Dr. Jonathan Sircy // 09.29.2016
On Monday, students and faculty members gathered by the Charleston Southern flagpoles for the second consecutive Monday to pray for a campus revival. CSU sophomore Marylou Springer organized and led the prayer circle as an outgrowth of her work in Dr. Peter Beck’s Christian Discipleship course and plans to keep the Monday morning meetings going for the rest of the semester.
Monday’s prayer circle opened with Springer reading a passage from the Old Testament book Nehemiah, asking the participants to pray specifically for unity on campus, and then offering her own prayer. Attendees were then given the chance to pray out loud as they felt led. Over the next 25 minutes, a handful of students and faculty asked for God’s blessings on the campus.
Both Beck, a professor of Christian Studies, and Springer describe the prayer circle as a product of a Christian “burden” for the campus. She admits that while she had felt brokenhearted for the campus since last semester, it was not until she started Beck’s class about faith-integrating discipleship that her conviction intensified.
“Some of the first lectures we had stirred my heart…as we discussed the realities of the Gospel,” Springer says.
Beck adds that the course’s early readings – Sam Storms/Jonathan Edwards' Signs of the Spirit and David Platt's Follow Me – contributed to Springer’s conviction.
“I believe the Holy Spirit used those two books to put a burden on [Springer’s] heart for the lost and give her the recognition that proof of one's salvation is not what you did walking an aisle at church but what you do walking through life,” said Beck.
Springer also found inspiration in the testimony DJ Curl gave at an early semester chapel. “His heart and testimony,” Springer says, “was sort of the final spark that made me think, ‘Ok. We've gotta do something.’”
While books played a part in the circle’s formation, social media played a part in its execution. “The Friday before the first official meeting I mentioned it to Dr. Beck, and he told me to email him the details,” said Springer. “He totally jumped on board and started posting on social media.”
“Where we want to be,” Springer explains, “is storming this campus in boldness with the love, hope and grace that only comes from living and speaking the Good News of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To put it simply, we want a revival.”
“My personal passion is to see orthodoxy become orthopraxy,” he says, explaining that he wants to see right beliefs lead to right actions. “The prayer circle is one instance where I can see God working in a student's life to bring that to a reality.”
While Springer says she thought the circle “would start out really small and maybe eventually it would grow into something larger,” the initial meeting had between 25 and 30 attendees.
“God obviously has something else in mind,” said Springer.
Springer said the prayer circle will move to the front of Lightsey Chapel for its meeting on Monday, Oct. 3.
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The University's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.