By Allison Antram, Staff Writer
As Christians in a collegiate community, it is often difficult to navigate busy schedules, homework and social lives, while still finidng time to grow spiritually. Last fall, a group of students decided to set aside intentional time to not only seek the Lord themselves but provide a tangible way to help other members of the Asbury campus do the same.
“This ministry longs to challenge the campus to be faithful to the call of unceasing prayer,” explained sophomore Mindi Wafford, who is the chair for Worship Him All the Time (W.H.A.T.T.).
Junior Miller Jarrell, who created this ministry, described this as a service that encourages community and intentional communication with God led by the Holy Spirit. “W.H.A.T.T. is a place you can [worship] freely without having to worry about ‘praying a stupid prayer’ or ‘saying something wrong’… to see people step into deep conversation with God and hear his prompting voice is beautiful and humbling.”
W.H.A.T.T. was started last semester and currently meets Monday through Thursday, 7-9 p.m., as well as Friday from 7-9 a.m. “It has grown rapidly since it began last semester,” said Jarrell. “We went from meeting a few times a week without a focus to now having intentional prayer two hours a day, five days a week.” This increased focus means that each prayer time is dedicated to a different cause – campus, families, the nations, Israel and America. Sophomore Abby Hamilton, who leads worship, explained that with a different leader for every service, each one takes on its own personality.
“We’ve grown in numbers but we’ve really grown in closeness and intimacy with the Holy Spirit,” Hamilton elaborated. “That’s the vision for the ministry and God is showing us more and more that when we take a moment to set time with Him, He really will meet us and speak to us.”
Wafford also echoed this evidence of God’s presence at W.H.A.T.T. “One of my favorite things about this service is that I have been able to witness the faithfulness of God in what we have cried out for… Not just in those who have come to invest in prayer, but I have seen Him being so faithful in transforming the hearts of those we have been praying for.”
Wafford also noted specific examples, such as once when she was praying for families and later that day, heard of healing in a family situation. Wafford is confident in that “God only continues to be faithful.”
With Holiness Emphasis Week last week, W.H.A.T.T. was able to adjust their schedule to work alongside this service. “Getting to partner in prayer with our university and support them and have their support for us is something we were and are thrilled about,” said Jarrell. “We are normally praying broadly for many things, so to focus in on a specific place and time was really cool because we would see how God was working in our chapel times and evening services.” Jarrell also explained that he saw unity within the ministry and campus as a result of this focused service, and Wafford agreed as she witnessed a stirring of hearts.
The hope of W.H.A.T.T. is that it would eventually become a 24/7 prayer room, similar to that of the International House of Prayer. Wafford says it is only the beginning, and she has loved seeing God’s faithfulness revealed not only in prayer, but also in the growth of this ministry, as they now have 20 leaders on the committee.
Hamilton said she loves being a part of the experience and watching people settle into the service. “You watch people awkwardly come in and sit down and sing some songs… but then you watch them sit back and encounter Jesus and it’s like this light bulb goes off in their life.”
Clearly, the power and significance of intentional prayer has been demonstrated through this ministry, and has provided a new opportunity for Asbury students to deepen their faith and respond to God’s calling. Wafford and Jarrell both had endless lists of what they loved about W.H.A.T.T., but Wafford most simply summarized the goal of this ministry: “I love the beauty of the Father being revealed through passionate, burning hearts.”
Photos by Kiernan McKay