Senior Philip Zabel Initiates Arrowhead’s Prayer Group


Zabel leads morning prayer session at the North Campus lobby every Wednesday morning at 7:15 AM

Maraba Roznik, Editor and Reporter

Every Wednesday morning at 7:15 AM, a small group of students gather in the North Campus lobby to bow their heads in prayer. Initiated and led by senior Philip Zabel, Arrowhead’s very own prayer circle invites all students to join in to support each other through prayer.

Zabel says, “We pray about anything that needs prayer: exams, sickness, and reaching out to our classmates are common.”

Junior Maria Turco, a member of the prayer group, says, “It’s such a great way to start your day. It’s usually like a five minute prayer, and everyone goes around saying what they want to pray for.”

Even though the prayer circle officially started this school year, the idea had been on Zabel’s mind since the summer between his freshman and sophomore year.

Zabel says, “A friend and I were emailing back and forth a bit. We thought it would be cool to start a bible study or prayer group at school, meeting in one of the rooms after school. That’s where the idea came from.”

From there, Zabel asked friends if they’d be interested in joining his prayer circle; however, the idea didn’t take off until his junior year after he reached out to several youth groups across the state during a convention.

He heard about some of his church friends initiating prayer groups at their schools, and with the support of his sophomore brother Jeremy, Zabel decided it was his turn to make a difference too.

Zabel says, “Jeremy, my younger brother, and I had zero hour gym, so we could get to school early and meet together. I got a couple other friends to come, and we started. It was quite small at first, and still is—often there will be only four of us—but God can work through any number of people.”

On average, there are four to six people that show up for the prayer group, but sometimes as many as ten join in to contribute to the list of prayers.

The prayer group has gained some attention by word of mouth, and in order to increase its notice, Zabel posted a flyer on Facebook with the date and location.

He says, “The people that like the picture on Facebook get asked by me soon after if they’d like to come. I messaged probably 15 people one night trying to get them to come, and on the mornings we meet I’ll look for people I know would like to come.”

Turco says, “It’s a little scary meeting at school because you can tell people look at you, but it makes me feel powerful and faithful to be able to pray while others look at you weirdly.”

Zabel has big dreams for his prayer group that he hopes will be kept alive well past his years at Arrowhead.

He says, “I’d like for this prayer circle to become a community of friends and believers loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. I want these to be people I and others can lean on. I want the group to last for many years after I graduate and be strong. More than anything I want this group to be a witness at our school.”

For the time being, Zabel has no plans of turning his circle into an official Arrowhead club, but the future of the prayer group has yet to be determined.

Zabel says, “I’ve seen it happen at other schools, so it could happen here too.”

Turco says, “It’s truly an awesome thing, and I am so glad Phil asked me to be a part of it.”