Southwestern Day of Prayer covers ‘tapestry’ of Seminary Hill in prayer

Day of Prayer1

In an “answer to prayer” several months in the making, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors gathered Oct. 14 on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for the Day of Prayer.

In opening remarks before attendees scattered to prayer stations across the Fort Worth campus, Melana Hunt Monroe, director of prayer ministries, explained the “heart” of the day was to “pray for absolutely every thread of Southwestern’s tapestry.”

Before leading in a prayer of dedication of the new prayer room in the Naylor Student Center, President David S. Dockery described the interior of the room, explaining the prayer room included prayer kneelers, Bibles, chairs, and a wall that allows people to place prayer requests. Dockery added the room also includes “a map of the world for us to remember our commitment to take the Gospel to the nations, for those who are serving around the world representing Southwestern – to remember to pray for them.”

The Prayer Room in the Naylor Student Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary includes a map of the world that allows people who use the prayer room to leave prayer requests for the Gospel to go the nations and for Southwestern alumni who serve all over the world. President David S. Dockery led in a time of dedicating the room in prayer during the Oct. 14 Day of Prayer at the Fort Worth institution.

Following the opening prayer, attendees dispersed to spend almost two hours on a prayer walk focused on the various facets of the Southwestern community. Using a campus map marked with 17 stops, attendees moved from location to location to meet representatives from the seminary’s four graduate schools and undergraduate college, various centers, campus housing, student life, and administrative offices, among others. As attendees moved between the prayer stops, they were provided with specific prayer requests for the school or department the stop represented.

At each location, attendees prayed for the requests and the seminary faculty and staff who manned each station. Some departments distributed prayer requests directly from students, including the International Student Services Office which had a list of prayer requests from the seminary’s international students that were divided by countries represented among the student body. Many of the locations included ways children could pray as they stopped at each location with their families.

Attendees of the Oct. 14 Southwestern Day of Prayer gather at one of 17 prayer stations around the Fort Worth campus. Participants prayed for each of the seminary’s four graduate schools and undergraduate college, administrative offices, the institution’s centers, student life, housing, campus police, and facilities, among others.

Chet Taylor and his wife, Jeanie, attended the day of prayer because he believes “that everything that God chooses to do among us is really in response to our prayers.”

“He can do anything, obviously,” added Taylor, who earned a Master of Divinity (1986) and a Doctor of Philosophy (1996) from Southwestern. “But He needs willing vessels, and so we have to present to Him willing hearts. We have to listen and walk out what He speaks. We do that through prayer.”

Taylor, retired pastor of Lakeview Fellowship Church in Fort Worth, Texas, said he and his wife “love this place” as Southwestern has “meant the world to us” and “it means the world to the world.”

“I don’t know of any greater thing for us to do than to just join with those who have a heart to hear and walk out when He speaks [and] ask God to provide for this place, ask God to give a brand-new birth of His vision and empowerment – blessing – to this place to continue to bless the world,” Taylor concluded.

While many attendees were from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, some drove hours to join in the Day of Prayer, including Bill Bonar, a Master of Divinity student considering missions, who drove more than two hours from Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin, to participate in person.

Bonar said he has known “hundreds” of people who have “been through this school and have gone on to change lives.” He explained Southwestern graduates have also helped him “in my growth with Christ.”

“I want to see revival come to this campus,” Bonar said. As an undergraduate student studying at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, Bonar said he would drive to the Fort Worth institution on the weekends “just to sit in the library and read.”

Bonar said while he knows “God still calls people” to ministry, it “doesn’t seem as though it is as thriving as it used to be.”

“I want to see that, and I want to pray for it,” Bonar added. “There’s a two-hour drive between me and being with other people to agree in prayer – no problem.”

Jerry Rankin, president emeritus of the International Mission Board and 1969 Master of Divinity graduate of Southwestern Seminary, concluded the Southwestern Day of Prayer by leading the gathering in prayer while recognizing the Fort Worth institution “belongs” to God.

The day culminated in corporate worship and prayer led by Jerry Rankin, president emeritus of the International Mission Board and 1969 Master of Divinity graduate of Southwestern.

Rankin prayed, “Lord, this institution belongs to You, and we renewed our commitment of placing it in Your hands and acknowledging Your lordship and Your power. And Lord, I pray that we would go forth from having been here and participated in the privilege of being exposed to all that’s being done and happening here with the new resolve to continue to pray for Southwestern.”

More information on how to pray for Southwestern can be found here.