We recently took a little trip to Princeton University to go prayer walking. Truong, who was baptized into Jesus last summer, asked what the purpose of our prayer walk was. I wish I had quoted this verse to him, but here are some things I said and further reflections I had after prayer walking…
1. We wanted to be a blessing to the campus. Rusty encouraged us to use the word “blessing” and it’s a perfect fit. It goes all the way back to Abraham and Genesis 12. God’s people are to bring blessings wherever they go. We were able to bless the workers in the University Store, the waiters and cooks at the restaurant where we had lunch, and the students we interacted with on campus.
2. We had general prayers for the campus asking God to bless students and faculty with his presence. We interacted with students and prayed specifically for requests offered by Marina (mom with breast cancer), Dorothy (help with sophomore year in school), Justice (wanted longevity for family and prayed with Conner and shook his hand afterwards), and Henry (going through a tough time).
3. Visiting a new campus got us out of our comfort zone. We had to figure out where to park, where to go. We got lost. We didn’t have a plan, and we weren’t quite sure how to start conversations at times. We put faith in God to provide, and that was enough. We had missionary eyes to see everything anew because it was all new. We thought about the tremendous pressure students at Princeton might feel. We noticed there was still a playfulness on this prestigious campus with the 15-20 snow men that we saw.
4. Having missionary eyes for Princeton wakes us up to our own wonderful UD campus again. We remember not to take any relationship for granted when we walk around campus. Everyone can be a person of peace. We are one hello, one smile, one prayer request, one cell phone number, sharing one business card away from a life-changing conversation for them and us! Plus, as we share on social media and in our own ministry, it helps students and supporters in our circle of influence to know that the mission is bigger than us. The nations are learning of Jesus at UD and God’s glory is being made known here. We can never take this for granted. But what do the nations know of Jesus and his glory at Princeton? How do we know unless someone is sent to listen, learn, and share God’s love?
5. And to top if off, it was an opportunity for our apprentice, Conner Brown, to dream and vision where God might be calling him when his training at UD is done. Maybe God will call him to Princeton (by the way, he loved it!). We noticed no campus ministries but saw a few beautiful church buildings. We wondered if there was Spirit-filled life to go with those buildings. Perhaps our trip opens Conner up to the Spirit’s leading as it puts him in touch with the reality that he will not be at UD forever. We are training him to be sent out in the regions beyond us. Just like Paul taught us.
- For the Princeton campus
- For Conner as he begins to discern where he might work some day
- For UD as we begin our spring semester and our outreach on campus