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Christian Union
March 1, 2015

Dartmouth Student Leads 24-Hour Prayer Time

On October 31, students at Dartmouth united their Christian peers to pray without ceasing for 24 hours.

The effort was led by Zachary Schmidt '15, who is active with Christian Union's leadership development ministry at Dartmouth and possesses a profound devotion to Christ and a passion for living a life of prayer.

Schmidt, who transferred to Dartmouth as a junior from the U.S. Naval Academy, helped organize a 24-hour concert of prayer, which both encouraged students to seek God wholeheartedly and also united the body of Christ on campus.

"We saw [this prayer initiative] as a great way to get the whole Christian community involved and united in one body to glorify the Lord," said Schmidt.

pray-wo-ceasing-articleHowever, the senior wasn't always so mindful of the need for consistently coming before the Lord.

"I didn't understand what that meant until I got to Dartmouth," said Schmidt. There, he joined the Christian Union ministry, where he not only gained a sense of belonging, but also clarity about what it means to pursue God above all else.

"The seeking God lifestyle means that the Lord is not just 'a priority,' but the primary priority in our lives, making Him first in everything we do, pursuing Him at all times," said Schmidt. Pursuing God includes frequent prayer; extended time in the Word; repentance; humility through fasting; perseverance; promptly obeying the Spirit; and gathering with believers.

As a result of adopting that lifestyle, Schmidt has developed a desire to go before God in a relentless way and to encourage others to do the same. He also contends that he is better able to balance competing demands on his time at Dartmouth.

Schmidt, an economics major, credits Kevin Collins (Harvard '89), Christian Union's ministry director at Dartmouth, with mentoring that has made a big difference. They shared "amazing prayer times" where "it was clear the Lord was working," said Schmidt.

Additionally, studying the Word at Christian Union Bible Courses enabled him to grow in his faith and have the confidence to lead the ministry's Seeking God Team.

"Zach did an amazing job leading this team," said Collins.

And that focus and devotion was evident as he led the 24-hour prayer gathering. More than 60 students from a variety of campus ministries signed up for time slots to pray throughout the day and night. Through social media, even international students participated by signing up for the early morning hours of the eastern time zone.

Whole dorm floors and ministries committed to pray together, interceding for freshmen, campus ministries, and the Greek system.

There was no time during the 24 hours when someone wasn't standing in the gap on behalf of the Dartmouth community.

"These students wanted to pray and bathe the campus in prayer," said Collins. "It was something they were compelled to do."

However, devotion to prayer life isn't just a college thing for Schmidt. As he graduates this May, he will embark upon a future focused on Christ.

Schmidt hopes to attend Officer Candidate School and be commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. However, if he is not selected for the highly competitive school, he plans to work in New York at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

"No matter what the outcome, " said Schmidt, "The seeking God lifestyle will definitely remain a part of my life, as that is really the only way to live out the Christian life." 
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