-faith prayer room in an airport. 

Prayer space – Used to represent the work of Prayer Spaces in Schools, rather than 24-7 Prayer. Should be used to refer to 24-7 Prayer only in specific examples where non-stop prayer has taken place in a location rather than room. Note: “prayer space in a school” refers to a specific space, “Prayer Spaces in Schools” refers to the organisation. 

Prayer Spaces in Schools (PSIS – abbreviation) The name of the specific initiative of 24-7 Prayer which facilitates the work of prayer spaces in schools. Should be referred to as Prayer Spaces in Schools in all external and public-facing comms. PSIS can be used internally in emails and meeting minutes.  

Prayer spaces in schools (no caps)  Description of the work of Prayer Spaces in Schools (caps denote the organisation name).  

Virtual 24-7 Prayer Room – A specific term to describe communities joining together online or virtually in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions to run non-stop prayer. (Virtual non-stop prayer, 24-7 Prayer online can also be used).   

HOPE spaces – A specific initiative encouraging communities to set up prayer stations in public spaces for wide use.  

Community Networks The name given to the networks of 24-7 Prayer communities all over the world (previously Boiler Room Network).  

Order of the Mustard Seed (OMS – abbreviation) The name of the international, ecumenical community, part of 24-7 Prayer. Should be referred to as Order of the Mustard Seed in all contexts except where familiar, in which case OMS may be used.   

Appendix 2: A–Z of house style, language and grammar points 

Abbreviations Full words are preferred in all cases for ease of understanding, unless there is a specific need for a shortened sentence (for example on social media where there are character limits). For specific abbreviations that are used internally, see Appendix 1: Word list. 

Ampersands (&) Should not be used in place of the word “and” unless there is a specific character limit. 

Apostrophes Ensure apostrophes are used in the correct places on all email, web and printed copy. For names and words that end in “s”, an apostrophe without another “s” is preferred. For more details see “Punctuation” in Section 3. 

Bible references – Written as Matthew 5:3–12. For more details see “References” in Section 3. 

Bible translations Our default is NIV / NIVUK (in the UK). Other translations may be used for emphasis. For more details see “References” in Section 3. 

Bible verses Should be formatted in line with the indentation and alignment of the original text as displayed in scripture where part of a written resource. 

Brackets Use round brackets, not square brackets, unless they’re being used for an explanation or paraphrase within a quote. 

Bullet points Bulleted lists shouldn’t include full stops. 

Capitalisation See “Capitalisation” in Section 3 for common words and rules. We don’t use all caps for emphasis. 

Commas We use the Oxford comma (before the “and” or “or” that precedes the last item in a list) if it helps to avoid confusion. Otherwise, our style is not to use the Oxford comma.  

Dashes Use an en dash between Bible verses. For example, Psalm 52:5–6. 

Dates Dates should be formatted as 5 September 1999. Not 5/9/99, September 5, 1999 or 5th of September 1999. However, in transcriptions (for example in Lectio 365), write what the speaker says rather than applying this rule. For example, “Today is Monday the 6th of May.” 

Ellipses (dots) Can easily be overused; should be used sparingly in copy and only when necessary. 

Emojis Should not be used in web or resource copy, but may be used sparingly across email headings or social media captions. For more details see “Practical tips for writing in our tone of voice” in Section 2, and Appendix 4: Social media. 

Exclamation marks Can demonstrate excitement and enthusiasm in light-hearted copy, but shouldn’t be overused. As with question marks, use only one exclamation mark at a time. 

Headings Title case should be used for first headings, and sentence case for subsequent titles. For more details see “Capitalisation” in Section 3. 

Hyphens 24-7 Prayer, the organisational name, should have a hyphen and not a forward slash. Hyphens may be used to join words together, but make sure you are not using a hyphen when an en or em dash is required (e.g. “But wait – there’s more!”). 

Italics We prefer the titles of products such as books to be italicised (e.g. Pete Greig’s book Red Moon Rising). Italics can also be used for emphasis and example text.  

Numbers Should be written in full between one and twelve, but figures from 13 and above. For ease of reading, commas should be used when writing out large numbers (10,000 views, 120,000 Prayer Rooms).

Quotations Should be no longer than necessary and referenced appropriately. See “References” in Section 3 for more details.

Quotation marks – Use “double quote marks” with ‘single’ for a quote within a quote.

Regional language Can be used by English-speaking national teams (e.g. Canadian or American spelling can be used by 24-7 Prayer Canada or USA). 

Semicolons Can be used where helpful in longer blocks of copy. For social media captions and easy-to-read content, shorter sentences are preferred.  

Slashes Can feel too informal if overused. In a list, “or” should be used.  

Social media See Appendix 4 for specific guidance on writing for social media. 

Spelling We use British English spelling except in local team contexts. For more details see “Spelling” in Section 3.  

Titles We use title case for first titles and sentence case for subsequent titles and subtitles. 

Time We use the 24-hour clock as default. Time zones are added for digital events as we work internationally, for example “The Gathering ’24 starts at 19.30 GMT +1”. 

Web addresses Can be written without “www” or “https” (e.g. 24-7prayer.com).  

Appendix 3: Flight checks 

EARS: is your tone edifying, accessible, relational and sincere? 

Names: are all names spelt and capitalised correctly? Are all names of 24-7 Prayer sub-brands, products and events accurate? 

Consistency: is your language and formatting consistent? Do Have you made sure you’re either “I” or “we” in all cases? Are you consistent in your use of past or present tense? 

Language: is your language plain and simple? 

Links: do all links work? Are the links embedded into buttons or text? 

Style: is everything in 24-7 Prayer house style, including punctuation? 

Titles: are all titles and headings capitalised correctly and are they uniform? Are they the correct weight? 

Call to action: is there a simple next step for your readers to take? Is your call to action clear? 

Credits: have you acknowledged everyone and cited all the references you need to? 

Cross-references: where you say you’ll look at something in another section have you done that? If you say you’ll mention four points, are four mentioned? 

Double spaces: have you changed all double spaces between sentences to single ones? 

Appendix 4: Social media 

Emojis: Use emojis sparingly to emphasise key points without distracting from the main message. Use one or two per post, ensuring they’re directly relevant to the content. For example, use the praying hands emoji 🙏 or a heart ❤️ to reinforce posts about prayer or unity. When using emojis, remember to carefully check all their possible associations before posting. 

Hashtags: Use hashtags relevant to your content, such as #BibleVerse #247Prayer #DailyPrayer or event-specific hashtags when possible, such as #TheGathering #247Prayer #BrianHeasley. Use 3–5 hashtags per post when possible. 

Links: When possible, keep links concise to reduce the copy count. Provide links without “www” or “https” (e.g. 24-7prayer.com), ensuring they are functional and preview properly before posting. Instagram captions don’t allow clickable links, so direct followers to the “link in bio” for sign-ups, resources etc. Update the bio link regularly and encourage users to “Find out more through the link in our bio”. 

Tagging: When relevant, tag partner organisations, local teams or guest speakers when they feature in your posts to amplify reach and encourage engagement. 

Tone: Maintain language that is positive, encouraging and reflective of 24-7 Prayer’s mission (see Section 2) Avoid jargon, overly religious phrasing, or anything that could be perceived as exclusionary. Copy must be succinct yet informative, particularly on platforms with strict character limits like X (formerly Twitter).