Tamsyn Radmall shares with us what happens when students decide to do the Prayer Course together!
This year has been a year of hardship, grief and frustration. But it has also been a year rich in opportunity, where more people are asking the big questions of life and where we’re ready to step into the new and unknown. This is a time where the church can step into new possibilities for ourselves and the people around us.
We as a group of students in the centre of Edinburgh have been trying to do this, trying to create space for people to explore the big questions of life, trying new things and inviting others to join in.
A new thing one of our student communities tried this term was The Prayer Course from 24-7 Prayer. They jumped onto zoom one evening a week, watched the video together and then discussed what they had just heard.
The course was a blessing to the leaders who had been struggling to create life-giving content for their community and to know how to lead and what to say during this difficult year. It has been hard for anyone who is attempting to build a genuine, authentic, Jesus-centred community while on zoom. But the Prayer Course was easy to use – all they had to do was press play and the content spoke for itself. It created real and genuine conversations that felt natural and unforced within this group of young people. It was also easy to follow for everyone in the community as the community included people from diverse backgrounds and with varying degrees of maturity in their faith. Some have never been to church before, some don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus and some have grown up around Jesus and the Church since they were born. So this course was incredible for helping to create an inclusive community.
But mainly what we saw happen through the course was real transformation in the lives of the students. One student had gone to church before but struggled to understand the teaching. But while doing this course he started to get it. He went away and prayed then messaged the leaders saying that he felt God with him for the very first time. Now he is praying more and more and wants to get baptised!
One of the other students had not grown up in church but he joined in doing the Prayer Course because he had been invited by a friend. At the start of the course, he shared how it was challenging him but he was also confused. But now he gets it and it’s making sense for him, which may seem like a small shift but it’s a spiritual shift! He’s now trying to pray for 5 minutes every day and he says that it feels great to pray – it feels like he’s resting with God by praying!
The Prayer Course is a useful resource that saves you having to create your own content, it helps to create genuine and authentic conversations, it provides a way to include a wide range of people and levels of faith, but more than anything, it facilitates a space for real transformation in people’s relationships with God. It has blessed our students in Edinburgh and it’s something we are very thankful for.
Tamsyn is the student leader at Central Church and passionately believes in the potential of students to advance God’s kingdom and bring change to the world around around them. Originally from London, she now calls Scotland home and if you ever need to know which coffee shops in Edinburgh should be visited, she’s your woman!