Following God's Gentle Whisper: the Rise of Student Prayer RoomsLilli Jones - 7 Dec 2016
"IT hasn’t been the big, shiny encounters, but countless stories of meeting with God in the gentle whisper..."
This year, we’ve uncovered a whole bunch of students praying. Praying in new, different ways for their universities, friends and cities. Praying through the night, sacrificing sleep. Praying instead of studying or partying.
Students stepping up and following God’s gentle whisper.
We chatted to Emma, who started university this year and set up a prayer room in her own Freshers’ week!
Emma became a Christian just over a year ago, after she stumbled upon a 24-7 Prayer community. So when she went on holiday in March, she couldn’t shake off the thought of having a prayer week at her new uni in September.
But how do you start the process of organising a week of prayer when you don’t even live there, with barely any connections?
So she emailed the university chaplain who called her back: “I want to say yes - but how does it work? And who are you?!” After the chaplain had raised the idea with Christians at Nottingham, Emma was offered the chapel as a place to host the prayer room during the day, with night shifts being held in a church next to campus.
What followed was planning, Facebook pages, chatting with connections in Nottingham, starting to talk to Christian student leaders and, then, finally, during Freshers’ week: the prayer week itself.
42 different students attended -Emma only knew 2 of them - across 2 different venues, one on campus, one right next to it. It was supported by local Churches, the Catholic society - who had daily prayer slots - and many small groups.
“Everyone asked, ‘How did you get it together?’ God had prepared it beforehand. It was super easy. It was so good and so easy.”
And the stories that have come out of the prayer room? It hasn’t been the big, shiny encounters (at least not the ones we know of), but countless stories of meeting with God in the gentle whisper:
“I feel like I know God better” … “I want to do it again”…. “I met some girls in the middle of the night when I came out of the prayer room and we ended up chatting about faith for about 30 minutes” - and so many other little stories people felt weren’t big enough to share.
All these whispers that, one day, will make up a beautiful story of a life committed to God.
If you’re a student or student worker, why not start dreaming and scheming about what it would look like to pray on your campus or in your city?
Get started by heading to our student section: 24-7prayer.com/students