In most cases, the prayer meeting is the least attended gathering of every campus ministry. The prayer meeting is the least emphasized and least supported. We may say that prayer is a part of all of that we do, but more often than not it is just an opening or closing to the many other meetings that are part of our campus ministry. I’d like to remind us of a few ways that the prayer meeting, when emphasized and supported, can yield the most fruit in your campus ministry.
Prayer Builds Community
We have all heard the phrase: “Families that pray together stay together.” We believe it to be true. Sometimes we forget that the same is true for our campus ministries. Nothing brings students closer to God and to each other than praying together. Students get closer to one another when they listen to prayer requests and express their heart for the campus in prayer. One of the primary reasons we bring campus ministers and student leaders together in prayer at the University of Texas is because we know that our relationships grow significantly just by praying together once a week.
Prayer Increases Vision
Prayer gatherings offer us the opportunity to reiterate our vision. We’re able to reinforce the vision of our campus ministries simply by directing prayer toward our vision. Students who come to the prayer meeting are able to pray into the vision and direction of our ministry, which God uses to reinforce their commitment to our fellowship.
Prayer Changes Students
This is God’s secret purpose in prayer: to change us. So often we forget the vital role prayer has in changing students’ lives. We emphasize teaching, worship, and community as God’s means for transformation (and rightly so), but we neglect the vital role of prayer. As students pray, their hearts are changed, and God speaks to them. More often than not, God calls them to be an answer to their own prayers.
Prayer Changes the Campus
Then, of course, there is the fact that God uses prayer to change things. Prayer works, because God is at work. He has mysteriously allowed us to partner with His sovereignty through prayer. Our campuses will be changed when our students are praying, because God delights in answering the prayers of His children. Every revival on college campuses throughout history started with students praying.