As We Pray

This is a busy time of semester for students like me. Do you remember what that felt like? We’re starting to feel the pressure of classes, internships and other responsibilities bearing down on us, and sometimes it can snuff out our spiritual energy. It starts to feel like we’re doing it alone. Thankfully, this is never quite true.

I think we as students rarely realize the extent of the communal awareness surrounding us. We get wrapped up in our studies and campus activities, only thinking to call home once or twice a week. But we are always on someone’s mind, and always in their prayers. Our friends pray for us, our churches pray for us, and even people we’ve never met pray for us. Those people include Fort Wayne campus alumni.

Taylor recently concluded its third annual As We Pray week, an opportunity for parents and grandparents of Taylor students to pray for the university’s students, faculty, staff, and families. This event signifies, in a very special way, the wonderful Christian phenomenon of people around the world connecting for a common purpose: prayer.

As We Pray image

As part of the event, small group prayer gatherings took place in 40 different homes in 16 states throughout the week. Many others joined in private prayer. Still others, like my parents and grandparents, will continue extending their prayers throughout the year, praying for their students by name.

Image via Taylor University

The same kind of work is taking place among the Fort Wayne Campus Alumni Volunteer Prayer Team.  Although their leader Violet Ringeberg g45 recently passed away, the team remains earnestly committed to prayer and to sharing prayer requests and praises from alumni across the globe.

But there is good news for the Prayer Team: Shellie (Kale) Burden g91 and Cathy (Diller) Schrock g90 are stepping up into leadership positions on the team. With the encouragement and blessing of Gerald Ringenberg g45, they will continue sending the requests to the rest of the team, tracking answers and hours, and submitting reports for the Resource Center records (thanks to Michael Mortensen g91 for this exciting update).

The Prayer Team is passionate about connection. Technology has proved itself an invaluable prayer tool in this regard, allowing people to share information and updates immediately and globally. Share a request through Facebook , e-mail, our website, or even send us a letter. Hundreds of requests come in, and they go out to prayer warriors across the nation committed to caring for you. What a thrill it is to know every troubling time, illness, or major decision is being upheld, and every praise is being joyfully celebrated before the Throne of Grace. With a support system like this, who could ever doubt God answers our prayers?

Alumni Praying

It also has incredible implications for our confidence in God’s providence and leading in our lives. The Gospel of Matthew says, “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (18:20). This verse does not suggest that collective prayer guarantees us “our own way,” or that it manipulates God’s will in our favor. However, it bespeaks God’s abiding presence with us when we rally together, as in prayer. And if we truly understand the nature of prayer, when the particular details of a request are stripped away, we realize that is what we are really asking for — God’s abiding presence in our lives, regardless of the situation or its outcome.

Photo via Michael Mortensen

If you are interested in joining the Volunteer Prayer Team or in submitting a request, contact the Resource Center at alumnifw@taylor.edu or call 260.744.8790.

How has prayer support been an encouragement to you when you experienced a difficult time? How were you blessed by praying for others in return?

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