This article was originally published in Edition (8) of Prayer Magazine,  Oct-Dec 2006.

A year ago we featured a story in Prayer Magazine about the desire to see a year of Prayer mobilised for Student Mission.

The prayer initiative was inspired by the bicentenary of the 1806 ‘Haystacks Prayer meeting’ in Massachusetts, USA, where five students gathered to pray for God’s global agenda. A storm was overhead and lightning struck – and the prayers of the five students sparked the greatest student movement in history that transformed universities and touched the nations. Today, through the power of prayer, we are calling on God to rekindle a passion for his name within our universities and fan into flames a 21st Century student movement for Christ.

Through the year Fusion, Student Alpha and Soul Survivor joined forces after dreaming together about what a modern day student movement would like and how it might come about recognised the urgent need for more prayer for student mission. With much anticipation for what God may do the group announced a specific week of focussed prayer called ‘Galvanise’ billed to be a nationwide week of prayer for student mission, from Sunday 24th September to Saturday 30th.

The aim was very simple, we wanted to stir up the nation – students, graduates, parents, churches, chaplaincies and student organisations – to pray that God would transform our universities so that they once again become beacons of light in our land.

The expectation was that week of prayer would galvanise these three things:

  • churches to pray for students all over the UK

I was hugely encouraged recently when i heard a story of a girl who is heading off to university this Autumn from a small fellowship in Loughborough. Off her own back she approached the church leaders and explained that she was going away to University and wanted to be prayed for. She went on to explain that she saw herself as a missionary to her generation and wanted to be commissioned and sent by the church for her time at uni. Another 10,000 Christians are also preparing to go, they may not be quite as proactive but their potential as missionaries must be considered.

  • thousands of Christian students make university their mission field

Disorientated and dazed by student culture the majority of Christian freshers never again connect with Church. However, it is a problem that the Church can do something about. What an impact a bit of training, equipping and resourcing could make. Imagine what 25-30,000 students on fire for God could do to affect and infect the current university culture with Christ’s values. Of course, there are exceptions to these silent, uneventful departures and we hope that this minority practice will soon become mainstream. Local churches that once a year have some sort of commissioning service to pray for and anoint these young missionaries. Churches that over the Summer hunt down some equipping material so the issues, challenges and opportunities that new students face have been thought through. And churches that take responsibility for connecting them with churches in their place of study.

Actions Youth workers and local churches can take in the coming months:

  • Pray for the students who have left for university.
  • Use the preparation for university resource “ready for anything” that has been developed by Fusion.
  • Link Up your students to a church in the University town or city they are going to through the Fusion ‘Link up’ service.
  • Become a Fusion Connection church and keep up to date with the challenges of student mission and services that can help you.
  • every fresher to have an opportunity to attend an Alpha course.

Student Alpha’s vision is the re-evangelisation of our universities and the transformation of society by giving every student in the UK an opportunity to attend a Student Alpha course and to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. With a massive national advertising campaign in the Autumn and an increasing number of churches and Fusion Cells running Alpha inviting every fresher to an Alpha course at some universities is already happening. Where there is co-operation across churches and campus groups this is something that can be achieved now. The average age of conversion is now in the student age bracket and we must continue to pray for ways in which a whole generation will have opportunity to explore the Christian faith.

Main Prayer Points of the Galvanise week were

  • The witness of Christian students

Today’s universities are complex places where Christians need to be both bold and sensitive. Much wisdom is needed in understanding and engaging with student culture and discerning the obstacles to students accepting Christ. 24-7 Spirit led witness is needed.

  • The raising up of student workers

The student mission field represents the largest, clearly defined unreached people group in the UK. ‘the harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask him to send out more workers for his fields.’

  • The release of finance for student mission

The student mission field in the UK has grown 700% in the last 40 years and this needs to be matched by a growing of finances to meet this huge challenge.

  • The re-evangelisation of our universities

Many partnerships and many expressions of mission working towards this goal to see each new year group at university turn to Christ.

200 hundred years on our prayer is that God will move again and bring to birth a 21st century awakening among students. We don’t just want to see another generation graduating with more degrees, but a generation leaving university passionate for Christ. We want to pray in line with all those involved in student mission down the centuries and cry out to God for revival:
 

 “God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer Psalm 61:1 (The Message)

 

Why not consider becoming involved in next years Galvanise week. Contact us by visiting the Fusion website www.fusion.uk.com or telephoning on 01243 771405

 

 

 

 

 

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