This week I had the joy of meeting two students from the University of Texas at Arlington. A group of students on their campus had been leading united prayer on campus for a few years. Recently, one of them started reading my book and realized they needed to start a Fusion Group on their campus. They started meeting last week!
Their story reminded me of how we started at the University of Texas, seen below in the excerpt from my book Campus Renewal – A Practical Plan to Unite Campus Ministries in Prayer and Evangelism.
Daily Prayer (1991)
I came to UT expecting God to move through me, and I was committed to finding others who expected the same. I lived with a few Student Venture friends my freshman year, and on Labor Day, we all decided to go to a conference to hear Dan Hayes. His stories of revival from scripture and history stirred up our faith and led us to want God to be glorified in the same way at UT. Every revival story that he shared began with a small group of students praying, so we figured we’d follow suit. We started praying daily at 7 a.m. (no one has class then!).
As usual, God was already working. The second week of our praying together several others called us up and said, “We’ve been praying for revival every day at 7 a.m. too. Can we pray together?” We praised God and said, “Of course!” We wanted our prayer time to include students from other ministries, and now it did. We were never a very large prayer group, but we were faithful. Though some the students changed from year to year, as they do in college ministry, a group of us met every day for all four years of my time as a student at UT, and even eight years beyond that, but we’ll get to that later.
Our focus was simple. We met daily to share reports on what God was doing on campus and n the lives of the friends that we were praying for, to read scripture that could direct our prayers and build our hope for revival, and to pray those scriptures for our campus. It was just an hour a day, but it was and is the basis for all God is doing today at UT.
United Prayer (1992)
Our desire was to see believers from more ministries praying together. Our daily prayer group had students from about six different fellowships participating, but UT had around 30 different campus fellowships at the time. We felt led to contact students from these other campus ministries to invite them to a weekly united prayer gathering on Friday afternoons. The goal was to have at least one student from each ministry involved.
We did not find a student from every ministry, but before the end of my sophomore year we had about 20 of the 30 ministries represented in this united prayer group. We directed the prayer much like we did each morning: sharing what God was doing on campus, reading a scripture or two, and then praying through the scriptures. We always made sure to pray for awakening, because we wanted at least one student from each ministry to grow in their faith and hunger for revival at UT. It did not take long for their faith and hunger to grow.
Justin Christopher is the director of Campus Renewal Ministries at the University of Texas and author of Campus Renewal: A Practical Plan for Uniting Campus Ministries in Prayer and Mission. He gives leadership to the Campus House of Prayer and the misssonal community movement at the University of Texas.