Feeling the need for prayer support as they face the challenges of college life, a number of Pacific Union College students and faculty have formed an online prayer network.
"We needed an online prayer chain to bring people together so that they could pray for problems and individual situations on campus," said Hans Smith, a sophomore media technology major. Smith started the prayer network early autumn quarter along with some friends.
The prayer network includes about 20 men and women, including three faculty and staff. While all members of the prayer network are able to e-mail prayer requests to each other, they generally pass their requests on to Smith, who forwards them to everybody on the list, deleting names on sensitive requests to ensure privacy.
The network members have already seen some remarkable answers to their prayers. Early autumn quarter, Smith asked the network to pray for his financial situation, which he feared would force him to leave Pacific Union College. He soon found out about two loan options that enabled him to stay in school. Just before Thanksgiving vacation, the network prayed for a person who was suffering from recurring bouts of depression. "We prayed intensely for this person," said Smith. "Even though we didn't give out the person's name, his friends started showing real support, and he was able to find professional help. This person has been better ever since and is actually quite joyous." And of course, grades and tests have been a frequent subject of prayer on the network. "My grades have picked up since we started praying about them," said Smith. "A lot of other people's have too."
"It is a wonderful, convenient way to share items corporately to be prayed about," said Todd Peterson, director of PUC's Learning Resource Center. "I can just pull up my e-mail, read a prayer request, pray about it, and send out one of my own if I need to. Somebody with a schedule like mine doesn't have time to go to a weekly prayer meeting. I think it's great how technology can bring us closer to God."