LOS ANGELES, California- The popular fact-checking website Snopes.com says the recent requests for prayer chains for a youngster named Dakota are unproven at this time.
They say in December 2016, a message requesting that people pray for a young boy named Dakota who was allegedly airlifted to a hospital after having a seizure was widely circulated on Facebook.
While the verbiage of this message varied from post to post, all versions contained three basic elements: The boy’s name (Dakota), a short account of an emergency situation (he was airlifted to a hospital), and a call to action (please forward this message):
“Hey can you help get a prayer circle going for Dakota. They had to life flight him. He is having seizures. Forward this everywhere please. we need prayers for this little Boy please forward to all of your friends that prayers thank you
This is a friend’s grandson”
They say while nearly every message about Dakota lacked credible information about where or when this incident occurred, they did find a message posted to the prayer board of the Woodland Hills Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, which may have provided some additional details (i.e., the child’s full name and location) about the situation:
“Please pray for Dakota Wells. He is a child from Big Sandy area … he is having continuous seizures and has been air lifted to Dallas. Please pray for his healing … pray for his family and the Medical staff taking care of him. Thanks”
They say while this prayer request for Dakota is certainly vague, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fake. Facebook is full of “prayer chain” groups where people can post prayer requests. These posts can be for anything (a new job, strength, a Merry Christmas, a successful surgery, etc.) and don’t generally contain identifying information. While these prayer requests usually stay confined to their original prayer circle, the story about Dakota, a young boy who was airlifted to the hospital, must have struck a chord with many, as the message has been reposted by hundreds of individuals, multiple prayer groups, and churches.