WACO—A scheduled 72-hour prayer event at Baylor University grew into a spontaneous 10-day revival, as students continued to meet for prayer.
While ministers from 13 churches in the Waco area worked with Baptist Student Ministries at Baylor to sponsor and coordinate FM72, the initial four-day emphasis on campus, students took ownership of the prayer meetings that continued. The students also pledged to take responsibility for planning and organizing future prayer events during the 2019-20 school year.
Charles Ramsey, BSM director at Baylor, meets regularly with ministers to college students who serve in Waco-area churches. At one of their breakfast gatherings, Ramsey talked about how well students responded to a 24-hour prayer emphasis on campus during the fall semester.
“Instead of 24 hours, the group talked about doing another event that would be 72 hours,” Ramsey recalled.
BSM set up three tents on Baylor’s Fountain Mall—one each devoted to praying for personal matters, concerns regarding the community or campus, and international issues. Students agreed to staff the tents around the clock, from 8 p.m. March 31 until 10 p.m. April 3.
In addition to setting up tents on campus where students invited their peers to pray with them, the Waco-area college ministers suggested scheduling worship events each evening.
About 3,000 students attended the 8 p.m. worship and teaching events, Ramsey noted. Featured speakers included Jonathan “JP” Pokluda, Jennie Allen, JT Thomas and Harrison Ross.
Testimonies of FM72’s impact
“We are still gathering testimonies,” Ramsey said.
He noted one student with no previous connection to BSM who attended the Sunday night event on Fountain Mall. The student was so moved by the experience, he created personal invitations to FM72 and slid them under the door of every apartment in the complex where he lives.
Another student saw an FM72 post on Instagram at 2:30 a.m. and walked to one of the prayer tents at Fountain Mall, saying he wanted to “get right with the Lord.”
Others reported answered prayers, from unexpected news about a scholarship to unanticipated opportunities to share their faith with roommates who previously had been unreceptive to the gospel.
When the scheduled 72 hour event ended, students wanted the event to continue, so the prayer tents remained on Fountain Mall an additional 12 hours, Ramsey reported.
Even after the around-the-clock prayer event stopped, students continued to hold prayer meetings on Fountain Mall several days until Diadeloso—the annual “Day of the Bear” break from classes—needed the space on April 9 for games and entertainment.
A ‘spiritual connection’
“It was a wonderful response, and it awakened us to the desire of the present Baylor community to dream big for God,” Ramsey said.
In the days since FM72, he has told some students about the Youth-Led Revival Movement that began at Baylor with a 90-day prayer emphasis in 1945. Baptist leaders in the last half of the 20th century including Bruce McIver, BO and Dick Baker, Ralph Langley, Buckner Fanning and Jess Moody traced the beginning of their call to ministry to the Youth-Led Revivals.
Most of the current Baylor students “had no idea about the Youth-Led Revivals, but now they see that spiritual connection here,” Ramsey said.
Already, students are discussing a fall semester prayer event and another extended around-the-clock prayer revival during the spring 2020 semester.
“The ceiling of this year is the floor for next year,” Ramsey said.