I Am Freed From
A diverse group of nine students huddled together last Friday night, sprawled out with hands extended over an old map, heads bowed and singing freedom. We laid and sat, circled around a laminated campus map of the College of William & Mary and declared freedom over our campus and over our own lives.
“I am freed from seeking my dad’s acceptance. I am freed from schedules and plans. I am freed from pornography. I am freed from bitterness. I am freed from past relationships. I am freed from pain.”
We were in the midst of 100 hours of continuous prayer that began on September 22nd at 1pm and ended September 26th at 5pm. That Friday night, September 25th, members of the Williamsburg community and others from Newport News, D.C., and Richmond coalesced with twenty or so of us students in an academic building. Huge drums, a giant xylophone and other percussive instruments joined with hearts that were aligned in rhythm with praising the Lord.
100 Hours of Prayer: A Dream Becomes a Reality
Through a simple Google doc sign-up sheet, one to three students signed up for one hour slots within the 100 hours. Additionally, we had Williamsburg community members join us in praying on campus as well as individuals from other areas of the country and world (including W&M students in New Zealand and Israel) pledging from where they were to pray for our campus, our community, and to spread out a large blanket of prayer on which the Lord may walk about. Each night we had musical worship from eight o’clock until midnight and had a prayer topic that we would focus on.
Aaron Tsang, junior at the College of William & Mary, recounts the internal battle of whether or not to go up front and share Scripture during those gatherings of worship. He explains that he felt the Spirit of God saying to him and others, “Go up and speak boldly, knowing that, regardless of the desires of your flesh, I am so much bigger than that and will not allow what you say to be used for anything but my glory.”
The end result is something intangible but of no less value. We may never see the fruit of those prayers, but prayer is not a cause-and-effect action wherein it can be used to manipulate God. Prayer is not for us to just ask God for things, but is fellowship, relationship, and communication where our walk with God is continually molded and formed.
How Dreams Are Formed
One hundred hours of prayer didn’t just spontaneously happen,but came about through a long four months of prayer, processing, and partnership. It started in the heart and mind of Tim Song, a sophomore, in May of 2015 at the most unlikely of times.
During exam week, Song was distracted from studying by thoughts of the Moravians. He researched them on the Internet and, as he read about their 100 years of continuous prayer, a crazy dream stirred inside of him. He wrote about this dream on his blog, which I had subscribed to just one week earlier. In his blog post, Song wrote about the possibility of doing 100 hours on campus. Four months later, 100 hours of continuous prayer happened, alongside freedom, joy, and trust in God.
“I really learned to trust God…I mean, we’re talking about 100 hours! I honestly didn’t think that it would happen, but God brought it together, and brought people along to give shape to the vision. God is sovereign, and I have to trust Him to do what he wants” Song says.
Freedom reigns in this place and a shift has happened. No longer are we simply thanking God for the freedom that He gives, but we are running and leaping in that freedom and are experiencing the healing that comes through confession within authentic community.
The one hundred hours came to a close with four students in an academic classroom smiling and clapping. Song smiled and resolutely remarked, “Don’t let this be the end. Just the beginning.”