Prayer Fuels Campus Ministry
“The power of prayer is huge, and that’s something we have been doing this year.” These are the words of Rachael, a high school student in Metro Minneapolis. She and her youth group have been planning a school wide outreach to share the good news of Jesus with friends. They call it My Story.
“We have a prayer plan, we have been meeting before and after school three days a week to pray for every single kid in school. We have a list and we go through and pray by name for all the students. Prayer is super, super powerful. And through this prayer I have developed a love for my whole school, even the kids I don’t know super well. Understanding that a lot of the kids at our school are hurting, I think has been huge.”
Recently the students had their My Story evening event using the school facilities. The response blew them away. Five hundred students came, heard about Christ, and many conversations followed, with new students putting their faith in Jesus.
Youth workers are experiencing the power of prayer as well. Keith, a youth pastor in Georgia says, “Out of frustration and failure we had learned that just going to the campus was not getting the job done, no matter how much time we spent, no matter how well we planned or how many leaders helped us. We prayed because we learned that success on that campus was only a bent knee away!”*
Prayer is the forerunner and the sustainer of campus and school outreach. Or, maybe we should say strategic prayer. Sacrificial, extraordinary prayer. That’s what energizes campus ministry.
Effective prayer for your campus is about…
- Who you pray with. You need a team of of praying people – your youth group, parents, church members, educators and business leaders. Ask and mobilize others to pray with you. What if there was a group of Christian teenagers, bolstered by a network of adults, relentlessly praying for spiritual awakening at your school?
- Who you pray to. “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1). The apostle Paul pressed the same point, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it; but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
- Who you pray for. When Rachael and friends prayed by name for every student in their school, that is a focused strategy, one that resulted in specific answers. This is the kind of prayer strategy that is needed in campus ministry.
Here is a brief diagnostic on prayer…
- Are students, parents, youth leaders and pastors praying for your school and students.
- Is the Christian community gathering to pray?
- Is there teaching and training about prayer in your ministry?
- Is prayer at the forefront of planning, evangelism and discipleship?
- Is there consistent dependence upon God in your group, with an expectation for Him to work supernaturally?
Intercessory prayer fuels and sustains campus ministry that has lasting impact. In a sense we are on a rescue mission. The ministry of preaching is open to just a few, but the ministries of prayer, evangelism and caring for others are the highest ministries of all and are open to everyone.
More campus ministry prayer principles and strategies can be found in the Campus Ministry OS.
* Penetrating the Campus by Keith Naylor & Barry St. Clair