The day after Easter, U ARISE launched forty days of prayer over Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. Our daily prayer spans the forty days that Christ resurrected until the day he ascended. The Bible tells us that He appeared to over 500 witnesses during that time period and did many signs and wonders.
Those forty days are a powerful reminder to us of what the Lord can do at SMU during this time. As I write this, it is day 22 and we have already seen God move in hearts, bringing them (and us!) closer to Himself.
Our strategy is that from noon to 1pm, we meet at the “prayer benches” at Dedman Circle near the flagpole on campus for an hour. The first twenty minutes is a time of worship, usually with a guitarist who strums and sings while the rest of us sing along or just stand in worshipful praise to our Lord. This is an important part of our hour as it draws and tenderizes our hearts toward the Lord. Many days we are touched as we meditate on the mighty power and amazing love of God. Others are equally touched as they walk by and see us worshiping on campus.
Seven Prayer Points
We have seven prayer points that we pray every day for thirty minutes after our worship time. We each take turns praying over a point, asking the Lord to reveal to us His heart for SMU as we pray. Nearly every day, we have an eclectic mix of students and faculty who join us. It has been encouraging to see believers come, even if for just a few minutes, to pray for:
1. SMU Board of Trustees, Administration, Faculty, Staff and Student Body to come to know Jesus
2. Unity Among the Christian Campus Ministries / Body of Christ at SMU
3. Heaven to open over SMU where the activity of the Holy Spirit is undeniable
4. Clear proclamation of the Gospel at SMU with signs and wonders following
5. Strong student movement to emerge, igniting spiritual revival throughout the city and region
6. God to shake everything that can be shaken and for SMU to rest on the foundation of the kingdom of Christ.
7. SMU to boldly affirm and maintain its spiritual roots as a Christian-affiliated university.
Then we take the last ten minutes to do what is called “Take Ten to Find the One”, where we take ten minutes a day to find one person we don’t know to pray for. This outreach is so sweet as we stop students who are walking nearby to ask them if they have a need we can take to the Lord in prayer.
This interruption in their day can change their perspective as they take a moment to bow their head and heart to the Lord as we pray with them. I have personally had several people thank me for being on campus to pray with the students.
Those who aren’t believers are asked, “Would you allow Jesus to reveal Himself to you today?” Their first names and their prayers are then added to our website, www.smu.ariseandpray.org, for the community to pray and agree over them.
Pray for SMU
This fall marks the 100th year of SMU. As we have been praying these prayers over SMU, an opportunity has come our way to participate in a major concert and gospel presentation that will happen on the SMU campus in October of 2015.
Even as I write this, the decision is being made to invite PULSE MOVEMENT to come to our campus in the fall. Please pray that the Lord will go before us to make a way for this to happen and that he will prepare the hearts of students to receive him at this historic event. This opportunity is a major answer to our prayers!
God is so good.
As a busy ad agency owner and advertising professional, Vicki Garza heard the Lord call her to volunteer to serve the unborn and their parents in late 2008. She joined the Board of the Downtown Pregnancy Center in January 2009 and became the Chairperson of the Sub-Committee to start the Uptown Women’s Center, where graduate students and young professionals could come for answers concerning their physical, emotional and spiritual needs: uptownwomenscenter.com
In 2012, she co-founded U ARISE with her 23-year old niece, Kate. U ARISE is an educational non-profit created to promote spiritual health and wellness on high school and college campuses. In Fall 2013, U ARISE hosted ARISE AND PRAY, a 40-Day Prayer Initiative calling the nation to pray for the health and wellness of college students across the country: ariseandpray.org
Vicki is an avid reader and enjoys writing, presenting and public speaking. In her spare time, she looks forward to special moments with the Lord in Bible study and prayer and enjoys helping others. She has five children and 12 grandchildren and has been happily married to Paco, her high school sweetheart, for 36 years.