CLAY, Ala. (WIAT) — Christian Crawford, like many high school seniors around the area, graduated this past week. The former Clay-Chalkville student served as class president and was asked to lead the invocation during the graduation ceremony.
“I did the opening prayer, and after I did the opening prayer, I thought I was done,” Christian said. “Then all the events started to take place.”
During the graduation ceremony, a woman in the crowd started having a seizure. Paramedics were called and the ceremony stopped. Once the situation was assessed and under control, Crawford was approached by one of the teachers.
“Ms. Petty, about five minutes later, came up to me and asked me could I pray for the class and for the lady that was down and pray for everyone that was there,” he said. “At first, I was kind of hesitant because I didn’t know what to say.”
Christian approached the microphone, asked for everyone’s attention and offered to pray for everyone in attendance.
The prayer was captured on video by the Trussville Tribune and placed online Thursday. At the time of this writing, the video had over 165,000 views on YouTube.
“I’m glad the video is all across the country now,” he said. “People have been telling me that the video, the prayer, it touched them, it motivated them.”
Included in the people it touched is Christian’s father, Terence. He was in the crowd for Christian’s invocation, but stepped out when the second prayer took place.
“His granddaddy came and said, ‘You should have heard what he did.’ I said, ‘What did he do?’ and he told me that he had prayed,” Terence said. “I said, ‘Well, he does that all the time.'”
Terence watched the prayer once it was posted online.
“I was in awe,” he said. “At that moment, when you pray and God takes over, you’re not aware of what you’re doing. He’s using you as that vessel. If you can affect lives or anything of that nature through God’s grace, then it shows.”
Christian says his entire family has played a big part in his life, especially his faith. He credits his grandparents and their upbringing in Butler, Alabama for the impact it has made on him.
“They’ve given me the desire to change the world and make a difference,” Christian said. “My granddad, he was very strict. He helped me a lot and he’s taught me how to pray so have my parents taught me how to pray.”
Terence, a police sergeant, says his relationship with Christian would mean bringing him along on investigations. While seeing the negative of the world had an impact on Christian, Terence says building that relationship with his son has
had an affect on him, as well.
“When he was little, he settled me down. He would always want to talk about this and he would read the Bible and ask me questions,” Terence said. “(Christian) has spent a lot of time around older people. I try to tell him all the time you’ve got to stay grounded, you’ve got to stay rooted. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone change who you are and do not follow the crowd. Follow God’s will and yourself.”
Christian says following God’s will is what led to the prayer. While he has enjoyed some of the attention that has followed the posting of the prayer online, Christian he has deferred most of it elsewhere.
“People tell me all the time, ‘Oh, you’re famous now. You’re famous now.’ and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not famous. God is famous,'” Christian said. “If God’s famous, being exalted because of what I prayed about, then that means I’m doing what I was supposed to do.
“Everything I do is to God be the glory. If God is not getting the glory out of this, then all of this is in vain, and I don’t want it to be in vain.”
Christian will began his freshman year at Auburn University-Montgomery in the fall where he will double major in communications and political science.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News