Campus prayer meeting stimulates spiritual growth

Wake is a new community that began in an apartment in The Colony. -- Amanda Johnson

There is no magic in prayer. It seems a simple yet hard concept to comprehend. The on-campus culture of prayer has taken a turn for the best.

In the past six months, every aspect of California Baptist University has transformed in tremendous ways. Physical change is seen through the addition of new buildings.

The newest addition to on- campus spiritual growth is the prayer night “Wake” that debuted this fall.

Wake was a vision for senior Camryn Rogers and juniors Savanna Jonker and Channing Perea after praying for two girls who confessed they never experienced prayer at such an intimate level.

The image of other students having similar stories broke their hearts. Providing a prayer night gives students another option for prayer and worship.

“We wanted a place where God could move, a place for us and other students to exalt Him and lay everything before Him. We wanted it to be a time of growing in God together and experiencing His heart,” Jonker said.

Along with Rogers, Jonker and Lee, nine other leaders are committed to developing this prayer night into something that completely glorifies God.

What began with just a few students quickly multiplied with each passing week.

Wake began with 15 students and has increased to approximately 40 people. Though the growth of attendees happened quicker than expected, it was not a surprise.

“You can’t put God in a box. He has definitely shown that it is His night by bringing so many people through the door. There is a hunger and a thirst for Him on campus,” Nina Webb, junior, said.

The weekly event begins with socializing and welcoming one another. Worship begins soon after by the leadership of junior Daniel Urban and William Perkins, member of Antioch church worship band.

“Fellowship starts at 7 p.m. and worship goes from 7:30 to around 10 mainly because 10 is the quiet time. Then we go from 10 to 11 fellowship,” Rogers said.

To see students worshipping with unyielding devotion through their voices is a sight one must see for their own to understand.

“We believe everyone has a unique relationship with the Lord and that He sees our hearts in worship, not our physical worship. So, one person may have their hands outreached to Him where as another person may be on their knees, crying at His feet,” Rogers said.

Throughout worship, prayers are heard through the multitude of students.

There are no set guidelines for how prayer should be done. Instead, students seek earnestly for God to lead them in the direction He wants them to go.

“We believe in being led by the Spirit, so if He tells us to pray for anyone in particular, we walk in obedience to His voice. We encourage others to offer prayer and share what He has placed on their hearts,” Alexis Canfora, senior, said.

The intimacy of Wake naturally brought forth community. It has gone deeper to portray a unity of family.

“I believe Wake has built, and is continuing to build, a strong community amongst the students for the true fact that needs are being met. The beauty of community is for one another to be encouraged, loved, cared for and prayed over. That is the purpose of these Tuesday nights,” Daniel Fries, junior, said.

With the number of people attending, it is only a matter of time before the event is relocated. The current location is an apartment in The Colony.

Though there is not a set place for relocation, plans are underway.

“We are waiting at the moment because the number of people each week changes. We love the apartment because it is such an intimate setting, but we are also willing to relocate if that is where God is leading us,” Jonker said.

The desire of Wake’s ministry is not only for numbers to increase but for hearts to be transformed daily in the image of their Maker.

“To see people encounter God’s heart and go deeper in Him is our vision,” Rogers said. “We really want to encourage each other and grow together as young men and women after His heart. We want to push each other into the destiny that God has called.”

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