Missouri State BSU mans ‘prayer stop’
Students pray with 107 passersby
June 6, 2006
SPRINGFIELD – There’s an old, tired joke that says as long as there are tests, there will always be prayer in schools. Though it was no laughing matter, students from the Missouri State University Baptist Student Union (BSU) found that finals week does include its fair share of prayer, but tests weren’t the only things on students’ minds.
Led by BSU intern Phil Sousa, members of the BSU manned a “Prayer Stop” two days during finals week at the school, asking passersby on the 19,000-student campus, “How can we pray for you?”
Sousa said a majority of the prayer requests were understandably about upcoming final exams. The rest were split between relationship issues – family, boyfriend/girlfriend – and “personal requests” such as cars needing repairs, looking for a summer job, etc.
“I was surprised at how personal they got with us as strangers,” he said.
Even though it was not an explicitly evangelistic event, Sousa said it was time to plant seeds and give students a little encouragement during the stressful week.
“It was about hope. Even if they don’t yet believe in my God, the idea of praying with us gave them a glimmer of hope,” he said.
The crew registered 107 unique prayer requests, and at least one student walked away after praying with Sousa, feeling God’s love and acceptance
“One student came over broken and crying,” he said. “She told me that this semester was the first time in her life she’d ever really had friends. This summer her friends were going home and she was staying here. I could see that it was really going to be a tough summer for her. We prayed that the Lord would see her through the summer and then told her the BSU would be open this summer and that we would love to be her friends.”