. . . when you pray go into your room . . .and pray to your Father, who is unseen. – Matthew 6:6
Into the silence of the early morning they marched. A small percentage residing in the dormitories began to stir from the night of rest, but since it was only 6:15 in the morning, the number doing so was fairly small. Most were still sleeping, snuggled comfortably under warm blankets.
Silently the army of 40 soldiers marched. Most on campus had no idea that this small army even existed.
Each Wednesday during the academic year between 30 and 90 gather to walk and pray over the campus. They don’t talk to each other, but they intentionally focus their attention on God while praying to him.
This army has lifted up a variety of things to the Lord. One week the prayer was for peace and protection. That day a wonderful worship experience took place. After walking and praying for the campus we gathered together in a circle. Our routine is to use this gathering as our means of closing our prayer time together. The group holds hands, and one person is asked to pronounce the benediction. On this day, however, something wonderfully special took place. One student in the circle spontaneously began to praise God. She prayed, “Heavenly Father, I praise you for Jesus Christ being our Prince of Peace.” Before long others began to also shout out praises to the Almighty:
- I praise you, God, for being holy.
- I praise you, Father, for being omnipotent.
- I praise you, Lord, for being awesomely wonderful.
- I praise you, God, for being the Creator, which allows me to then be creative.
- I praise you, Heavenly Jesus, for being Healer – One who is able to heal one’s spirit, emotions, and body.
- I praise you, Father, for being there for us at all times.
- I praise you, Lord, for being victorious King and loving Lord.
- I praise you, Lord, for being the great and powerful I AM.
- I praise you, Lord, for being the shepherd of my soul, who leads us to streams of living waters.
- I praise you, Jesus, for being the Son of God.
- I praise you, God, for the comforting touch of the Holy Spirit.
For over ten minutes these student-soldiers of prayer kept verbalizing their praises to God. My heart thrilled listening to the words of adoration which were emanating from these early risers.
Each week different things are prayed for. On one occasion the prayer centered around the themes of reconciliation, refreshment, and revival. Another day these prayer warriors prayed for students, professors, and the university president. Some other themes have been healing, hope, and holiness; safety, strength, and supply; and for God to be glorified at our university!
One day a student approached the student chaplain in charge of our early morning prayer walks and asked, “Why do you have these walks so early in the morning? Wouldn’t it be better to have them later in the day when students are more awake and energized to walk? Besides, when you walk so early in the morning no one knows that you are doing a prayer walk. Don’t you think that you will get a lot more attention if you do them later in the day?”
I was interested to hear how this student leader was going to respond. “Jesus told us that we are not to show off with our prayers. He instructed us that when we pray we do so, not to be seen by men, but to be heard by God. One has to be willing to enter the silence of God to experience his spectacular power!”
Silently this group walks, believing that out of this silence we will one day experience God’s “spectacular!”