Cairn’s Need for Prayer
A Challenge for Students
“I’ll pray for you.” How often do we hear Christians saying this phrase? We spit it out like it is the only comfort we know how to give. But how often do we tell someone we will pray for them and yet forget to do so later? This is an easy pit to fall into at Cairn, because we have so many other things on our minds and screaming for our attention. Midterms, papers, reading and jobs overwhelm our time and our minds. It can be difficult to put those thoughts aside for even a moment to focus on following up with the prayer requests we have heard throughout the day.
For most of the students at Cairn, we all believe in the same Jesus and desire to cast our cares on him to help us through the hard times. We are privileged to go to a Christian university in which we can lean on each other and tell each other about our struggles. How often do we forsake this freedom and act as if we don’t trust Jesus with our problems?
Personally, I know my prayer life is not where it needs to be, and will never be as good as it could be. We can never be satisfied with where we are at the moment but need to keep striving for something better, something more complete. 1 Thessalonians and Ephesians tell us to pray continually. It is difficult to wrap our minds around what that actually means, because today’s society teaches us to be busy at all times. We never have a moment of peace and quiet we can truly sit down and talk to God. But that is what prayer is meant to be– a continual conversation with God. Intentionality is a key to stepping up our prayer lives and making sure we give time to the Lord we serve and keeping our promises to those that we say we will pray for.
How can we move in the right direction and begin taking steps to making prayer a more integral part of our lives at Cairn? First of all, the next time you find yourself telling someone that you will pray for them, actually take a few moments and pray with them right there in the flesh rather than just telling them you will do so later. Praying for someone in front of them can be a powerful encouragement to them to know that they are not struggling alone, but that someone is supporting them and cares enough to take time out of their day to pray with them in the flesh. Why do we give people weird looks if we catch them praying in the middle of the Cairn hallways? They are practicing what we should be doing and yet neglect to do.
We are called to carry one another’s burdens, so in order to do so we need to be genuine with one another. Rather than flippantly replying, “good” when someone asks us how we are doing, it is our responsibility to tell others when we aren’t doing so good. We always wish that people could tell when something was bothering us and ask us what is wrong, but we cannot read one another’s mind and need to be open and share with others when we are facing hard times. Likewise, if someone opens up to us and shares their current struggles with us, we need to take the time to listen and support. God doesn’t always choose opportune times to use us as his instruments, but we need to be available to be used by him whenever he calls us.
How cool would it be to be walking down the hallway and see students praying for one another, or sitting in the cafeteria and seeing a group of students praying over their meals with one another, or seeing a student praying before an exam? Cairn has so much potential for using prayer more integrally on our campus, and we need to pursue this potential, knowing that it can never be fully attained. It seems simple, and it is; we can use prayer to impact our campus and change the environment from the inside out. It only takes one step, one prayer, at a time. Ted Dekker says, “Prayer may just be the most powerful tool mankind has.” Are you taking steps to improve your prayer life? Pick up the tool; you’ll be amazed at how God uses it.