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Continuous and Passionate Prayer
April 30, 2009
More than 350 students attended the opening of the University of Wisconsin—Madison 24/7 prayer room held near campus at Faith Community Bible Church. Participants from InterVarsity, as well as two other Christian organizations, partnered to encourage the campus community in prayer.
For 40 days, participants gathered to pray for their campus, the nation, and the world. Many students left the prayer times with an expanded vision for evangelism and a passion for prayer on campus. Six students actively participating in the Greek InterVarsity chapter accepted Christ into their hearts.
Students Transformed Through Prayer
One evening at the church, ten students from the University of Wisconsin—Platteville attended and received prayer from their fellow Christians. One participant said of her experience in the prayer room, “It was very freeing, confirming, and a blessing.”
Another participant, Hannah, has been asking God to give her his heart for the Jewish students on campus. She said, “Last Sunday at church I prayed for the Jewish students. And I felt the heart of the Father towards his people. It empowered me to pray for the students with a newfound passion.”
Elizabeth realized her need to make time for God as a result of needing to sign up for certain hours in the prayer room. “God has been showing me I have been treating my academics as an idol this entire past year; and it has been difficult for me to trust that he’s got a plan and will get me wherever he wants me in the end. I’ve been learning to trust that as long as I seek first his kingdom, everything else will fall into place. I am touched by how personal his love is, and how he really is working everything out as I continue to follow him,” she said.
Prayer on campus in New Jersey
InterVarsity members across New York and New Jersey also joined together to pray continually for 40 days and 40 nights at Montclair State University (MSU) in New Jersey. Participants asked Jesus to help them share God’s Word with non-Christians on campus, to free them from their sins, and to help them reflect the character of Jesus on their campuses. As students returned to campus, the InterVarsity community at MSU has been gathering daily to pray and ask God how His glory can be shown on their campus.
Throughout the semester, three or four students have gathered consistently each weekday to pray for their campus, to intercede for InterVarsity across the nation, as well as to ask for God’s work in the personal lives of the participants. Each day, a different student is responsible for coordinating the prayer time. Students receive regional training about transforming prayer before they begin leading the meetings, and a different prayer focus is centered on each day.
Students have also reached out to the campus community through inviting their peers and friends to join the prayer meetings. After a recent death on campus, students decided to postpone their regularly scheduled prayer gathering to attend the memorial service. As a demonstration of support, students invited those who were grieving to come and receive prayer.
God is Answering Prayers
Students have really seen God answer their prayers. The group had been asking God for growth in their InterVarsity chapter and in one academic year, the group increased from 10 to 25 active members. As they prayed for students to attend fall conference, exactly 10 signed up to go. That was the exact number participants had been praying for.
Students are keeping prayer journals to remember God’s work and his answers to their prayers. A student’s mom said, “I have seen my son transformed. He is taking prayer and his walk with Christ more seriously. He is more outspoken, and believes that God is able.” Another community member is now looking for two moms of students at MSU, so they can gather and specifically pray for the campus their children are attending.
Prayer continues to become a vital part of the chapter’s culture at Montclair State University and the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Transforming prayer is becoming the cultural center of God’s work on college and university campuses across the country.