JOY Prayer Tent

JOY is a termly event for young people from churches around the Colchester area. The basic format is a series of workshops or activities for the first half, testimony, talk and worship for the second half. This time our theme was “Real lives” with testimony from two Christian rappers from Chelmsford and speaker John DeLacy.

One of the things that looks like it’s becoming a regular feature (well, we’ve done it twice!) is the prayer tent. There’s nothing particularly original about it – setting up four activities in a gazebo has been done before. We wanted the prayer tent to reflect the theme of “Real lives” so here’s what we did on Saturday.


“Life is about relationships. There are people in our lives who bring us joy, peace and love.” People were encouraged to write the name of people they were thankful for in their lives onto one of the cut-out paper people and pin it to the board.


This is an activity we use for Sanctum in schools. Participants choose to watch one of four video testimonies that have been edited into a Keynote presentation. Each story is an example of how a real life has been changed by Jesus.

Secret Children

We wanted the young people to look outwards to pray for others of similar age who were suffering for their faith. We printed out some case studies from an amazing resource by Open Doors looking at the plight of children who have to live their faith in secret. People were asked to read one of the stories, pray, and then write their name on a mini post-it and stuck it over the nation of the child they’d prayed for.

I pray for you

As a way of encouraging young people to pray for each other about the things that are most real in their lives, pairs of friends sat down to chat about what they’d like the other person to pray for. They then each wrote their initial in marker pen on a glass bead and swapped beads to take home as a reminder to pray for their friend.

Elsewhere there was beatboxing, table tennis, Wii dance, table football, inflatables, and a host of other stuff including a tuck shop. However, we shared our room with another activity, Fimo modelling which turned out to be so much fun!

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