Learn About/Subscribe:
Christian Union
Christian Union: The Magazine
May 12, 2023

CU Lumine Sees Renewed Commitment To Prayer And Fasting

By Anne Kerhoulas

For many ministries, gathering people together for prayer can be difficult. There are scheduling conflicts, demands on time, and oftentimes, a genuine lack of interest. But for CU Lumine students, prayer and fasting have become an essential part of their week. 

lumine prayer

Since the fall of 2022, the seeking God team has called CU Lumine into a lifestyle of prayer, hosting daily prayer meetings at 9 am, weekly fasting on Fridays, and community dinners on Sunday nights that focus on fellowship and prayer. But the most exciting thing about their emphasis on seeking God together is the student response: students are eager to pray, are learning about the spiritual discipline of fasting, and growing in their love for Jesus. 

Amanda Jenkins ‘25, an engineering student and ministry team leader for the seeking God team, is encouraged to see the change in spirit that has taken place over the past year. “What we’ve noticed is that morning prayer has become really consistent in who is coming each day. We are starting to see groups of people coming in consistently for prayer no matter what week it is—Holy Week or not—we are gathering in His name in spite of circumstances,” says Jenkins. “That’s indicative of prayer becoming more of a lifestyle in our lives. Even in evening prayer, we have people willing to lead an 8 or 9 pm prayer meeting. [Prayer] is starting to be more integrated into the community and not just an event or special occasion.”

One of the reasons these prayer gatherings have been so fruitful has been the involvement and leadership of upperclassmen. These older students volunteer to lead morning prayer on different days of the week, providing a devotional and guidance to the hour of prayer. They also have been instrumental in teaching the underclassmen about fasting—something that Jenkins says has been an enormous blessing to the ministry as a whole as they fast and pray together.

Fasting begins on Friday morning with prayer at 9 am during the breakfast hour. Students fast until 2 pm, when they gather together again for prayer and reflection on how the fast has gone. Afterward, they break fast together. “It has been nice having older exec members lead the fasting because so many people have questions and are learning to fast,” says Jenkins. 

Each week of seeking God in CU Lumine culminates with a Sunday night dinner. Students gather in the Columbia Ministry Center for a time of fellowship and food prepared by a different Bible course each week. 

“Sunday dinners have been nice because the different Bible courses come together for a sit-down situation. Some Bible courses eat dinner together every week, but some don't get to hang out much outside of Bible course. So Sunday dinner and prayer has been a great opportunity to cook and hang out together—it’s nice to have bonding time for Bible courses and really special to connect the groups and gather in prayer,” says Jenkins.

Praise God for the ways He is moving through the ministry of CU Lumine at Columbia University.