Prayer remains a campus creed
As Biola’s birthday celebrations began, President Corey spoke at Monday’s chapel about one of the core convictions the university was founded on 102 years ago: prayer.
Corey rededicated Biola to a life of prayer and encouraged students to take advantage of opportunities at Biola that emphasize prayer. After his message, Corey led students in a time of prayer and communion accompanied by the worship band and a short time of select students telling why they pray. Reasons included: “My creator has something to say,” “God has given me a huge mission I need His help on,” and “I am insecure, broken and depressed, but alive, complete and redeemed.”
Although the National Day of Prayer is not until May, prayer makes up a significant part of Biola’s heritage. Since the founders laid the original Bible Institute’s cornerstone with the words “for the teaching of the truths,” prayer has played an important role in the “biblically centered education, scholarship and service” found in Biola’s mission statement.
Corey acknowledged the importance of communal and individual prayer at Biola, pointing to prayer as a core conviction of Biola. He also quoted Biola’s first dean, R.A. Torrey.
“When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray,” Corey said, quoting Torrey.
Corey compared the times when people don’t feel like praying and when their zeal for God lacks to a dwindling fire in a wooden stove. Recalling memories from his younger days, Corey said his grandmother used to put more wood in the stove when the fire burning in it began to go out. She would then lean over and blow on the wood over and over again until she had rekindled the fire. Corey said Christians need to call out to God to rekindle the fire of their hearts.
“My soul has been there, but I sense that there was not as much left to stoke,” he said. “There was nothing I could do to start that fire on my own. My zeal for Christ was depleted. So I called on God to breathe on me so that those flames could rekindle.”
Corey read from a passage in Ezekiel 37 in which God gives flesh, life and breath to dry bones. He invited students to make a point of praying that the Spirit of God breathe breath into their lives to rekindle their fires.
“It was a good reminder that we need to pray,” freshman Josh Shadrach said. “I’m pretty busy and I’ve got a lot on my mind. Taking time to pray helps to de-stress, and it creates a good sense of community.”
Corey also emphasized the communal part of prayer, encouraging students to make prayer a part of their lives by attending Biola events and discussion groups such as intercession groups, Fives on Tuesdays, prayer groups during Missions Conference, Singspiration and Sabbathing.
“It’s something that you students need to embody, and not just hear some kind of encouragement and initiative from me,” he said.
Corey said he wants to see a fire burning on the Biola campus that will grow and lead to a larger fire for God that spreads around the world. Fire exudes heat and warmth, he said, something Biola needs to do to show what God has done in its midst.
“May He [God] do something new through us,” Corey said.