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Students take part in Spiritual Emphasis Week

September 6, 2011 : Bethany Pico/Liberty University News Service

Students attend All Night of Prayer on Friday night in front of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center.

Liberty University has been setting the spiritual tone for the school year, beginning with the All Night of Prayer, a jumpstart to Spiritual Emphasis Week.

From 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, to 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, more than 5,000 students gathered in front of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center to pray. Student leaders in the residence halls organized the event. The halls were assigned different time slots to ensure continuous prayer for the entire time. Students could visit 26 stations, each guiding them in prayer for the campus, country and world and for personal needs.

Students packed Thomas Road Baptist Church as Clayton King preached on Tuesday night.

Spiritual Emphasis Week officially kicked off in a special service on Monday night with campus pastor Clayton King at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

“This is my seventh year at Spiritual Emphasis Week,” King said. “Tonight (I want you to come) and take off the masks and remove the spiritual costumes that a lot of us bring with us when we come into corporate worship.”

Students wrote down prayer requests for local, national and global needs.

Since the 1990s, Liberty has started every semester with Spiritual Emphasis Week, hosting an evangelistic speaker who encourages and refocuses students on their purpose of being Champions for Christ.

“It’s service after service with spiritual saturation where the topics are geared towards getting students right with God, either because they need a relationship with Him or because they need to enhance the relationship they already have,” said Michael Miller, Associate Director of Office of Student Leadership.

King has traditionally spoken at the start of the fall semester. He will be speaking in special services Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as well Wednesday convocation.

King began preaching in prisons and churches at age 14 and has since written seven books and spoken to more than 3 million people all over the world. He is the founder and president of Crossroads Worldwide, an interdenominational ministry that includes summer camps, conferences, discipleship programs and mission trips.

On Monday, King challenged a packed-out crowd of students to be laid bare before a sovereign God, putting aside hypocrisy that can easily plague a relationship with the God. He encouraged students to gauge their spiritual walk by asking them questions about how authentic their relationship is with God, using Psalm 139 as the main text. Students responded to the message, praying and seeking God in worship.