Pray for Harvard
Select the Most Recent Update, Below
Dear CU Gloria Cornerstone Partners and other friends of the ministry,
It is a new season and the weather is getting cooler and cooler as the fall is beginning to engulf New England. First year students are all moved in on Harvard’s campus, which looks very different from the campus freshmen have been arriving to for years. The students are quarantining for their first week, and following that, they will be adhering to strict guidelines within the Harvard bubble. Needless to say, what these new students are facing is unique, and our prayers for them to find community, thrive, and adjust to this new reality are all the more important.
I hope this update finds you well, especially amidst a summer that no-one could have expected. Thankfully, ministry at Harvard has continued to take place over the summer, primarily through the summer Bible study of the book of Proverbs. These words from Proverbs 7 remind us of the central importance of the Word of God in our lives. The exhortation here is that as we treasure God’s words in our heart, then we can truly live. God’s desire for us is that we experience the abundant life he has for us, one full of joy, peace and contentment in Christ. That is also our prayer for our students during this season, as many of them will be studying remotely, taking a gap-year, or coming back to a completely different campus.
— Romans 8:22-27
Greetings from Cambridge!
At a time when our individual and collective fate could not be more uncertain, our good instinct is to pray, but this is only half of the battle. What should we even pray for? Most of us have more questions than we have answers. When a pea soup fog descends, even familiar streets may fail us. Enter the eighth chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. The verses quoted above are stunning. If the best prayer we can muster in our weakness is a groan of anguish, we might be content simply knowing that God hears us. But these verses say so much more. God not only hears our cries but he enters into our grief. No wonder Paul tells us in chapter 12 to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn”, thereby mirroring the Spirit’s response to us! Our faith-filled groan—akin to “Thy will be done”—is being answered accordingly because the Holy Spirit is already interceding on our behalf.
— James 4:13-15
Greetings from Cambridge!
Having logged some serious miles in life, my appreciation for James’s rather harsh warning has increased at a pace commensurate with the erosion of any illusion I have ever had of earthly security and self-sufficiency. When the calendar turns at the first of the year I no longer ask, “what do I need to work on?”—as if the question of resolutions doesn’t always haunt my life(!)— but instead I wonder, “what in the world will 2020 bring?” Then and now I am praying that we will be faithful, faith-filled and take Jesus up on his invitation to pray (John 15:7-11).
Greetings from cold Cambridge!
We are about a third of the way through the semester and our students are looking forward to Spring break, which is just a couple of weeks away. This week in our Romans study with the Juniors and Sophomores we were in chapter 5. What a wonderful reminder to all of us of the reality of our new standing before God. We have been justified by faith. We were made right with God by trusting in Jesus. And as a result, we can now have peace with God. A peace that cannot be quenched or conquered by anything life throws our way.
Greetings from Cambridge!
As I was recently reading Nehemiah, I was struck by how single-minded and focused he was on the task the Lord had called him to do, rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. In Nehemiah chapter 6 some of his opponents try to distract him away from his mission, but his response is quite remarkable: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” There was no taking Nehemiah away from what God had called him to do.
"The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:6-7
"Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-5
― Carl F.H. Henry
If there is a unique challenge in welcoming Harvard freshmen to pursue faith in Christ and immerse themselves into community, it is the issue of time. More specifically, it is a matter of timing. The clock begins ticking (next week) and all but expires within days. Countless decisions will rather quickly be made by members of 2023 regarding friend groups, classes and extracurricular activities. For a few weeks in September they will live in the happy illusion that they can do it all. This dream-like state, more often than not, evaporates in the chilly air of October.
-Tim Keller, The Prodigal Prophet
Greetings from Cambridge,