Author: Mackenzie Mahon
NPTS Student Association President
I’ve been doing a Bible study in Philippians lately, and every time I read 4:4-7 there’s a little nudge of conviction in my soul. I’m an anxious person in general — my mother likes to tell the story of how I worried myself to the point of having to go to the doctor when I when I was three, all because of a freckle I discovered on my thumb — and so often when my schedule starts to get full and my to-do list begins to grow long, my anxiety creeps up with it. In those moments, I don’t feel much like rejoicing.
And yet this is what we learn in Philippians: That we should be people of joy, who rejoice in the Lord. We learn that we should, rather than just worrying about our circumstances, instead present everything to God through prayer — and to do so with thanksgiving.
When your to-do list gets longer, does your prayer time get longer as well? I know mine doesn’t. But that’s the kind of person I want to grow to be.
Our student body also longs to be people who respond to God in prayer, often and always. With this in mind, I’ve been fortunate to be part of a team of students working to plan a seminary prayer night. As a student body and as the planning team, we’re a wide group of cultures and worship traditions, from a variety of degree programs, places in seminary, and walks of life. We’re seeking to plan a service that is as diverse and inclusive as the community we represent, and we want you to join in.
Please join us on December 1, 2017 at 7pm in Isaacson Chapel for a night of extended worship and prayer. Because we are seeking to come together across all kinds of differences, we’ve decided to call the event Common Ground. The Word will be read, testimonies will be given, prayers will be lifted up, and God will be praised through it all. All seminary students, staff, faculty, friends and family are welcome to attend. Distance students will be able to attend via a live stream. I know it’s close to finals, but wouldn’t it be so great to start off the final stretch with an extended time of rooting our hearts in exactly what matters?
Leading up to the event, we will be preparing our hearts for this service by engaging in a period of fasting. Please humbly and prayerfully consider if God might be calling you to engage in a fast starting on November 27. Perhaps you’re feeling called to engage in a partial or juice fast, or perhaps God is calling you to fast from something like social media. Whatever it is, we recommend spending the time you would otherwise dedicate to the activity in prayer with God. We will break the fast together during a catered meal held at the end of the worship service.
Finally, we also invite you to spend time before the worship service at a 24-hour prayer day, held from 7pm on November 30 to 7pm on December 1. Maybe you can’t attend the worship service itself (I’ll sadly be on a plane to Boston), but perhaps you could stay for an hour after Thursday’s Old Testament 3 class and pray. Any time is powerful.
I firmly believe that our time in seminary should not only shape our minds, but our spirits and our character as well. What better way to do that then spending time in corporate prayer and worship?
Here’s hoping to see you at Common Ground on December 1 at 7pm, as well as the 24-hour prayer event before and the community meal after.
Mackenzie Mahon and the Common Ground Team (including leader Robert Cager, Fanchon Kelley, Alex Smith, Nyisha Haney, Tierney Frost, and Ben Bruckner, as well as many others!)
P.S. Are you interested in having a Common Ground T-Shirt to wear to the event? You can purchase one through Fanchon Kelley for about $5. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your T-shirt size by Friday if you’d like one!