2020 marks the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland (formerly Baptist Union of Ireland) in 1895. In February 1895 there was a “call to pray” issued to the churches, encouraging them to plead with God to move among our churches. Wishing to echo that sentiment the Executive Committee of the Association have issued a similar call: “unite to pray.”
Throughout 2020 the College will draw your attention to this call to “unite to pray” with a monthly “Friends of the College” blog post linked to the “unite to pray” prayer diary. The January notes encourage us to pray that a culture of prayer would permeate all our churches, and that God would make us a people who delight in prayer. This is evident in the life of our College, and so we asked a third year student, Chris Brown, to share one aspect of the prayer life in College:
“One of the unique opportunities we have at College is that of joining together in prayer. It is one of the foundations of College life. Our hope is to be found in passionate and perpetual prayer.
This is part of our crucially important spiritual sustenance throughout the week, but we are certainly not shy of a bit of physical sustenance as well! Many formidable eaters line the halls and fill the classrooms of the College, and so the natural and much appreciated combination of these elements are our regular prayer breakfasts.
Many of the students gathered at eight o’clock in the morning in one of the lecture rooms. We share matters needing prayer: College life, staff, students, families, and friends. Then we pray. Of course, we know that the ability to pray is always a privilege, and we regard it as such; knowing that it is only by Christ that we can even praise and petition our Almighty God. While much of the world is making their way into work or school we are able to sit together and approach God in prayer as a student body. This is a tremendous privilege.
After that, as the smell of sausages and the sound of sizzling creep through the building, we make our way to the canteen. There some thick floury baps await, ready to be filled with sausages and a condiment of your choice. It is a great time to spend together outside of an academic context. The College is not the church, but nonetheless we know one another as brothers and sisters. The prayer breakfast offers time to pray, relax, and come together as a family in Christ. We try to maintain a rich balance of academic, devotional and community pursuits in the College week, knowing that the Book we study is not simply an academic text but the life-giving word of the Living God. We aspire to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us (1 Thess. 5:16-18).”
Please continue to pray for our (your) students, especially that they would continue to devote themselves to prayer in the midst of the pressures of College life.