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All-night fasting event helps students 'Focus' on prayer
September 29, 2003
By Paul Butterworth
Prayerwalkers circling the cornerstone of the Honeycutt Campus Center, worshippers lifting hands to the Lord, students seeking God and His will. All these events occurred during “Focus” -- an all-night gathering for prayer held at Boyce College Sept. 12.
This seven-hour “fast from sleep” made an impact on all of the approximately 70 students who participated. Focus was billed as a time for “adjusting the lens of our hearts and minds in order to produce in us a clearer image of almighty God and a desire to pursue His Kingdom like never before at Boyce College.”
The spiritual journey began with a declaration from Boyce student council spiritual life coordinator Kathy Winn.
“God is too big for us to fall asleep in the midst of His presence,” Winn said.
Student council president Jim Winn then led the congregation in a time of thoughtful Bible study. Starting with Joel 2:12-17, he allowed time for reflection on each passage. The initial verses on the nature of fasting and the greatness of God led into passages on repentance from sin.
Prayer, however, was the focus of the Focus. The evening offered silent times of meditation, interrupted only with periods of praise. The prayerwalking segments were both personal and corporate, as students spread across the campus in intercession.
And throughout Focus, volunteers spent 30-minute time blocks in the prayer room -- praying for students, faculty and seminary departments by name. Focus ended at 7 a.m., at which time the approximately 50 remaining students were served a breakfast prepared by Howdy Group leaders.
By the conclusion of Focus, all were encouraged.
“I just expected a time of taking my mind off of things that were distracting and bringing me down,” said B.S. student Robbie Byrd. “... Through all the hustle and bustle, God really quieted my heart.”
“It showed me some areas that I needed to change in my life,” B.S. student Jason Davis added. “I think it was really good and I hope that we do another one.”
These reactions fulfilled the student council’s goals for the event. The student council had “prayed for God to do amazing work in sanctifying our student body and bring glory to Himself,” said Jim Winn.
“By having a high, exalted view of God, we are better equipped to serve Him more effectively and I pray that fruit will be seen from the work that God did in our midst,” he added.
The event also showed the initiative of the students of Boyce to pursue God and godly holiness.
“I was amazed to sit back and do nothing, but simply watch the council take the initiative in directing the student body toward both reflecting on the majesty and goodness of God through Scripture and serving others through prayer and petition,” said Jonathan Leeman, Boyce student life coordinator.
“Jim, Kathy and the council have set a good direction for us all.”