Hillcrest students were greeted by a pottery wheel and teachers as they arrived at school yesterday, ready to begin the tradition of Prayer Day. Prayer Day is a Hillcrest tradition started years ago when students were gripped by the power of Christ, compelled to request a school day devoted to prayer. Since that time, Hillcrest has devoted 2 days every year to prayer.
Yesterday students were greeted by a devotional which powerfully displayed the reality of Christ dwelling within believers, inviting them to impact the world through Him. Students then transitioned into prayer groups based on age and gender. The group time began with them opening letters written to themselves in the first week of school. From this time, students transitioned into an hour session in corporate prayer.
In response to the devotional and prayer time, students were invited to participate in a corporate worship gathering. The gathering was held in the Hillcrest chapel and was introduced by Hillcrest Art Director Gaylen Peterson. Mr. Peterson spun a 15 inch diameter bowl in front of the students as part of an organized speech given simultaneously. Peterson highlighted scripture passages speaking to God being the potter and the believers being the clay. As the lump of clay was transformed into a delicate bowl, Peterson marred the clay and spoke of the times in a person's life when unexpected events cause trama to growth and development. Peterson communicated the grace of God as he pulled the clay back into a large lump on the wheel, and gracefully turned his hand back into it to form a delicate bowl again.
Following the pottery demonstration, students were led into a time of praise with a student-organized praise team. Following lunch students participated in an all-school share-time in which they communicated areas of growth and challenge. During the share-time some students commented on the letter opening time, stating that they were very disappointed in themselves for not taking that practice more seriously at the start of the year. Other students communicated the blessing it has been for them to be a part of Hillcrest Academy this year. Many spent time drawing reference to the growth, love and grace they've experienced as part of the Hillcrest student family.
Prayer Day traditionally is an experience at Hillcrest that enables students to remember their hopes for growth in Christ as they attend classes, Bible-studies and experience the corrective environment. One student referenced the pottery demonstration as a great example picture of the year. She stated that she had always read passages on God molding the hearts and lives of believers, but to see it demonstrated with a devotional made the concept more real to her life.