NEC Prayer Warriors Weekend
10th May 2018
2018 marked the 20th anniversary of Prayer Warriors, a youth event that was started in 1998 by the then North England Conference Youth director, Pastor Steve Palmer. 20 years ago, Pastor Palmer noted a need in the calendar for a residential event that was intentionally focused on prayer and Bible study and so the journey began. Over the years there have been many powerful speakers, life-changing Bible studies and transforming prayer sessions and 2018 was no different. This year we had Pastor Pavel Goia as our main speaker. He is currently the Editor of the Ministry Magazine at the General Conference and is a renowned speaker about prayer and is a living testimony of how it changes lives.
Over 100 young people came for the weekend May 4-7 and over 130 came for the Sabbath day. The theme of the weekend was 'Deeper' and the weekend followed a familiar format of presentations from our guest speaker, presentations from local young people, times of prayer throughout the day and scheduled Bible studies whereby the group was spilt into groups of 5-7 and delved into God's Word.
Pastor Goia shared many stories from his own life, both growing up in Communist Romania and more current ones from his time spent as a minister that illustrated and encouraged the youth on the power of prayer. He was very careful to repeatedly stress that prayer was not a secret tool that the Christian uses to get what they want from God. But rather prayer is how we build our relationship with God and prepares us to accept the answers that God gives us. He encouraged the youth to be patient in prayer, that rarely in the Bible do the answers come quickly or when the person wanted them to.
Prayer Warriors started by Pastor Palmer and continued by Pastor Alan Hush whilst he was Youth director. Both were in attendance all weekend and also made presentations during the agape feast and the final charge. Pastor Hush commenting on this year's event said, "Could not want for any more. The weather was hot and sunny, the speakers were top-notch, the fellowship was rich and the food was great. Especially the full English breakfast every day."
Attending on Sabbath were some of the youth who were around during the very early years of Prayer Warriors. One of those was Craig Gooden, PEACE director. Commenting on the impact that Prayer Warriors has had on his life he said, "Prayer Warriors has played an extremely important role in my life. Since 2001 I found myself at the yearly event which encouraged me to make prayer and study a daily habit."
Jehanne Importante, Youth leader from Worcester church attended for the first time with 7 other young people from her church. She said, "As it was my first time going to Prayer Warriors I didn't know what to expect. All I knew was the speaker for that weekend would be Pastor Pavel Goia and it was going to be about prayer. Pastor Goia's messages was so relevant and powerful and my youth and I were definitely blessed."
Prayer Warriors provides a yearly opportunity for friendships to be made, relationships deepened, God's Word to be studied and lives to be changed. We are blessed that we can hold this event in such beautiful surroundings. Alton Castle (Staffordshire) is stunningly beautiful and adds to the experience. Look out for next year's Prayer Warriors on 3-6 May.