Image Credit: Judson Knoll

99 Students Gather for UCC Youth Prayer Conference

In February 2024, 99 high school students from eight schools and one home school co-op in North Pacific Union gathered at Camp MiVoden in Hayden, Idaho, to participate in a prayer retreat for youth. 

This prayer-nurturing event was planned by the Upper Columbia Conference education department in partnership with Prayeradigm Shift ministry team. The retreat focused on teaching principles of prayer, helping youth grow in prayer in their lives and empowering them to share what they learned.

“This event sparked a new relationship and a new connection with God,” shared Tyler, student attendee. “I was not as serious about my prayer life before. Now I’ve been praying every morning with God, something I would have never done before.”

Students were challenged to know God more and desire a deeper relationship with Him. Pavel Goia, Ministry Magazine editor and General Conference associate ministerial secretary, shared many stories about the power of prayer and how he has experienced God’s presence. Goia talked about what it means to live a life of total commitment to God and full surrender of ourselves.

“Goia inspired us all and showed us that God is not just a person to ask things from but a friend,” explained Sydney, another student participant.

The weekend was filled with opportunities for students to get to know each other and pray together. Every morning started with one hour of prayer time in which the entire group met to sing, focus on scripture and pray together.

“Being around people your age where you don’t feel a single bit of shame to talk about God is just the most fulfilling thing ever,” said Clara.

After each presentation, students circled up in small groups to talk and pray about what most impacted them. From this, they created a list of 105 “Prayer Principles” that they had learned.

“My whole perspective on prayer is completely flipped, and I'm so excited to start applying some of the prayer principles to my life,” shared Joanna.

The Prayeradigm Shift weekend was a tremendous blessing and changed many lives. The last evening of the retreat included a powerful testimony time where students shared how God showed up and impacted their lives personally.

“I used to be intimidated to pray; now I can’t wait to pray,” said Jonathan.

Before leaving, students met together as school groups and spent an hour answering the question, “Where do we go from here?” The enthusiasm of the weekend was channeled into having a prayer partner, committing to regular group prayer times back home and planning intentional next steps to grow prayer in their lives and on their campuses.

“It was extremely exciting to see the moving of the Holy Spirit in the lives of students who were there,” shared John Spano, Prayeradigm Shift team member. “Our prayer is that God’s Holy Spirit will fan the flames that were started this weekend and that we will see the power of what God can do when youth pray.”

Featured in: May/June 2024


Sara Maniscalco

Upper Columbia Academy Adventist Church member and Prayeradigm Shift team member