24/7 prayer week begins

The 24-7 prayer tent is located on Commons lawn and is open to all Calvin community members.  Photo by Grace Ruiter
The 24-7 prayer tent is located on Commons lawn and is open to all Calvin community members. Photo by Grace Ruiter

A citywide spiritual renewal begins Wednesday on commons lawn with the 24/7 prayer movement.

Calvin College is hosting a 24/7 Prayer week Sept. 19-26. The event takes place in a prayer tent on Commons Lawn. People can pray in the tent, in a prayer room around campus or anywhere on the campus grounds.

Ada Bible Church, Life International, Calvin College, Gathering Grand Rapids, Oakdale CRC Crossroads Bible Church, the Stockbridge Boiler Room and the Bridge Street House of Prayer asked people to sign up to fill 168 hour-long time slots  to sustain the prayer.

Kinesiology professor Nancy Van Noord, who coordinated the event, says she anticipates a lot of participation and hopes to have every slot filled. Even if a person doesn’t sign up, Van Noord encouraged everyone to stop by the tent and pray with someone or just see what the movement is about.

“It’s a spiritual event where people experience blessing after blessing” said Van Noord.

Students at Calvin recognize prayer to be an important aspect of their relationships with God.

“Prayer helps us stop all our busyness and focus on God’s will,” said Jane Mentink, the 3rd Kalsbeek resident assistant. “It helps us orient our lives with God’s will.”

The prayer tent is equipped with readings on why praying is important. It also contains stories and testimonies intended to inspire the people praying.

Art supplies are available in the tent for people to write their testimonies, illustrate what they experienced during their time praying and share it with others.

Chaplain Mary Hulst encouraged students to participate in the prayer week during LOFT last Sunday. She reiterated Van Noord’s comments when she described the spiritual blessing expected to come through the prayer.

“We pray that we will see the light of the world who is Jesus Christ,” Hulst prayed about 24-7 prayer during the LOFT service.

Every evening during the event, there will be a time of corporate prayer from 8 to 9 p.m. where people will gather for worship and group prayer. This time will be intermixed with scripture readings and inspirational speakers.

“[Corporate payer] is a matter of people coming together in mass,” explained Van Noord.

24/7 prayer is a movement that has maintained an unbroken stream of prayer for more than a decade and is hosted in cities around the world in 24 different countries.  Its aim is spiritual, social and environmental reconciliation.

Two events will follow the 24/7 prayer week.

The first ReigKnight service of the year will be held on Sept. 26. at 9 p.m. in the Covenant Fine Arts Center. The service is a chance for extended worship at the finale of the prayer week.

A Dunamis Conference will also be held Sept. 27-29. This is the first conference in a six part series. The conference is titled “Gateways to Empowered Ministries” and will examine the person and work of the holy spirit.

The Dunamis conference is free but sign-ups are required. Five meals are included and can be used as part of a meal plan. To sign up or for more information on the Dunamis conference, go to www.prmi.org or call 828-669-7373.

For more information on the 24-7 prayer movement, visit www.24-7prayer.com.

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