Liberty University set the spiritual tone for the new school year, beginning with Spiritual Emphasis Week, which is designed to help students start their semester with a godly focus, and includes an All Night of Prayer, which began Friday at 11 p.m. and continued until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.
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.
During the night of prayer, students gathered in front of the Prayer Chapel where they prayed with their halls and listened to live worship music. Spiritual Life Coaches (SLC’s) from the residence halls organized the event. The halls were assigned varying time slots to ensure continuous prayer for the entire event. Students were able to visit 26 prayer stations, each focused on a different need including those for individuals, the university, the United States, and the world. The SLC’s managed the stations and were in charge of their construction and design.
Randy Willis, senior associate director in the Office of Student Leadership (OSL), believes this event sets Liberty apart from other campuses.
“This is a laser-focused prayer time for specific issues on our campus that strengthens spiritual awareness for needs around campus and strengthens students as they see these prayers being answered thus, strengthening their spiritual lives,” he said.
According to Willis, the night of prayer should remind students that as Christians they are to be the hands and feet of Christ.
“The late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. always said ‘nothing of eternal significance happens apart from prayer.’ This event serves as a reminder of his legacy and enhances the spiritual atmosphere on campus,” Willis said.
Alumna Kelsey Baker (’09), associate director of the SLC’s, said she was proud of the work that was put into the event.
“I hope each station helped usher each student into the presence of God and taught them to know Him more and want to spur on their relationship with the Lord for the rest of the year,” Baker said.
Emily Becker, an SLC at the Residential Annex, encouraged each of the girls on her hall to attend the event.
“I hope that the girls on my hall will learn the meaning of prayer and how to come together and pray as a community,” she said.
The Office of Student Leadership seeks to train student leaders to minister, mentor, and mobilize students in the residence halls. Every student at Liberty has five leaders on their hall that they can go to for guidance, including two Resident Assistants, two SLC’s, and a Prayer and Life Group Leader.