It’s survey week here at The University of Texas at Austin. For the past few days, 138 students and campus ministers from various ministries have been intentionally going to specific areas on and around campus asking people questions.
These questions range from their major, religious beliefs, relationships/interactions with Christians, what they know about Christianity, and what might make them consider becoming Christian.
What’s the aim of this exercise? To find out the spiritual climate of UT.
Know Your Territory
The spiritual mapping survey, as it’s known here amongst the ministries is a great tool that we use to help figure out what God is doing on campus, and also find out the areas where prayer is needed.
A campus can face certain challenges, some deal with alcoholism, others with drug abuse, some with depression, or intellectualism, etc.
The point is, every campus is different, which is why asking questions is so helpful. Because when we know what we’re up against, we can get really specific with our prayers. And that, is never a bad thing.
Praying with a purpose
Every prayer is important. And prayers for the revival and transformation of a college campus are always needed. But sometimes if we pray without much of a direction, prayer can not only become monotonous, it can also start to feel like nothing much is going on.
That’s why asking for specific things like more Christian faculty members, or having a missional community in a department that currently doesn’t have one, can help give us focus when we pray. Especially when it concerns advancing His kingdom, God is all about us asking specifically! (John 14:12-14)
Celebrate God’s work
The point of spiritually mapping a campus is not just to see where we need to pray more, but also to celebrate what God is doing right now on your campus. Are there more people who have been saved this year, more missional communities? Praise God!
Let me stop here and clarify that this is not the only way to go about figuring out how to pray for your college. Perhaps prayerwalking and asking God to speak to you about what’s going on in different areas might work better for now. Or ask ministries and Christian friends what they see is going on.
Whatever the case is, be open to learning more about what is happening spiritually on your campus, and then take it to God in prayer. As we all continue to pray for our friends, classmates and professors, God is working in our midst. So don’t give up, and get specific!