Last night we took three young people to an event called a "Prayer Hearing", organised by the Chelmsford Diocese. These Prayer Hearings, subtitled, "Prayer, but not where we know it" are an opportunity for people from local churches to hear from those connected with various aspects of life outside the church. Previous Prayer Hearings have happened in places like Harlow Civic Centre and Lakeside Shopping Centre.
Wednesday’s was about education, and was held in a local secondary school.
Our part of the evening was to interview four young people about their understanding of prayer and of God. The three Year 10 girls we took with us have been coming to a lunchtime group we run in school for nearly a year – they are definitely on a journey towards God. The other young person is a lad in year 11 who goes to another school and is an active Christian. All four were amazing in their openness about what they believe. The three girls spoke really boldly about their understanding of God and prayer in front of this audience of about 45 much older adults. This was more than the lively discussions we have about life and God on Friday lunchtimes. In this entirely strange setting, they were clearly confessing a real faith in God that was an integral part of their lives. And they loved it! The Year 11 lad too, in spite of a fairly quiet manner, was speaking with conviction about the way he prays for people in school (with tangible outcomes). When the discussion was opened up to the floor, the young people continued to contribute.
All in all, they entered into the event in a mature, spiritually sensitive and confident way, which wasn’t too far off what we were expecting! But it was hearing them confess their growing faith so publicly that touched us all. And I think it touched them as well. Tom and Amy are seeing the girls again on Friday – we’ll find out what they thought!