The Ashland Beacon
Two Ashland Middle School students, Anna Bocook and Riley Brillhart, wanted to do something special to help the students of their school. The seventh-grade students created a Prayer Locker in a central location for students who would like to leave a note asking for prayers for things that may be going on in their lives or in the life of a friend or family member.
The “Prayer Locker” is located just inside the building in the first hallway to the left. It features a magnetic notepad and a pencil pouch with a couple of sharpened pencils. The sign that the girls have hung on it says, “Prayer Locker” with a photo of the cross at Calvary underneath.
Anna made the sign and wrote a message that simply reads, “Need us to pray for you or have a prayer request? Write your prayer request on a note card and slip it in the locker. We’d love to pray for you! You DO NOT have to put your name.” This is followed by “Have a great day!” with a big picture of a smiley face at the bottom of the page.
Riley and Anna say that they first saw the idea of the prayer locker being shared on Facebook. Riley said that one night Anna texted her and asked “do you want to do this?” Riley agreed and Anna started sending her all kinds of pictures showing her how it could be done. Riley went out that very night and got the supplies for the locker and then a couple of days later, Anna sent her a picture of the sign that she had made for the locker. Riley’s mother printed it out and they brought it to school.
After the girls had their supplies, they came in and talked to Principal David Greene who gave them permission to start the Prayer Locker. The girls were given a locker to use and hung everything up on the locker the next day during their lunch time.
The students write a prayer request on the notepad and put it in the locker. Anna said that “they don’t have to put their name, but they can if they want to.” She shared that some students have even left positive notes like “You’re awesome!” and “Whoever is reading this, have a great day!”
The girls started the locker in September of this school year. Riley said that “in the beginning, we got a couple requests” and “now we get them gradually.” Principal Greene gets the prayer requests from the locker first to read them and “make sure that there’s nothing that needs to be brought to anyone’s attention.” He then gives them to Anna and Riley.
Anna and Riley both pray for the people who leave the notes. They say that most people ask for prayer for their friends and to pray for injuries. Riley said that both of the girls mothers and Mr. Greene “warned us that some people may write bad stuff on it and tear it up” but Anna says that “no one has done that, though.”
Anna and Riley say that they are really glad that “Mr. Greene was really supportive of this idea and so were people in the office and the other principals. It made me so happy that they let us do this,” Anna said.
When the girls get the prayer requests, they don’t just throw them away after praying for them once. Anna hangs them on the wall in her room and continues to pray for the people who wrote them.