John Brown University students are organizing a 24-hour period of worship and prayer in the Cathedral of the Ozarks this weekend. As of Tuesday, two local churches have committed to have worship bands there.
The event is the result of collaboration between University administration, the Audio Visual Lighting crew, local churches and a student-led bible study group called New Generation. It will involve worship, focused prayer, scripture reading with times of silence and teaching by University and church leaders.
“We, as children of God, are called to worship the Lord at all times with everything we do,” David Ruales, co-founder of New Generation, said. “This is an opportunity for us to make a joyful noise to the Lord in unity with other sons and daughters of the Lord.”
Several key players have committed to be a part of the worship day. Worship bands from The Pointe Fellowship and New Life Church are officially on the schedule, and several more are being contacted. A group of students from the Audio Visual Lighting crew has committed to work all 24 hours.
New Generation, the event instigator, has been meeting for about a year in the Walker prayer room on Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to midnight to worship God, pray for the campus and study scripture. New Generation’s goal is to inspire other people to rise and work together as a driving force in the global church.
“When I was an undergraduate student, I attended a 24-hour worship on campus and I always remember it,” Ruales said. “I remember that it was a good intimate time between the Lord and I, but it was also good to see other students come to worship the Lord really early in the morning or late at night. This inspired me to do the same.”
The goal of the event is to encourage the Christian church in Northwest Arkansas to unify under Christ and to meet together in his name, Alejandro Ruales, co-founder of New Generation, said.
Anna Klein, a regular member of New Generation, echoed these feelings.
“We really feel like there’s a need for unity in the Church, so our goal is to drive in the whole of Northwest Arkansas,” said Klein. “The churches in Siloam, yes, but also the churches in Fayetteville, and bringing in the International House of Prayer, and bringing in church bands and youth groups, all for the same reason. We want to see unity and revival with and in these churches.”
“Our goal is to see a body of believers rise up out of our generation who will be leaders for Christ,” Klein said.
Stephen Ruales said that this event will be good to reorient the Church on campus.
“Worship is a place where we can acknowledge and become aware of God’s character, and this brings faith to our hearts. The Lord is bringing an awakening. Things are changing, the atmosphere is changing, people are changing,” Stephen Ruales said. “There’s an attitude on campus that we want to be closer to God. We need to become aware of that.”
The inspiration for this event was birthed out of New Generation’s meetings.
Betsy Burns, another New Generation member and event organizer, said, “It really came out of the community that we’re a part of now. God has really pulled us together. Our passion consists of worship, prayer and giving God the glory He deserves, so one day when Alejandro, David and some of our leaders mentioned this idea, we just jumped on it.”
Burns echoed the same sentiment of other New Generation members.
“Our goal is to see this event spread beyond John Brown University’s campus, to bring unity within the Body of Christ,” Burns said. “That’s been our prayer. We would love to see the church of God at large come together, lay down her disagreements and worship the God of the Universe.”
The 24-hour event will be held this Friday and Saturday in the Cathedral from 8 p.m. to 8 p.m. Students are welcome to come and stay as long as they are able and leave when they have to.