Week of Prayer Spring 2023


Sarah Andrews, Editor-in-Chief

Week of Prayer is a spiritual highlight for many students at Collegedale Academy where the usual schedule is interrupted for longer chapel periods full of music and inspirational messages by various pastors. This year Pastor Jackie James spoke at CA, who engaged students with powerful personal stories and a daily question that probed all listeners to examine their lives. Statements like “What do you worship?” and “What is stealing from you?” sat on student’s hearts during the week. Pastor James used John 10:10 as the pivotal verse for the week, which says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

There is a Week of Prayer first and second semester, so students hear numerous speakers during their time at CA. Whether it be his direct approach Christianity, or his honesty when speaking to the audience, students appeared especially engaged and impacted by the events during the week. Jackie did not beat around the bush, addressing topics such as drugs, sex,  and social media, pointing them towards a relationship with God for freedom and healing. His message throughout the week told students that no matter what situations and mess they are in, God loves and can sort their life into order.

Week of Prayer also features the CA praise band, who performs for special occasions such as this. The theme song for the week was “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship, which repeats the phrase “Lord there’s nothing better than You” over and over. Despite sickness from several members of the band and constant rearranging, the praise team worked hard to create a musical experience to go along with the powerful words of the speaker.

Pastor James visited several junior and senior religion classes during the week, answering questions that teens had about God, faith, life, and more. Many students mentioned that this was their favorite part of the week as they gained a deeper understanding on certain issues and got to dive deeper into the themes present during chapel. Jackie also offered a small group Bible study Wednesday night for the students and staff who wanted to get the most out of the week. 

While on stage, James said that he was not sent to CA to give students a relationship with God, but simply to light a flame so that they can pursue God out of their own choice. This Week of Prayer served as a reminder and wake up call for many listeners, staff and students alike. Overall, CA was blessed to have Pastor James speak, and hopes to continue to cultivate the flames sparked during the week.