By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
BATON ROUGE, La. (LBM) – College students from Louisiana and across the nation gathered on their respective campuses, Feb. 23, to cry out to God for revival during the 200th annual Collegiate Day of Prayer.
Held the last Thursday each February, the event was a “united, multi-generational day of prayer for revival and awakening on college campuses in America.” According to the Collegiate Day of Prayer website, individuals, churches and other organizations signed up to pray for 4,323 campuses.
Additionally, a ‘Day of Prayer’ simulcast took place at Asbury University where more than 50,000 people have been a part of revival from the past three weeks (Feb 8 to Feb 20). On Feb. 21, those services were moved off campus as the school continued to host evening services for college and high school aged students (25 and under) through Feb. 23.
At LSU, more than 400 students gathered for a prayer and worship service at the Chapel on the Campus. The service was scheduled to end at 11 p.m. but 50 students remained past midnight to continue pouring out their hearts to the Lord.
The event was sponsored by LSU’s BCM, Chi Alpha (Assemblies of God’s student organization), Campus Crusade for Christ (also known as Cru) and the Refuge (the college student ministry of the non-denominational Chapel on the Campus).
LSU BCM Director Steve Masters made an emotional plea halfway through the service for the students to invite their friends to attend the last part of the gathering.
“There are people lost,” a teary-eyed Masters said. “There are those who need to be here.”
Justin Babin was among the students who shared during an “open mic” testimony time.
“If we are praying for revival, we have to know the main struggle of our generation is despair,” said Babin, an LSU BCM member. “But we know (Jesus) works it out for those who love him.”
Fellow LSU BCM Member Sam Waggener told the Baptist Message after the service that the evening unified many Christ followers in attendance.
“It was very encouraging to have so many believers together with the common bond of being students at LSU, and it was a great example of how amazing and diverse God’s people are,” he said. “We were consistently drawn to ponder the glory of God and worship Him throughout the night as we poured out our hearts in song. God also glorified himself through the many amazing testimonies that were shared about His power and goodness in people’s lives. Overall, it was a refreshing experience that reminded us of the reality of the Gospel.”
At the same time the service at the Chapel was taking place, 15 adults gathered for prayer at LSU’s BCM Building.
“The Lord moves in the midst of people when we gather to pray,” Louisiana Baptist BCM Team Director Mark Robinson told the adults. “We pray He will move mightily in this campus and country.”
For its part, Louisiana Christian University hosted a time of prayer and worship in Guinn Auditorium.
“We have prayed for a spiritual awakening at our campus in recent years,” LCU President Rick Brewer told the Baptist Message. “Witnessing our students take the lead through worship, Scripture-led prayers and prayers of repentance and confession aligning with other college students nationwide lets me know this awakening is on the way.”
Elisabeth Graham said God’s presence was strong throughout time of prayer.
“God shows up when His people expect and ask Him to,” Graham said. “And that’s what happened at this prayer service. I pray and hope we have more services like it and that it becomes bigger than we could ever imagine.”
At McNeese State University, students gathered for a three-hour prayer and praise time on the Quad.
BCM Member Caleb Twachmen felt blessed praying for his classmates and praising the Lord during times of worship.
“This just paints a perfect picture of what the church was designed to do,” he said. “We get to come together and pray for one another, we get to support one another and we get to praise our Lord. God is good.”
BCM Member Timothy Meaux was reminded of the need to take time to pause and cry out to the Lord.
“We’re seeing the Lord move around our country and that begins with humbling ourselves today, and praying to the Lord to give us boldness to go out to the lost and reach them for Christ,” he said.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Tech hosted a time of prayer at its BCM Center.
“I think a time of repentance and prayer is so important in the life of a college student, as a lot of us fall into the trap of prioritizing “life” rather than spending time with the Father,” BCM Member Hannah Jones said. “Being able to pray for my peers at Tech and those who I am in ministry in was incredible. I hope to continue the tradition during my time with the BCM.”
Nicholls State University BCM students gathered Thursday night at their building to pray, at stations, for one another, their campus and world. BCM Director Conan Sherlin called it “a sweet time of prayer.”
Additional BCMs in the state also hosted prayer events. They included LSU-Alexandria, Tulane and Loyola.