Annual Christian Life Conference focuses on Prayer, Life of Gideon

September 18, 2017

Michael A. Lanier and Bob Holmes

Columbia International University’s annual Christian Life Conference was cut short this year by Hurricane Irma. But students were still impacted by the heartfelt prayers of new CIU President Mark Smith and two days of messages from Pastor James Womack of Destiny Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  

The week usually includes a four-day focus on the CIU core value of the Victorious Christian Life. But the outer reaches of Irma caused CIU to be closed for the first two days of the week.

The Conference got underway Sept. 13 with a CIU Prayer Day that included a challenge from Smith for students to evaluate their relationship with the Lord. That moved many students to walk to the front of the chapel where Smith, other CIU leaders, and Womack led the students in prayers of personal repentance and dedication.

“I was really challenged by Dr. Smith's call to the front,” said sophomore Renee Floro. “It can be easy to think we have it all together, especially at a Christian university. His call to come forward for prayer reminded me that I am still a work in progress.”

Womack’s messages were drawn from the life of Gideon in the book of Judges. He challenged the student body to magnify God and praise him even before prayers are answered. 

“I felt uplifted and challenged by the message that Pastor Womack taught,” said senior Max Harding.  

For the newest CIU students, setting aside a day of prayer was something they had never experienced.  

“Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in academics and social life and ignore time for prayer,” said freshman Willson Baer. “For a Christian college to set aside a day of prayer — that’s great.”

Hear Christiian Life Conference messages from Pastor James Womack on CIU's podcast page