Photo credit: Darren Heslop
Photo caption: Faculty, staff and students join together in prayer.
Nayeli Moretta, senior elementary education major at Andrews University, is a firm believer in the power of prayer. Hired during her junior year as prayer director for Campus Ministries (CM), she hoped to lead other students to prioritize prayer. “I wanted to have a team to attend events and pray for people — a team to consistently pray as individuals and collectively,” she says. “I really believe that, when we come together in prayer, it unites us with each other as well as with God.”
When Nayeli accepted the leadership of the CM Prayer Warriors, she formed a team of 15 members, representing both the undergraduate and graduate student populations. The team receives information about and prays for different ministries and events each month. They often serve as a prayer team at the conclusion of vespers services or other programs, and have arranged for an additional 30 prayer partners — students who commit to pray at certain times. The Prayer Warriors also host a monthly “Popcorn, Prayer and Praise” event at Campus Ministries that attracts anywhere from 20 to 60 attendees.
“The Prayer Warriors are fervent and persistent in prayer,” says June Price, University chaplain. “They are willing to go beyond prayers for themselves and be interceders for this campus.” It was natural, then, that when June was approached with the idea of First Tuesday, she thought of the Prayer Warriors.
First Tuesday is an initiative proposed by President Andrea Luxton to campus chaplains, the pastoral team and administrators. On the first Tuesday of each month, members of the Andrews community are invited to personally set aside thoughtful times of prayer and fasting. June thought it also could be beneficial to offer an opportunity for corporate prayer and asked the Prayer Warriors to host.
For the inaugural First Tuesday, a Prayer Warriors team member collaborated with Chaplain Price to facilitate a season of prayer focused on the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Prayers moved from praise and adoration to expressions of need and confession, then concluded with a time of supplication and surrender.
“I am really pleased that 12 people participated. In the past, when times of corporate prayer have been called on days of prayer and fasting, only about five people have attended. I hope that in doing this consistently and prayerfully, participation will continue to grow,” says June.
Nayeli is grateful to see there are people invested in prayer, and hopes the Prayer Warriors team will continue to deepen their understanding of prayer as they lead others through the prayer process. “I think a lot of us have lost what it means to pray together. I do envision the Prayer Warriors as a team that understands how important prayer is and how powerful it is; how much things can change, not only in what we see, but what we don’t see,” she says. “To have people committed to making our campus a more spiritual place… to see that there is a team dedicated to prayer — it’s really beautiful.”