My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 NKJV
In the fall of 2015, our National Day of Prayer team boarded a bus, and set off to visit 62 schools, colleges, and universities in 60 days, on our third Pray for America Bus Tour. We began at Harvard and ended in prayer at the Department of Education in Washington D.C. On our previous tours, we learned the principal of being ‘quick to listen and slow to speak’ – posing two simple questions, this time to students, faculty, and parents – then listening and letting them speak. The questions we asked were: “Can you share with us what you have seen and experienced God doing on your Campus?” and “How can we pray for you?”
Campus after campus we heard amazing, miraculous stories of how God was showing up at their schools. As one student, Austin, then a senior from Clemson University shared, “We’re seeing people’s eyes being opened up to the goodness of our Father. We’re seeing relationships with the Holy Spirit, with Jesus, and with the Father, and what it means to walk in intimacy with God. We’re seeing people’s lives being totally transformed.” From elementary schools to seminaries, we asked students, faculty, and parents to share with us how we could pray for them. With tears, more than one faculty member asked us to “Pray for unity and cooperation among the ministry leaders on our campus.” Students asked for us to pray that they would ‘stay strong’ and continue to be ‘witnesses for Jesus’ among their peers. And so, we began to pray, and mobilize thousands with the stories and prayer requests that were shared.
Six years have passed since that tour. The elementary students we met are now in high school, high school students have moved on to college. Many of the college students that we met and prayed with have graduated, began careers, and started families. Time has moved on, but God is still working on school, college, and university campuses. Students and faculty members lives are still being transformed, and we still need to pray for unity and cooperation among the ministry leaders on campuses across our nation. Students still need prayer to ‘stay strong’ and to be ‘witnesses for Jesus’. We still need to be quick to listen to the students, faculty, and parents in our community. We need to keep asking the simple questions: “Share with ME what YOU have seen and experienced God doing on YOUR Campus?” and ““How can I pray for YOU?” When we listen, God reveals to us how we need to pray.
Pray with me.
Father God, thank you for the reminder that when we listen, we learn, and that we ‘don’t know what we don’t know’, so we need to ask. Father, give us grace to be quick to listen, and humility to be slow to speak, that we may learn what You are up to, so we can join You with our prayers and in our actions. Thank you for the reminder that you are at work in our students, teachers, and schools, even when we might not see it. Show us what you are doing, give us eyes to see and ears to hear as we pray for our students, parents, and educators. In Jesus name, Amen.
National Day of Prayer Task Force