A group prays in front of Church Hill middle School as part of Sunday's prayer walk event which took place at every school in the Hawkins County system. (photo by Jeff Bobo)
CHURCH HILL — In John 5:14 the Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Hawkins County residents gathered at schools across the county Sunday afternoon to be heard, joining in a “prayer walk” event to launch the 2013-14 school year which begins Monday morning.
The two-hour event was organized by the Rogersville Christian organization “Expecting God’s Help.”
Although participants visited most schools Sunday in a steady trickle, as opposed to a flood, their voices were unified and spoke for all students, teachers, school staff, and families in Hawkins County and across the nation to have a safe and productive school year.
Josh Kilbourne, the new pastor at the first United Methodist Church in Church Hill, led the prayers at Church Hill Middle School.
“We pray for teachers, administrators, for staff, for parents, for students, and we pray for all who are gathering today at all the schools for this important occasion to pray,” Kilbourne said.
Kilbourne said he personally witnessed the power of prayer in schools while a student at Science Hill High School. He and some friends organized a weekly student prayer meeting. Those meetings led to a revival program which attracted more than 1,000 students.
“I’ve seen the power of prayer related to schools,” Kilbourne said. “I just think this is a great idea for all of our schools here in our communities. Right now there’s prayers going on for the upcoming school year. It’s just an honor and a privilege as a new pastor in the area to take part in this.”
Participants at all Hawkins County Schools were given a list of suggested prayer topics. The idea was that they would walk around the school and pray on a different topic at different locations on campus.
Among the 12 suggested prayer topics were:
•“Salvation of Souls.” Pray that lost souls will come to know Jesus Christ.
•“Wisdom” to see and clearly understand all things
•“Kindness” to speak kind words to one another.
•“Courage” to do the right thing always.
•“Speak” good positive words to everyone.
•“Stand” for what is right and godly.
•“Respect” for family, teachers, peers and staff.
•“Know” the love of God.
•“Overcome” drugs, alcohol, sexual desires, etc.
•“Plead” the blood of Jesus over the schools, homes and students.
•“Bind” the powers of darkness in the name of Jesus.
•“Loosen” the power of God in our schools, our communities, and our nation.
Church Hill resident Robert Stanley brought his family to CHMS for Sunday’s prayer event, and was invited by Kilbourne to lead the prayer of “salvation of souls.”
“Lord, we especially want to lift up those who are lost, and who do not know you, and that somehow through your conviction that they will want to know you,” Stanley said. “Lord we hope they can see Jesus working through us, and that they would want to be saved. And through prayer, and reading scripture, and doing your will, and showing your works through our lives, that they see the love of you through us.”