Anomaly: A New Life for Week of Prayer
On Monday, Sept. 18, students made their way to Pioneer Memorial Church (PMC) to attend Week of Prayer, a week-long event coordinated by Campus Ministries. In hosting Week of Prayer, Campus Ministries hopes to accomplish three goals: 1) a clearer understanding about the truths of God, his character, and his ways; 2) drawing close to God; and 3) being transformed by God. Throughout the course of a week, undergraduate and graduate students come together twice a day to engage in faith, fellowship and most importantly, prayer.
To begin Week of Prayer, the first chapel service began with song service led by Serge Gedeon Jr. (senior, English) and other students. Immediately after, Pastor David Franklin began his sermon by introducing the theme—Anomaly: A New Life Through His Life. Pastor Franklin encouraged students to take a deeper look at themselves by describing how one can create a persona that convinces others that you are righteous. He emphasized that many people are deceived by one’s false character of righteousness. Pastor Franklin explained that one cannot create an identity that convicts oneself of righteousness. Instead, one has to allow for God to change them from within.
Tori Cooke (sophomore, pre-physical therapy) resonated with this point. “One thing that really stood out for me was that no matter how hard we try to be righteous and live a godly life on our own, it will never work unless God changes us from the inside out.”
Pastor Franklin made a special appeal to students hungry for Christ’s righteousness. He encouraged students to no longer make excuses, but to seek God first because he is the only one who can satisfy their hunger.
After Monday’s service, Juwel Howard (sophomore, music and biology) said, “I really liked how he encouraged us to want a deeper relationship with Christ and not be so comfortable with our current relationship with him.”
Moreover, Pastor Franklin reminded students that change can occur only through Christ. In the service, he asked students to repeat this phrase "I cannot change, but God can change me"
This year, Campus Ministries is incorporating several new evening experiences into Week of Prayer. Each night at 7:30 p.m., students have the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with God. Monday was a prayer experience, Tuesday was a question and answer with the speaker, Wednesday was a testimony experience with four different student testimonies, and Thursday is another question and answer with the speaker.
After the first chapel service, students such as Serge Gedeon Jr. expressed their excitement about the Week of Prayer.
Gedeon Jr. said, “This year’s week of prayer may just be the most powerful yet! God is truly in the atmosphere during morning worship and the evening programs are creative and unique—something this campus hasn’t seen yet. Also, getting to be a part of the worship team has been an extreme blessing for me. I’m so thankful that I am able to take part in this spiritual awakening on campus.”