Prayer is the heartbeat of every relationship with God. At times, prayer can be a time of thankfulness, joy or praise and at other times, prayer can be challenging, awkward or feel like a chore. The importance of it can’t be stressed enough, but even on a Christian campus such as Northwestern, prayer can easily be something that slips the minds of students.
However, in a community-setting, prayer can become harder to ignore. The Bible tells us that where two or three are gathered in the name of the Lord, He is present (Mathew 18:20 NIV). In efforts to partake in this nature of community, a number of residents in North Suites gather at night to engage in prayer together, simply calling it “prayer time”.
This is the first year that the men of North have held and organized daily prayer time. The event was created by a group of men who wanted to cultivate a greater spiritual community within the dorm through praying with one another.
The group continues to have strong attendance every night.
“Prayer time has been a great opportunity for the men of North Suites to be more vulnerable with each other as followers of Jesus Christ” said junior Dana Van Oostrand. With the exemption of Sunday and Tuesday due to P&W and D-Groups, prayer time is held every night at 10:00 p.m. Each night holds no direct agenda, and all who are in the dorm at the set time are invited.
A typical night often begins with some time for socialization and then transitions into a time of prayer. As a group, a style of prayer is chosen, attempting to create variety in the styles of prayer throughout the week. Some examples include waterfall, partner, group prayer, or simply just letting the spirit lead within the group.
The true motivation for the prayer time is simply to come to God in prayer and to experience his presence together. This provides a space where students can come with prayer requests, praises, or simply a voice to participate in prayer with.
To no surprise, the Holy Spirit has been moving in the lives of the guys in North. It is clear that the Lord has set in motion the outcomes of prayer time to spill outside the designated time.
Facilitating a space where students can speak their inner concerns, prayer time gives residents an avenue to connect and bond with each other in a way that only prayer can form. This has sparked the opportunity for friends to be accountable for one another on who God is calling them to be. Prayer time has been helping the residents in North stay in a consistent pattern of prayer as they encourage each other to stay committed each night.
Creating an organized set time of prayer together has been strengthening the relationships among the residents in North and their own personal relationship with God. The challenge that some struggle with regarding prayer can be overcome with the intentionality of community prayer.
This isn’t to diminish the importance of personal prayer with God, but instead can help encourage prayer as a daily routine. As God continues to work in the lives of the students here on campus, the students of prayer time in North feel blessed for how God is moving through the concept of prayer together.