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Christian Union: The Magazine
March 31, 2021

Princeton Student Organizes Multi-Campus Prayer Event 

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Students across Christian Union campuses mobilized to craft a ministry-wide night of prayer, interceding into the wee hours of the morning around topics like repentance, evangelism, leadership, and putting on the full armor of God.

Leah SmithLeah Smith, Princeton '22

The virtual prayer event, held at the end of the fall semester, was led by Leah Smith, Princeton ’22, who recruited leaders from different campuses to direct a time of teaching on each topic before moving into small groups to pray around a common theme.

Smith said, “The event was awesome. We hope to have another at the end of the spring semester with even greater attendance. [We had] lots of positive feedback.”

Smith, a junior at Princeton and a member of CU Nova, got involved with the ministry during her freshman year after attending the ever-popular Ski Safari Winter Conference. She joined a Bible course, attended the NEXUS conference, and became a very active member of the CU Nova community, leading the worship team and currently serving as an executive team member.  

But it was after participating in the Christian Union Seeking God Lifestyle Course in May of 2020 that Smith developed an interest in connecting the CU campuses together to pray and seek the Lord. The Seeking God Lifestyle course was a two-week virtual event that hosted well-known speakers like Wayne Grudem to lead seminars on topics like prayer, fasting, repentance, deliverance, and Biblical study. 

“The Seeking God LifeStyle Course was impactful because it [focused on] what it means to follow Jesus every day. I heard (for the first time) about casting out demons, details on fasting, and intercessory prayer,” says Smith.     

The event was so formative that Smith and other CU students who met at the course wanted to continue to grow in prayer together after it ended. A handful of them decided to stay connected and meet for a daily time of prayer throughout the summer. In this time, Smith was encouraged and challenged by her peers, developing a deeper understanding and hunger for intercessory prayer. 

“At the end of the summer, another friend from Nova and I decided to lead a prayer event in regards to returning to campus in the fall,” says Smith. After this prayer event proved fruitful, Smith wanted to do another that included friends from Columbia. But she didn’t stop there. 

With the vision for connecting students across Christian Union’s campus that grew from the Seeking God Lifestyle course, Smith worked with the CU Nova Seeking God Team to connect the campuses for an all-night prayer gathering. During the fall semester, she “made it an end of term goal to have an all-night prayer led with help from different people from all the different CU schools.”

Her vision panned out. With the combined effort of student leaders on each campus, the night of prayer was a huge success. “It really was a group effort in planning the prayer night. I had the desire because of my intercessory prayer growth over the summer, and my dedication to prayer, but everyone’s hearts seemed similarly prepared to have the event.”

Smith points to Christian Union’s development of her as a leader as one of the reasons she felt equipped and inspired to plan such an event. 

“CU has really impacted my desire to lead by encouraging my faith one-on-one with Christ. My discipline has grown a lot and I’ve learned a lot about really understanding my Bible and larger theological questions,” says Smith. “At the same time, CU NOVA has been my home community on campus, and having such a firm foundation and solid supportive corner, I’ve felt like I’ve been able to really enjoy my experience at Princeton even more. I am really looking forward to being an executive this year and encouraging others in leadership.” 

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