Prayer impacts seminary, nation, world
Across the campus of Southwestern Seminary, students and faculty members can find opportunities to make an impact in the seminary and around the world through prayer.
Various groups around the campus meet weekly, praying for the life of the seminary, for national revival and for the worldwide proclamation of the Gospel. As a recession pulled down the nation in the fall of 2008, President Paige Patterson asked faculty members to intensify prayer for the seminary. Taking Patterson’s request to heart, Robert Bernard, associate professor of modern languages, organized a faculty prayer group that meets every Friday to pray for the needs of the seminary, its students and faculty.
Another group of students and faculty gather Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. to pray for revival to stir in churches around the nation. They pray for Revive This Nation, Southwestern’s effort to send students and faculty to preach revivals across the United States during spring break, March 13-16.
“It was amazing to me to see a young man from South America on his knees, just calling out to God, and right beside him was a man that was probably in his 70s that was on his knees, prostrate before God,” Matt Queen, assistant professor of evangelism, said. He expressed his amazement to see such a variety of men “walking out in faith” by volunteering to preach during Revive This Nation.
Queen also recalled his experiences at another on-campus prayer group that impacts the world for the Gospel of Christ: One Magnificent Obsession. During this event, as many as 85 students gather at the seminary’s World Missions Center on Friday evenings at 7 p.m. to worship and pray for the nations.
During each meeting, the WMC features a specific nation or people group for prayer, and students hear from missionaries, who, either in person or through Skype, report on God’s work around the world. This spring, One Magnificent Obsession will feature prayer for nations such as Peru, Vietnam, Tanzania, Cambodia, Indonesia and Egypt. During the upcoming One Magnificent Obsession, Feb. 4, students will pray for Thailand.
“If there has ever been a dry eye in those prayer groups,” Queen said, “I’ve never seen one, because people are bearing their souls before God to do a mighty work in those countries, and it is something like I’ve never seen before.”
“We’re commanded by Christ to pray,” Queen added, noting that prayer also impacts the one who prays.
“God puts a burden on your heart for the lost souls of men and women, which causes you to be more proactive in encouraging missionaries, in going and preaching, or in going on a mission trip.”
Seminary student Jeremiah Davis was reminded of the need for prayer when, during the seminary’s 2010 Youth Ministry Lab (YML), he prayed with and encouraged a youth pastor tempted to leave the ministry.
“A lot of the youth pastors and ministers that are coming to YML are discouraged,” said Davis, who now serves as the chair of YML’s prayer committee. Recognizing the impact of prayer, he and other YML leaders fast and pray, guided by a devotional book that outlines specific aspects of YML in need of prayer. They will also host a night of prayer in March, and, during a chapel service the week before YML, they will give Southwestern students and faculty members prayer bracelets containing the names of all YML participants.
“Pray that Christ would reign supreme,” Davis requested, “in the lives of youth pastors, parents, volunteers and students, that the burned out and discouraged would be renewed and that, through Youth Ministry Lab this year, God would allow us to catch a glimpse of His glory.”