Scenic view of trees at camp

Stepping Out in Faith: Prayer Lines at Silverado

by Valerie Morby


She’d never felt particularly comfortable leading her family in prayer, but on a hot summer morning at Pine Cove, eight-year-old Shayla stopped her family’s trek across camp and did exactly that. 

It was the last day of camp, and the Huffer family had arrived at Silverado to pick up their third-grader, Shayla. She’d never been to Pine Cove before (“I wish we would’ve sent Shayla earlier!” said her mom Jennifer), and she excitedly showed her parents and brother around camp, introduced them to the puppies, and chatted about her week. Suddenly, Shayla stopped them and exclaimed, “Oh look, it’s a prayer line!”

blog%2FIMG-3221 Shayla (center, in pink) and her family at Silverado.

“And I’m looking around like, ‘There’s nothing up here—I don’t think to look down,'” explains Jennifer. “And she points down. We were like, ‘Okay, what is that?’ And she—I’m gonna cry, I cry every time I talk about it, but she said, ‘Every time that we cross a prayer line, someone is supposed to pray!'”

The “prayer lines” Shayla referred to were bright blue lines painted directly onto the sidewalks at camp. Three of these straight, bold lines had been painted across strategic points around camp, positioned to prompt staffers and campers to say a prayer every time they stepped over them. The full-time Silverado camp team had been recently challenged to seek out ways to remind their summer staff to consistently pray. The prayer lines—along with other methods, like a dedicated staff prayer space tucked into a room off the camp dining hall—were a direct result of the challenge.

All summer the counselors talked to their campers about the prayer lines, and would lead them in prayer as they stepped across. Shayla and her fellow campers soon learned that prayer can happen any time of the day. The Lord is always accessible and ready to hear every praise and petition brought to Him.

blog%2Fprayer_lines_final-3_rcs7tv Shayla during her first-ever week of camp at Pine Cove.

Before coming to camp, Shayla was a believer—she accepted Christ during Vacation Bible School at her church—but she’d never stepped out in bold faith. “She would never really talk about prayer,” Jennifer shares. But after Shayla’s week at camp, praying each time she crossed those distinct blue prayer lines, Jennifer saw a change.

On the day the Huffer family picked her up, Shayla led her mother, father, and little brother in prayer. “I just said, ‘Hey, would you like to pray for our family?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’ Never had she done that!” Jennifer recalls. “And so we stepped off [the sidewalk] and… she led our family in prayer and gave us a hug. And we’re driving home and she’s telling us all the stories of the fun things she got to do and everything, and she just blurted out, ‘You know, I really wish I had a sweater that said I love Jesus!'”

Jennifer and her husband were excited to see Shayla’s childlike faith flourish, and they soon noticed a big difference in her—particularly her prayer life. “Every night she would say, ‘Hey, can we pray?’ … It’s just been a complete 180 and transformation in her.'” Perhaps best of all, Shayla got baptized on Easter weekend. 

blog%2Fprayer_lines_final-2 A group of Silverado staffers stop and pray after crossing a prayer line.

When Annelise ‘Smilin” Morrison, Silverado’s Camp Director, heard about what the prayer lines had meant to Shayla’s faith, she was eager to share the story with her staff. 

“I remember going up to the big barn and showing every staffer that would listen to me. I was like, ‘Read this, this is awesome!’ And then we got to read it aloud at our closing meeting. Because it was a testimonial of like… the simplest things can really be powerful if we’re using them to point people to Jesus! So that was kind of my experience in reading it and just immediately being like, it feels like nothing else is important right now except for everyone on this property knowing: look how the Word worked through a blue line on the ground.”

Jennifer signed up Shayla for another week of camp at Silverado—this time accompanied by her younger brother. And the next crafting project Jennifer has lined up? An “I Love Jesus” sweater for her daughter. (Won’t it be too hot for a sweater? “She’s that kid that when it’s a hundred degrees outside, she’s gonna wear a sweater!” Jennifer laughs.)

Heading into Summer 2023, Annelise is planning to put those impactful blue prayer lines to use once again. 

“My hope would be that as staffers and campers alike walk across them, that it’s a reminder that the Lord’s dwelling with us, and when we talk to Him, He’s not a far-off God. The Lord is dwelling with us and we can always talk to Him and He’s available and there and is not distant from us.”

The Silverado staff stepped out in obedience. Shayla stepped out in faith. 

And they all stepped across a bright blue line. 

Posted May 21, 2023

Valerie Morby

Social Media and Copy Manager

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