CIU Students Join Franklin Graham in Praying for America
By Melissa McCutchan, CIU Student Writer
“A little louder now, so we can hear it!” CIU student body president and junior Drew Lindman called out in a crowded church meeting room in downtown Columbia. “God is good…”
“All the time!” responded his audience of over 100 CIU students, faculty, and staff.
That’s how an off-campus CIU Prayer Day began on Feb. 9 designed to coincide with the South Carolina stop of the Decision America Tour with evangelist Franklin Graham, a statewide rally that called people to pray, vote, and engage in the political process.
Prayer days are celebrated throughout the school year as classes are cancelled to concentrate on CIU’s core value of Prayer & Faith. A CIU student-led prayer group organized and facilitated the day that began with a time of corporate prayer at First Presbyterian Church featuring Scripture reading, individual and small group prayer, worship, and — affirmation that God is good all the time.
After the morning prayer time, CIU students braved 40 degree temperatures and 30 mile per hour winds as they broke into groups to prayer walk from three different directions to the statehouse. There they met over 7,000 other people to join Franklin Graham leading South Carolinians in prayer for the United States.
“We’re here today because we see that our nation is in trouble,” said Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham. “It’s in serious trouble. We’re in trouble spiritually. We’re in trouble racially, economically. We’re in trouble politically. And no political party is going to be able to turn this system around.”
Graham called on his listeners to confess the sins of the United States, and to confess their individual sins. He shared the gospel, and allowed people a time to ask Jesus Christ to come into their hearts. And finally, he called his listeners to engage in the political process.
“I believe God honors leaders in high places who honor Him,” he said. “We need today men and women who will honor God in public office.”
CIU students appreciated a day to focus on God, and consider their role in the political process.
“[Our] prayer group got involved with planning the prayer day after the news of the prayer rally caused excitement in the group!” said Lindman, the student body president. “The chance to pray corporately as a city was something that we could not pass up. To hear the gospel preached on public property and to confess our sins as individuals, a city, and a nation was incredible!”
Sophomore Rachel Joung was moved by the events of the day.
“This prayer day showed me the beauty of unity within the body of believers, and I was reminded of the responsibility that Christians have to shine as lights within the community.”
Read more about the rally and the involvement of CIU students, as well as students from Ben Lippen, CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade school, at the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. See photos of the event from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Photo #5 is of CIU alumnus Rusty Rabon. Photo #13 is of current CIU student Ryan Favor. See more event photos by Bob Holmes and student photographer Alicia Heatherly at CIU's Flickr page.