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Centrifuge students, faculty engage in prayerwalk, special worship time

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–They walked silently, pausing to pray alone and in groups as a cool rain began to fall.

More than 800 people, including students, adult youth leaders and Centrifuge staff members, gathered under the state flags at Holcomb Auditorium before filing into a pin drop-quiet worship service.

The prayerwalk and special silent-entry worship service were part of Centrifuge Mega Week, July 27-Aug. 2, at LifeWay Glorieta (N.M.) Conference Center. Sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Centrifuge Mega Week is a summer camp program for youth in grades seven through 12 that focuses on strengthened relationships with others and a deeper understanding of the Bible and deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. With resources to handle attendance between 800-1,200, Centrifuge Mega Weeks are larger events than regular Centrifuge camps.

Many students said the prayerwalk was a new experience for them.

“I thought it was really cool to just go and everybody pray about certain things,” said Melissa Swihart, 14, of Community Baptist Church in Denver.

“We prayed about youth groups, family and friends,” she said of her first prayerwalk. “It just felt good to go and pray; it just relieved some things.”

Students and adults gathered with their assigned week-long Bible study groups as they embarked on the prayerwalk. Composed of students from different churches, cities and backgrounds, the groups then walked around the Glorieta campus, praying for each other, unsaved friends, the worship service and the ministries that take shape at Glorieta.

Centrifuge camp director Todd Maupin said the prayerwalk is not held at all Centrifuge camps. It was included at Centrifuge Mega Week because it brought focus on the camp’s purpose — living God’s will — and helped teach students more about prayer.

“The prayerwalk teaches youth that prayer is not just something to do in church,” he said. “It expands their horizon a little bit as far as seeing the different ways they can experience prayer. It opens them up to the possibilities.”

For Blair Bigham, who attended Centrifuge with McCarthy Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo., her first prayerwalk was a physical reminder of her Christian call to pray for others.

“We need to pray for others who have problems,” Bigham said. “We need to ask God to help them get through the situation.”

The prayerwalk preceded a special silent-entry, all-acoustic worship service that was different from the other worship services that week. The lighting and sound were more subdued, and the message centered on living a life of true worship.

“Regardless of where you are — whether you’re in a sanctuary or in your car — you can worship God,” said Matt Lawson, camp pastor for the week.

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  • Mandy Crow