On February 25, 2021, Regent University had the honor of hosting Collegiate Day of Prayer, the oldest day of prayer in American history. This nationally celebrated event is held at different universities each year in order to unite in worship to pray for fellow students and seek spiritual revival on college campuses. Last year, Yale University hosted the event. Thousands of participants joined together through the Collegiate Day of Prayer’s live stream via their website, YouTube and Zoom. Regent University also streamed the event on Facebook Live, reaching more than 6,000 people and eliciting hundreds of comments and shares.
A live worship band from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, kicked off the evening. Then guest speakers around the world—from California to Oxford—shared personal testimonies about spreading the Gospel and their outreach on college and university campuses.
During the event, participants could visit collegiatedayofprayer.org and “adopt” a campus to pray for and minister to. I chose to pray over the community college I attended for a year. I prayed for open hearts and minds, for someone to be brave enough to start a spark that would ignite the fire for the Gospel in others, and for God’s presence to be felt. Students and faculty prayed in groups of sixes and threes and were united by shared fervor for Christ. Worship was pure and vivacious, and prayer was genuine and heartfelt.
Inspired by the Second Great Awakening, the Collegiate Day of Prayer’s goal is to “awaken” the passion in college students to spread the gospel to their fellow students (collegiatedayofprayer.org). With revival on our minds, we set to worship as one church body, and pray for revival over our broken world. It was both comforting and exhilarating to experience the presence of God through music and prayer.
The world seems to be falling apart in many ways, but joining in prayer with people we may not have ever met as if we’ve known one another for years created a bud of hope for the blossoming future of our nation. Sometimes we get caught up in our smaller world and forget to look up and above ourselves and pray for others—for those outside our bubble. By focusing on praying for bravery in believers and also for open hearts for the Gospel, it felt like we were praying with a purpose.
After a solid two hours of intense prayer and worship, students poured out of Shaw Chapel with a renewed passion for revival. Students commented on how much they appreciated seeing professors alongside students active in the revival. Another impactful aspect was seeing other live-streamed groups worship and pray along with us. It made the environment feel like we were all together under one roof.
Seeing how many volunteers adopted colleges and universities to pray over them gave students hope for the future of unreached schools. To end the night, Pastor Thai Lam, executive director of Luke18 Project and International House of Prayer, prayed this powerful prayer: “Revive us, oh Lord, so our people may be revived in you.”
Revival implies the need to normalize radical ideas, so they become commonplace, a goal that the Collegiate Day of Prayer provides in schools around the nation. And a goal that we as students fully embrace.