Day of prayer revived on campus


Rebeca Rodriguez

Pamela, who declined to give her last name, joins in prayer with UT students at the National Collegiate Day of Prayer organized by Campus Renewal Ministries, which focuses on transforming the university by uniting communities through prayer and spiritual restoration.

Sylvia Butanda

Campus ministries across the nation joined together Thursday as part of a national movement to unite Christian students in a day of prayer.

The National Collegiate Day of Prayer effort was organized by Campus Renewal Ministries, an organization focusing on unifying on-campus ministries through prayer and spiritual revival. College campuses celebrated the prayer event nationally from 1823 to 1915, after which the annual tradition has not been officially acknowledged by college campuses, said Ran Liu, business honors senior and Campus House of Prayer member. In recent years there has been an effort revive the movement, Liu said, and more than 200 students participated in this year’s event at UT.

Mathematics senior Ann Wu is an intern with the renewal ministries leadership team, which worked to publicize the prayer event and assemble student organizations. Wu said the purpose of Collegiate Day of Prayer is to unite students from all denominations through a vision to seek God for the campus and the city.

“We believe that college students are pivotal in bringing transformation to the society, whether in forms of spiritual revival or works of justice,” Wu said. “That is why we pray together, because we carry a burden and a desire to see our city and nation transformed through prayer and works.”

More than 30 ministry groups on campus were invited to participate in a 7 a.m. prayer group in the West Mall, and later in a 5 p.m. prayer walk around campus.

“For non-early birds, we invited students to walk and pray around campus with people from their colleges and school departments,” Liu said.

Students were also encouraged to fast the night before as part of the national event, said UT alumna Chrissie Harsh, renewal ministries intern and first year participant in Collegiate Day of Prayer.

Harsh said businessmen and women from Austin were invited to talk to students about faith in the workplace after the prayer walk, and she said she hoped students were able to grasp the deeper purpose of the national event.

“I hope students had an increased desire to pray as followers of Christ and to seek Him together as a body of Christ,” Harsh said.

Not all students were inspired, however. Biomedical senior Justin Long, said although he supports people who pray and worship for their beliefs, he is not affected by the prayer movement.

“I don’t really have an emotion towards it because I’m not really a religious person,” Long said. “I don’t think I’ve been exposed to a self-journey of some sort so I haven’t had enough self-realization of what I actually believe in.”

Printed on Friday, February 24, 2012 as: Day of prayer unites Christians