DAVIS—Oklahoma Baptists know how special the summer youth weeks are at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. Along with many campers making important spiritual decisions every week, Falls Creek also sees many students grow in their spiritual walk with God through opportunities like One Hour of Solitude, an interactive scripture and prayer experience in and around the Prayer Garden.
Falls Creek campers experience new opportunity to pray and grow spiritually
Featuring 12 stations that allow participants to spend five minutes each on a prayer topic, the One Hour of Solitude was designed by Jessica Harrison who is a member of the Falls Creek summer program team.
“We wanted to do something with ‘dangerous prayers,’” Jessica said, describing dangerous prayers as ones found in Scripture that may be difficult to understand or bold requests leading to a more in-depth relationship with God. “For instance, when we are in the Tabernacle worshipping and we hear the band leader pray to God, ‘Come into this place,’ what does that mean? I wanted to dig into those kind of prayers so the kids can understand it because I remember as a student wondering what all that meant.”
A recent graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, Jessica was an interdisciplinary major involving concentrations in creative writing, communications and religion. She said she aspires to write Bible study material or working in ministry that involves her writing talents.
“We asked Jessica to develop this one hour of solitude,” said Andy Harrison, Falls Creek summer program director and Jessica’s uncle. “There are multiple prayers in Scripture, so she looked them up and put it together, writing the entire script for it all and what to do at each station, and I guided her through that.”
One of Jessica’s favorite stations involved the different ways someone can pray.
“The student goes through and sees the different worship stances or prayer stances, where hands are up in the air or face on the ground, and they see there’s more than one position to go to God in prayer,” she said.
Another one of her favorites is at the beginning when a participant goes through a process of surrendering to God.
“They are supposed to pick up a rock, and before they start, they are asking the Lord to search them, and He reveals what they are supposed to give to Him,” Jessica said. “They symbolize what they are offering to God through the rock, placing that at the foot of the cross and giving it all to the Lord. This is not an easy prayer.”
Though this is a new experience at Falls Creek this summer, Andy said they attempt to encourage campers to observe a One Hour of Solitude every summer. It may be applied through morning quiet time material or in curriculum offered in the student books. He said every summer he hears comments from church leaders that the One Hour of Solitude is “one of the most meaningful experiences” ever done at Falls Creek.
“Anytime people take their youth group to do One Hour of Solitude and say how meaningful it was, it gives a testament to what happens when you take the time to spend an hour with God,” he said. “Jessica did a great job putting it together this year, especially with having (participants) look at Scripture, look at prayers in the Bible and praying themselves to God. Both campers and leaders have been encouraged and inspired.”
Jessica also has been pleased with the early experiences of One Hour of Solitude.
“When I was looking through the surveys that we took from the sponsors, one of them said the One Hour of Solitude was their favorite part,” she said. “It made me think, ‘The Lord is using it.’”
One of her own favorite experiences is going up to the Prayer Garden and watching different people go through the stations.
“They were very quiet and taking it very seriously. It was great to witness,” she said.