On Friday mornings this summer a small band of prayer partners from Cragmor Christian Reformed Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., can be found walking and praying throughout the campus of the local campus of the University of Colorado. The prayer group, which started in June, expects to walk and pray in this way a dozen times before campus reopens in the fall.
Cragmor pastor Daniel Bud said when his congregation was making plans to participate in a campus club fair day this fall, one church member with a heart for prayer suggested that the congregation begin preparing for that opportunity—praying for the campus, students, and connections with Cragmor CRC.
Being in a college town, Cragmor CRC is aware of the need for Christian influence on students studying in a secular academic environment, particularly now, after pandemic disruptions affected community connections. “Most (Christian) parents pray for their students to get involved in a local church,” Bud said. “With COVID regulations, it was not easy to continue to have a steady student ministry for many student organizations, especially for international students. Many of them had a hard time returning to the campus from their own countries,” he said.
Each week, two or three prayer partners from Cragmor church pray as they walk on the campus sidewalks, at the main campus entrance, and in various student gathering places using a prayer walk guide from The Navigators, a discipleship and gospel-sharing ministry founded in 1933.
Bud said they are praying for God to grow love in the hearts of their congregation members for the campus and for the 2,800 new students arriving; to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of the students; and to encourage Cragmor to invite Christian students to grow their faith by worshiping in a local church.
Bud said the Cragmor congregation plans to be present on campus at least in the first two weeks of the fall semester, inviting students to Sunday worship and letting them know that they can use The Upper Room Coffee House during the week for free Wi-Fi, coffee, and snacks. That ministry, a donation-based coffee house located in the former parsonage, partners with DARE College Ministries, a small student organization started by Brandon Anderson, Cragmor CRC’s nextgen and outreach director (no relation to the author).
Bud sees the welcome as natural. “By God's grace, this church is two blocks away from campus—only a seven- to 10-minute walk,” he said. “So it makes sense to say to the students, ‘If you need a local church within a walking distance, Cragmor is that church! We'd love to have you join us!’”