Praying at Recess
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 12.
ngie’s older brother, Elmer, called all the teens into the church sanctuary after the Sabbath worship service in Tacotalpa, Mexico.
“I have an idea,” Elmer said. “School starts on Monday. Let’s have a prayer group once a week during recess.”
Angie was happy at the thought of praying, singing, and discussing Jesus during the 45-minute recess at the public high school that she and her brother attended. Elmer was just starting his last year in high school, while she had two years to go.
But she felt nervous about how her church friends would react. As she looked around to see the response, a girl exclaimed, “That’s a great idea! Let’s have the prayer group every day!”
Ten students agreed to meet every day to pray.
“And invite everyone in your classroom to join us,” Elmer said.
On Monday, eighteen students gathered at recess in a large school courtyard circled by classroom buildings. Five students were from other Adventist churches, and three were not Adventists.
The group sang a song, prayed, and then Elmer read a story from a devotional book for young people. Afterward, he led a discussion about the story. The students sang another song and ended the meeting with prayer.
Other students noticed the meeting and walked by to listen.
The next day, twenty-two students gathered for the prayer group.
The teachers began talking about the prayer group, and before long the principal heard about it. He was not pleased. He called Elmer to his office.
“Stop having the prayer group at school,” he said.
Elmer broke the news to the other Adventist students, but they didn’t want to stop. They spoke with their parents and prayed. They read the law and saw there was rule against students having a prayer group during recess.
The students also didn’t want to disobey the principal. They decided to pray for the Holy Spirit to change the principal’s heart.
Several weeks passed, and the time came for an annual Pathfinder challenge. Pathfinders are challenged to wear their yellow scarves every day for a week and to tell everyone that they were Christians.
Elmer boldly asked the principal for permission for the Adventist students to wear their Pathfinder scarves to school.
The principal became quiet.
After thinking for a moment, he asked, “Why are you guys doing this?”
“We are celebrating being Pathfinders, and Seventh-day Adventist leaders have challenged us to wear our scarves,” Elmer said.
To the students’ surprise, the principal allowed them to wear their scarves.
Even more surprisingly, after the Pathfinder week ended, the principal said the students could have their prayer group during recess.
Angie joined her brother, Elmer, and other Adventist students at recess to thank God for hearing their prayers.
“Thank you for working on the hearts of the students, the principal, the teachers, and especially on me,” Angie prayed.
Angie is a real missionary for sharing Jesus through the prayer group at school. This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a center to train other missionaries at Montemorelos University in Angie’s homeland, Mexico. Elmer is now studying at Montemorelos University to become a pastor, and Angie is the new leader of the school prayer group.