To any who may have lifted up a prayer for Harvest per my last post, I thank you. It was a truly blessed weekend. I love ministry, I love college students, and I love being a part of the Lord’s work among college students.
My primary role at this conference was to be part of the prayer team. I’ve been on prayer team for IV conferences before, but this experience has been by far the best ever. In speaking to other staff about recent trends in several different conferences, it seems that the Lord has been doing a heightened work in IV in the area of prayer – teaching students and staff about the importance of prayer, as well as drawing them into deep places of supplication and intercession.
We had a phenomenal prayer coordinator this year, who planned regular times of check-in and worship/prayer for the entire team together, as well as blocks of two to be in the prayer room at all times except during plenaries and lights out. On Saturday starting from free time right after lunch, there was a constant, steady stream of students coming into the prayer room, both to just sit before the Lord as well as to ask for prayer. During free time and dinner time, the prayer room was packed full. It blessed my heart so much, because there have been times past when the prayer room was largely empty save for the prayer team. It was a huge blessing both to see students retreating away to seek the Lord, as well as to pray for and minister to students.
The other unique aspect from this year’s experience on prayer team is that many track leaders invited prayer team members to sit in on the outskirts and observe and pray. I feel that this fostered an important connection (i.e. if the prayer team is just in the prayer room during tracks, we would be rather oblivious to what the students are experiencing in tracks and what the Lord is doing). Also, we are able to pray more specifically/effectively when we’re able to observe what’s going on, and to engage in whatever spiritual warfare is happening directly and in real time. I think perhaps this aspect is most important in the “Come and See” track for nonbelievers.
Some general praises from the overall conference:
- many first-time commitments to Christ (including a student that came with KIV, who I had the privilege of praying for) as well as re-commitments (including a student from UA, who I discipled last year)
- students experiencing healing and freedom and hearing the Lord’s voice; students smashing the Baals in their lives
- sweet reunions (with IV staff, youth I had served in past years through youth groups & retreats, etc). On the relational side, there were a few highlights:
1. I met siblings of two girls that were in my MCCA small group this past summer!
2. I finally met NS (SL’s girlfriend)!
3. I had some awesome conversations about theology/theologians/seminaries with a few staff – RG, MM, and SB. The conversation with MM was pretty epic; one discovery I made in the course of our conversation is that he published two books with Zondervan Academic in his early post-seminary days. He offered to send me autographed copies!
It was a really blessed time, but I am exhausted. After a few days away, there’s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed.