"The inner voice is something which cannot be described in words. But sometimes we have a positive feeling that something in us prompts us to do a certain thing. The time when I learnt to recognize this voice was, I may say, the time when I started praying regularly." M A H A T M A G A N D H I
The power of prayer. For anyone who has experienced life’s little miracles, you know just how powerful the hand of God can be. And that is just what is taking place at Sandpoint High School due to a group of students who are doing what they can to make a positive difference.
Students at Sandpoint High School have experienced a great deal of loss over the last couple of years. Reports of suicides, depression and bullying have been heartbreaking. But the response the students have had to these devastating events has been nothing short of uplifting.
One action taken was by Spencer Bassett, a junior at the high school, who began a prayer group just over a year ago. “I felt led to start the group when I got a vision last February and saw Sandpoint High School and the region itself saved and completely covered in prayer,” said Spencer, whose father is a local pastor and has influenced Spencer a great deal. “The reason I thought the high school would be a great place to do this is because it’s such a place of influence in the region.”
After hearing stories of cities that have been changed or completely turned around through the use of prayer evangelism, Spencer wanted to do what he could to positively influence the lives of the students at Sandpoint High School.
“Prayer evangelism in a nutshell is blessing people, fellowshipping with believers as well as non-believers, meeting their felt needs through prayer, and prophetically proclaiming that those needs have been met,” shared Spencer.
Because there is not any staff participation in the group and they meet after school, Spencer did not necessarily need to receive the permission from the faculty. But Principal Tom Albertson has been very supportive said Spencer.
The group, which is focused on bettering the environment and blessing the school and region, is comprised of both male and female students who meet each Tuesday at 2:45 after school. According to Spencer, the students he has reached out to are very supportive of what he is doing. “Especially considering the suicides that have happened in the last year,” said Spencer.
While Spencer leads the group, his friend Parker Mayo has been a huge part of it and has contributed a lot of time. “He was there when I got the initial vision,” said Spencer of his friend. “We both share the same passion for the high school and for the area.”
According to Parker, the numbers vary with anywhere from three to five students participating at a time.
Spencer admits that the separation between church and state makes it difficult to get teachers and faculty on board, but said thankfully the students don’t necessarily need permission to pray over the halls and bless the school. “I believe that because we are registered students at Sandpoint High School, we have authority to be there at the school, and because we are supposed to be there we can act in our spiritual authority and bring God into the mix and change things for good.”
Adolescence is an extremely difficult time for kids. They are faced with many paths which they can follow and choosing the right one is not always easy. To be faced with losing classmates, especially to suicide, adds a whole new dimension to the stress of being a teenager. But thankfully there are students like Spencer who are doing their part to positively impact not only the school and students, but the community as a whole.
“Death is a part of life, it’s simply inevitable. The suicides the students and community have faced in the last year have been incredibly difficult for me personally as well as many others,” shared Spencer. “I know off the top of my head that Parker and I have really felt the effects and are still dealing with them today. So I pray and hope that we are reaching people through our efforts and ministry.”
While Parker said it is difficult to tell how much of an impact the group has had, he said he definitely feels that things are changing and transforming at Sandpoint High School. And if there is one message he wants to share it is this, “You don’t have to be a special religion to be a part of God’s great plan.”
P H O T O S B Y L I S A T U R N E R