Allison Brooks and her friends started out with a simple plan—40 days of 24/7 prayer across Ohio campuses.
Brooks used to be timid, but as she began experimenting with prayer and different ways to pray, she was overcome with boldness. She eventually networked more than 70 campuses in a prayer movement that was later organized as a partnership called Campus Transformation Network. It stretched around the country and grew to more than 120 campuses.
Today, think about this: Jesus is what you need. If you have a question—about life, about finances, about schooling or your family—He is the answer.
A group of students at Asbury College decided they had an answer to the social unrest of their time—the love of Jesus. Because they refused to stand by and remain silent in the midst of the strife, a movement called The Great Expectation began to take root in the student body. Their plan was simple: For 30 days, they would pray every morning for a period of 30 minutes.
If you have a heart for world missions, chances are you have heard Jim Elliot’s story or seen the movie End of the Spear.
Children of God need freedom to grow and express all that is within them. Elliot grew up with amazing parents who encouraged him to be adventurous and live for Christ. He was not afraid to take risks. He believed giving his life to missions was a higher priority than ministering to the “well-fed” church at home.
Elliot was the leader of a foreign missions organization on his campus and had his gaze fixed on the people of Ecuador. During a missions conference, Elliot was inspired and said, “As I analyze my feelings now, I feel quite at ease about saying that tribal work in South American jungles is the general direction of my missionary purpose.”
If someone asked you how to start a revival, what would you say? Bill Bright knew he was called to devote his life to leading students and young adults to Jesus. Vonette, his wife, had the same calling. Together, they decided that leading people to Jesus started with radical prayer, so that was what they did.
They organized a 24-hour prayer chain on the campus of the University of California–Los Angeles. Just a few months later, 250 UCLA students had given their lives to the Lord. The converts included the president of the student body, an editor of a campus newspaper, and a well-known athlete at the university.
If you are going, or planning to go, to college, you will probably come across the ministry of Intervarsity Fellowship.
Intervarsity Fellowship was birthed out of students’ passion to see God made famous on campuses everywhere. This organization has a vision not just to help students by hosting fun events or giving them free meals, but they see college campuses as mission fields. They influence schools from within—setting up scholarship funds for students and establishing long-term projects that lead to students’ conversion and discipleship over a long period of time.
God doesn’t need you to be rich and famous. You don’t have to wait until you have status or the “know how” before you start calling out for revival. God can use you just as you are.
The Azusa Street Revival is one of the most famous revivals in history. This amazing outpouring brought together people from all walks of life and challenged social norms and stereotypes. It welcomed people of all races, financial status, and gender.
William Seymour was a one-eyed African American who lived in poverty. In the eyes of others, he probably was not someone anybody expected to carry revival, but God used him as the catalyst for a move of the Holy Spirit that transcended people’s understanding. Seymour confounded the wise with his disposition and ability to unite people for a common purpose: revival.
“I felt ablaze with a desire to go through the length and breadth of Wales to tell of the Savior . . .
I was willing to pay God for doing so.”
— Evan Roberts
Have you ever felt the burning passion of God’s presence within you so strongly that you cannot contain it? God wants you to be so filled with His Spirit that you “overflow” to everyone around you. The message within you is good, and you cannot keep it all for yourself.
That is what happened when Evan Roberts received what he termed a fresh “baptism of the Spirit.” Roberts prayed, “Bend me, O Lord,” and God did. This empowering of the Spirit transformed the 26-year-old student into a revivalist with a message for Wales.
The world was set ablaze as the result of Roberts’ ministry and passion for Jesus. What started in a tiny town in Wales became a global movement that shut down bars and saloons across the European continent. In a vision, Roberts saw 100,000 souls saved through his personal ministry—and that was what happened. He went on a tour of South Wales with his worship team, and within a year, 100,000 converts were said to be added to the Welsh Church. Roberts led meetings differently than others had in the past—in his meetings, they waited to hear what God was saying and spent a long time in worship.
Through his ministry, similar revivals broke out in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, and the United States. Universities like Stanford and Baylor were widely impacted, and what the Holy Spirit did through Evan Roberts is still studied today.
Bend me, O Lord! Help me to remove anything that stands in my way of more of You. Help me to hear Your voice clearly and give me boldness to share what You are saying with others around me. AMEN.
Negativity Fast Day 15: Self
Today, fast from negative thoughts about who you are. Make a list of the things you love and enjoy about yourself. Also, write down your dreams and make some notes about what you would love to see happen to you. Discover yourself and who you are. Ask God why you love the things you love and write down what He says.
Action Point Focus: Campus Groups
Find a club or organization you can bless by helping out or bringing snacks to their next meeting.
“I, God, search the heart and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.”
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
William Borden was the heir of the Borden milk company fortune. This multimillion-dollar company enabled him to travel all over the world for pleasure and adventure. During his travels, he was greatly impacted by missionaries who had been sent out by the Student Volunteer Movement. He saw them doing purposeful and lasting work among foreign peoples.
He entered Yale University and became friends with a man named Charley Campbell. Though Campbell was not from a family of privilege, they became friends and began to pray together every day. Their prayer time grew into Bible studies. They also attended conferences that greatly influenced them and, in turn, influenced the Yale campus. Borden decided to give up a life of privilege to work as a missionary in an unreached people group. Finishing his studies at Yale, Borden moved to a remote, impoverished area of China. After his death, people discovered this inscription in his Bible: “No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.”
Imagine that your personal dream and vision for God awakened millions of hearts to give their lives to missions. The title of John Mott’s book, The Evangelization of the World in This Generation, became a missionary slogan that caused students to realize they could radically change the world.
The Student Volunteer Movement was one of the most influential student movements in history. Thousands of students were inspired, enlisted, and mobilized to preach the gospel around the world to those who had never heard it. The people involved in this movement never asked of others what they were not willing to give themselves.
As the children of God, we carry His heart and His passion for the lost. This is a “family” call—one for the whole Body of Christ—and all of us play a part.
Grace Wilder was a huge inspiration and intercessor for her brother Robert, who was a leader in the Student Volunteer Movement (you read about him on Day 11). Growing up with zealous missionary parents, she did not just sit back and watch the rest of her family pursue God—Wilder wanted to see a revival among the women in her university. She personally inspired 34 female students to dedicate their lives to global missions and then went herself, moving to India as a missionary with her mother.
One word from God can change your life forever—that is what happened to Robert Wilder. In the beginning of his junior year at Princeton, he was deeply moved by a sermon and was changed dramatically from the inside out. After the sermon, he decided to go up to the speaker and ask about the source of his revelation. The man said, “God is ready to give you the power of the Holy Spirit as soon as you are ready to surrender fully to Him.”
Wilder was ready. His commitment was one of many that led to the mobilization of missionaries around the world. Wilder and other students started the Student Volunteer Movement in his home while attending Princeton. They met together to pray that people would respond to the call to foreign missions. On horseback, he and his friend John Forman traveled to 162 college campuses and spoke about the need for world missions. At their meetings, the Student Volunteer Movement passed out “declaration cards” that simply said, “It is my purpose, if God permit, to become a foreign missionary.” At the end of his first year, 2106 students had responded to the call to devote their lives to missions.
Have you ever wanted to do something for God, but it was hard and didn’t seem to be working?
Jeremiah Lanphier had a heart for prayer and wanted to see his city transformed by the gospel. In a bold move, he issued leaflets throughout New York City about a prayer meeting on Fulton Street. It was an invitation for people from all realms of society, both secular and religious, to stop for an hour during their lunch break and pray.
It started out slowly—30 minutes went by before the first person arrived. The meeting that day ended with six people. But persistence paid off—the number of people doubled each week until the prayer meeting became a daily occurrence during difficult times in America’s financial history. Lanphier chose to influence a city, and before he knew it, there were 10,000 people attending this prayer meeting.
Have you ever wanted to defend those who are being picked on or bullied? Proverbs 23:10–11 says, “For [the] Defender [of defenseless orphans] is strong and He Himself will bring their charges against you.” God’s Spirit stirs our hearts to speak out and protect the people around us.
William Garrison, editor of the Liberator newspaper, and Timothy Weld, a respected theologian, were abolitionists (activists against slavery) in a time when the idea of freeing slaves was controversial. But Garrison and Weld took a stand for what they believed in. After a heated public debate about slavery, nearly all the students involved left Lane College and transferred to a school that admitted African Americans—Oberlin College. This decision influenced universities all over the nation to begin to admit African-American students.
You have the power to shift atmospheres. You don’t have to live in a dark, oppressive environment without hope—the power of God lives in you! When you pray, things change. God shows up.
Princeton in the early 1800’s was much like many university campuses around the world today. Most of the students claimed to be atheists, and there were low moral standards with little accountability. Riots often broke out at Nassau Hall with students who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Throughout history, God has always used people who have not “looked the part”—and Samuel Mills was one of those people. His colleagues said that he was “awkward” and had “a croaking sort of voice,” but what he started at Williams College changed the course of history.
Mills believed that every follower of Jesus has the choice of living purposefully or living stupidly. Once he chose to live purposefully, he became an incredible revivalist. Along with a group of five friends, Mills began to pray for a missionary movement like that of William Carey. This small group, which was unknown to the rest of their college, organized a society with a constitution, which said, “The object of this Society shall be to effect in the persons of its members a mission or missions to the heathen,” and, “No person shall be admitted who is under any engagement of any kind, which shall be incompatible with going on a mission to the heathen.”
“The problem is not only to win souls but to save minds. If you win the whole world and lose the mind of the world, you will soon discover you have not won the world.Indeed it may turn out that you have actually lost the world.” — Charles Malik Repentance is powerful. It is more… Read more »
She was only 16 years old, but Countess Benigna Von Zinzendorf knew she was more than able to be a minister of the gospel. In a time when women were not given primary roles in the church, she decided her voice mattered. She started a school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1742 that later became Moravian College. Von Zinzendorf joined her father on mission trips to the Indians of Pennsylvania and New York, where she actively lived out her teaching by showing Jesus’ love to the least among them.
John and Charles Wesley wanted God NOW! The brothers didn’t wait until they were out of school—they pursued God and revival while they were still studying at the university. They dedicated their lives to spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting two days a week, and open accountability with one another. They also visited prisoners, taught the poor, and worked in a school for orphans. Other students started calling them the “Holy Club” in mockery, but the brothers and the other members of their “Holy Club” chose to set their lives apart for Jesus no matter what others thought of them.
As a result of the actions of Thomas Cartwright (you read about him on Day 2), ministers started Harvard University to train up church leaders—in fact, for a time the school was called “The School of the Prophets.” In the early classes, half the graduates became ministers.
Henry Dunster was the first president of Harvard. Dunster believed that knowing God was the “main end of life and studies.” He so believed this that his refusal to force religious laws apart from relationship with Christ resulted in his losing his job as president. Dunster’s conflict began when he failed to have his infant son baptized, believing that only people who were old enough to make a profession of faith by choice should be baptized.
Imagine you started a movement that led people into a deeper experience with God. That is what Professor Thomas Cartwright of Cambridge University did. He led people away from religion to pursue the living God and His presence.
Professor Cartwright didn’t want the ideals of a government-controlled church to rule his school. In a leadership lecture, he compared the book of Acts to the Church of England. He ended up being fired from the university, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. His stand for what he believed in led a group of students to do the same—they refused to wear the clerical robes that identified them with the Church of England. This act of holy “rebellion” eventually led to the establishment of universities like Harvard, where the pursuit of God, not the Church of England, was the main focus.
Martin Luther is the face of reformation for most Christian beliefs. If you believe that it is your right and privilege to read and interpret the Word of God for yourself, in your own language, then Martin Luther’s life has impacted yours. He lived in a society much like the one we live in today- a society that was butting heads with theology, expanding ideologies were emerging, and the answers to basic questions about God were being challenged. When Luther chose to nail the 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, he unknowingly paved the way for generations of Christians to claim a right to their own relationship with God. Because of his healthy rebellion, believers all over the world experience the God of the Bible in a way that is not controlled by the restrictions of a religious system. One professor’s actions led to the reformation of the entire church system. All he did was refuse to be silent.