As the UK and Ireland began yet another month in lockdown, CUI gathered students, supporters and staff from across the island of Ireland to pray.
As one unit, we prayed together from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, helped by videos of introductory prayers and encouraging stories posted every hour on social media.
For Helen Blakey, a CUI staff worker and one of the organisers of the event, the vision was to unite the students, supporters and staff so that we could turn to God and declare trust in him as one body. She said, “It was incredible to see people willing to share stories, videos and encouragements. Personally, the day was a great reminder of God’s presence and power.”
At the start of every hour, the subject of prayer shifted to something new. From wisdom for government leaders, to celebrating changed lives through recent CU events, resources were provided for each unique prayer.
In each video, students and supporters from across the region shared stories of how God has been working in and through their CUs and individual lives during this unexpected season.
One supporter who attended commented, “I really enjoyed the mix of people in the videos, and the stories of the impact and importance of the ministry, both from students and supporters. The division of the different focuses was great.”
Kate, a student from Stranmillis University, said, “It was such an encouraging time. I really enjoyed it!”
Alongside Helen, Lizzie Clulow also organised the event. She said, “One of the joys of this season is seeing how our missional God is still at work and drawing people to himself even though our world has stopped. I loved being able to bring the reality of this season before our good father and unite together, even though we were apart. It brought a real sense of community and closeness.”
Aaron, a student from Ulster University Jordanstown, said: “It was great to be able to pray with others.”
The day ended with a time of corporate prayer through Zoom, with over 40 students and supporters taking part in collective worship and discussion. Participants were split up into smaller groups during the call to pray and give thanks to God for what was shared during the day.
According to staff worker Hannah Irwin, the call provided great opportunities for connection for both students and supporters. She said, “One of my supporters ended up in a prayer group with her old A level Geography teacher from 30 years ago. It was great for them to connect as they’re both CUI supporters, and they were able to see those connections across the country.”
As we continue through another month in lockdown, CUI staff, supporters and students continue to persevere in prayer together for this season and beyond, knowing that the God who holds tomorrow is faithful.