An Authentic Take on Week of Prayer 2019

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An Authentic Take on Week of Prayer 2019

Carolina Smith, Writer

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From August 26-30, Collegedale Academy was blessed to have Ryan Becker speak for a refreshing Week of Prayer. Over the week, he showed how each individual’s path to accepting God is different. A unique aspect of the faith journey was introduced each day. 

Forgiveness is the first step to finding purpose, as explained on Monday. Moving on is impossible without moving past something that you have been afraid to let go. Tuesday encouraged leaning into your calling despite what others may say. God calls each individual to distinct talents and hobbies, and He can use any route available. The importance of community and supporting each other despite lack of similarities was discussed on Wednesday, followed by Thursday’s analogy of “putting on clean clothes.” God asks us to step out of our sins and past mistakes in order for Him to forgive us and transform us into something new to embrace our true calling.

The topic of strength in numbers discussed on Wednesday inspired students. 

According to Sophomore Lisett Blandon, “[when he talked about the need for community,] it stood out to me because there are a lot of people walking around in the halls by themselves. He was trying to reach out to them and make everyone feel wanted and let them know that God loves them.”

The crux of the week-long discussion was the call to move forward, shared on Friday. Becker did not sugar coat life’s journey. He added that although there will always be setbacks, it is important to patiently tread on and realize that bad situations often don’t end quickly. God stands right beside us, waiting for us to grab His outstretched hand—a decision that must be made daily.

One detail that contrasted this Week of Prayer from others was the absence of an altar call. Usually, when a speaker asks if anyone is willing to come to the front and commit his or her life to God, the request is met by three groups of people: those actually touched and wanting to change their lives, those feeling pressured to keep their reputations intact, and those who remain in their seats, brave enough to be honest with the crowd surrounding them.

Junior Briana Reed adds, “An offering call stresses me out because I don’t know if I need to go up or not. I feel like a lot of people aren’t sincere when they go.” 

Becker allowed those wanting to make a commitment the opportunity to do so at any time, but he did not guilt those not ready for the personal decision. He also encouraged everyone to pursue God outside of the spiritual high that Week of Prayer offers. This small but significant change allowed integrity to trump social pressures.

The primary reason students were engaged in the topic and nodding off less frequently was the authenticity that enveloped each sentiment. 

Senior Danielle Williams says, “It was better [than other Week of Prayers] because he could relate to us, and it was easy to understand his perspective. He spoke about stuff that we are going through.” 

Hopefully the messages shared will continue to affect students’ lives in a positive way throughout the school year.

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