Stories

Look what God did when students met up to pray!

Date posted: 05/04/17

Look what God did when students met up to pray!

 

Priscilla Kirkland (second row, kneeling on the furthest left) with her Edinburgh University team

When medical student Priscilla Kirkland joined the football club at Edinburgh University, she had no idea how God might use her.

A midfielder, Priscilla went to the trials straight away and since then she has loved being part of one of the fastest growing university sports clubs in the country.

“I never really went into football with an agenda of either pushing my faith or trying to hide it. My dad is a pastor, so growing up I wasn’t able to keep that side of my life hidden, even if I tried.”

Priscilla was keen to share her faith in Jesus from the outset and was soon speaking about Him with her teammates. But the prayer support and fellowship she found on joining her university’s Christians in Sport group made a real difference.

Here, Priscilla met many fellow sportspeople also seeking to live out their faith in the setting God had placed them. This creates a real sense of togetherness and God has used these groups to do some great things.

“I was already praying for my teammates Sarah and Caitlin, but in my second year, I started going along to the group and found it really helpful. It was so great to now be praying with others in the same position.

“My personality is also quite different from a lot of the girls on the team - I tend to be a bit quieter. It was good to chat through what questions to expect from my teammates and how I could answer them.

“Prayer was the biggest thing about it and I had lots of people from Christians in Sport texting and encouraging me to keep going.”

Look what God did when students met up to pray!

 

Priscilla (right) in action for Edinburgh University

This past year, Priscilla has led the Christians in Sport group at Edinburgh. It is one of 28 student-run groups which meet each week at universities across the UK. They provide a great time for students to stop and pray for their sports friends and a chance to encourage each other as they head back out into their clubs and teams to share life and the Christian message.

We know of hundreds of students like Priscilla seeking to support each other and live for Jesus in their world of sport, so Clubhouse Xtra, our annual new year student gathering, takes this local fellowship to the next level. Priscilla vividly remembers her ‘debut’ in 2016.

“I had never been to a Christians in Sport event before, but it was probably one of the best Christian events I have ever been to. It combined the two things I really love - sport and Jesus - into one brilliant weekend. It was amazing.”

Look what God did when students met up to pray!

 

Priscilla (left) and Sarah (white top) at Clubhouse Xtra 2016

What made it even better for Priscilla was that her friend Sarah Thompson from the football club came with her. Having prayed persistently for Sarah with her fellow Christians at the University Group, Priscilla was left rejoicing at what God did in her friend’s life.

“We got to know each other really well as we walked to and from training and questions such as ‘what did you do at the weekend?’ gave me natural opportunities to speak of Jesus.”

Although she wasn’t interested in the gospel straight away, Sarah said that the way Priscilla lived her life really stood out.

Sarah said: “One Saturday night I had just got home from one of the football socials and I went into my room. To this day, I don’t know what really drew me to send the text, but I said to Priscilla ‘could I come to church with you tomorrow?’

Looking back on that now, I know that that was one of the first things that God did in my life.”

Sarah chatted much more about faith with Priscilla and kept coming to church. A little while later, the church pastor asked if she wanted to give her life to Christ – and she said yes.

“Clubhouse Xtra was especially good for Sarah,” Priscilla remembers. “The only Christian in sport she really knew before then was me. I think she was really struck that were all those others who were just as passionate about sport as her.”

Sarah’s story is just one of many encouragements in our student work as it has continued to grow in recent years and it was a massive boost for Priscilla.

She simply lived out her faith among her teammates and prayed that God would be at work. Let’s get out there and do the same!

 

To read and watch more about Clubhouse Xtra 2017, including a video interview with Sarah, visit christiansinsport.org.uk/daretotell

 

 


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Ed Mezzetti

 

Ed Mezzetti, City of York Athletic Club
Ed runs for City of York Athletic Club and is Digital Content Manager for Christians in Sport. He is a member of St Thomas' Church, York