ADOPT A CAMPUS IN PRAYER
Would you consider adopting in prayer your university, the local college campuses in your region, your alma mater, and the colleges where your kids and grandkids go? (Note from Jessica: I am adopting the University of California at Irvine.)
One of the first Days of Prayer observed in this country has been restored: the National Collegiate Day of Prayer.
The Second Great Awakening (1790-1845) produced our most powerful student revivals and the prayer movement that sustained them.
This outpouring of grace was the fruit of the renewed monthly Concerts of Prayer in the mid-1780s. The awakening began in the Northeast in the early 1790s and then spread to the western frontier by 1800. It continued to touch almost every corner of our nation on into the mid 1840s. For literally half a century America experienced genuine revival in one part of our nation or another.
As the Students Go, So Goes the Nation
During this extended season of revival, church leaders began to apply the proven principles of the Concert of Prayer movement to the needs of college students. By 1815, the Concert of Prayer for Colleges had become a regular feature on the New England campuses of Yale, Williams, Brown and Middlebury. By 1823, almost every major denomination and university in America had embraced the practice of a concerted day of prayer for colleges. All the universities in America at this time had been founded through the Church and therefore were expected to supply the next generation of evangelical leaders. The American churches viewed these student communities as the coming future of their congregations, culture, and society. They believed that the direction of their churches and that of the whole nation would soon follow the spiritual bent and character of America’s college students — as the students go, so goes the nation. It was this kind of farseeing perspective about students that made the American Church quick to answer the call to a national day of prayer for colleges.
Transforming the Moral Climate of America’s Universities
Henry C. Fish in his Handbook of Revivals gives us another account of the ongoing success of this special day of prayer. He says, “In the year 1823, the last Thursday of February each year was agreed upon as the day for special supplication that God would pour from on high His Spirit upon our Colleges and Seminaries. And what have been some of the results? In the years 1824 and 1825, revivals were experienced in 5 different colleges; in 1826, in 6 colleges; in 1831, in 19… In one of the colleges it is stated that a revival started on the very day of the concert of prayer. In 1835, not less than 18 revivals were reported by different colleges.” By the end of the 19th century, these repeated student awakenings had radically transformed the culture and moral climate of many of our largest universities. As a result, many of America’s ministers at this time were encouraging their congregations to send their children to college, if they wanted to see them safe and soundly converted.
Note: Today, if you send your student to college, they LOSE their Christian faith. Turn that around with prayer!