The prayer room in the basement of the Coffman small-group housing building is being flooded with non-stop prayer this week as students partake in a campus wide 24/7 prayer movement. The campus’ movement has been going since Sunday and will continue until Sunday, Oct. 31. 24/7 prayer – referencing the 24 hours a day within the seven-day week – is a crusade for encounters with God through peace, worship and creativity inspired by a desire to find God through nonstop communion with him. One of the hopes of the 24/7 prayer movement is to give students a specific time and place to meet with God through whatever way they best encounter God. Students are invited to converse with God through various prayer activities such as writing, drawing, singing, dancing, or simply silent meditation.
The "quiet place" – a room designated for silent meditation and prayer – has been transformed into a unique and much less “quiet” place of refuge for students this week for 24/7 prayer. Upon walking down the stairs of Coffman, faint yet powerful praise and reverence music floods out from the Quiet Place’s door. Once inside, the naturally lit walls echo the prayers of students through the words they have scrawled on the many sheets of paper hung throughout the room. Students who have spent time in the prayer room have shared similar sentiments of the overwhelming sense of peace they have felt upon entering the room.
“I think every time you walk in that room, you feel transformed. You can feel the presence of God. When I walked in the room, I thought the train was passing by because I felt something moving. It was the presence of God. Each and every wall unit is covered by the power of God,” said junior Candida Dhanaraj. Another student, senior Casey Deiner, describes the reverence he has felt in the room. “When I walk in there, there’s a peace over the room. There’s holiness,” said Diener.
Deiner had the original inspiration to bring a 24/7 prayer room to Goshen’s campus. With the help of a group of friends and campus minister, Bob Yoder, the vision came to life this week. “I’m a firm believer that when people cry out 24/7 in an area, it changes the spiritual atmosphere in a region. It allows God to move,” said Deiner. His hope for a week-long nonstop time of prayer was to facilitate a place where all students are welcomed to experiment with new ways to meet with God along with provide a place for students who are hurting to pray and be prayed for.
All students are encouraged to participate in 24/7 prayer this week. Students signed up for a specific time-slot to pray in the quiet room in order to make sure prayer was occurring throughout the entirety of the week. Though most time slots have been filled, drop-ins are welcomed and encouraged as part of the week's prayer journey. Peni Acayo, a senior, urges students to go pay a visit to the quiet place. “Take that step of faith, go and experience for yourself,” she said.