Gwendoline Albright Ndikumagenge and Jacqueline Rae Martinez

August 25, 2020

Community Empowerment through Prayer

“I believe prayer is important because it reconnects us with the heart of our loving Savior and our Best Friend,” says Jacqueline Rae Martinez, graduate student in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program at Andrews University.

Gwendoline Albright Ndikumagenge, who graduated from Andrews with a Master’s degree in Architecture in May 2020, agrees. “Prayer is like a direct call line to the most important Being in the universe who knows everything about us and cares for us.”

Jacqueline and Gwendoline served as co-leaders of the Andrews University Prayer Warriors team for the 2019–2020 school year. In addition to praying with students before and after chapel, they joined with other prayer warriors at a 7 a.m. prayer meeting each Monday through Friday in the Campus Center. “It was a blessing to see how God would meet our needs through each other,” says Jacqueline.

On March 12, the president and provost led a student town hall regarding the University’s decision to switch to remote education due to COVID-19. Jacqueline and Gwendoline began to consider whether the support of Prayer Warriors would end, or was there a way to keep the prayer furnace going? They decided that the campus needed prayer more than ever.

The Prayer Warriors began to engage their Instagram audience, and the 7 a.m. prayer meetings moved to online Zoom calls. The group prayed for the Andrews community as a whole — administration, faculty, staff, students, family, friends and each country represented. They prayed for the leaders of nations, frontline workers, universities across the country and for the entire world in crisis.

Gwendoline recalls, “It turned out to be our source of energy for the day because it would give us a reason to wake up early and really commit our day to the Lord. We were able to reach, worship and pray with people that we wouldn’t have otherwise because we were advertising this prayer meeting through our Instagram ‘good morning’ posts.”

Jacqueline and Gwendoline were thrilled to see attendees open up and share thoughts on the daily Scripture passage. They observed how the same text would impact different people in a variety of ways, and each person would have a way to pray from the text.

“I have seen prayer become an even more intricate part of the Andrews community,” says Jacqueline. “I have been able to feel the blessing of others pray for me and lift me up, and I, too, get to lift up my community in prayers.”

She adds, “Prayer throughout this time of uncertainty and adjustments has been exactly what we needed. . . Prayer is what has kept us grounded and able to push forward due to our loving Savior’s provision. He has been using His people to reach His people, and it has been beautiful to see that and take part in it!”

Gwendoline, too, has felt the power of prayer. “The idea that this season was not a surprise to God comforts me every single day,” she says. “Overall, prayer brings out an unexpected strength, motivation, hope and peace that surpasses all understanding — like He promises.”

Gillian Panigot, Media Communications manager and FOCUS editor, Andrews University