The Prayer Tower has always been a focal point on the ORU campus, representing Chancellor Roberts’ emphasis on prayer.
Since the creation of its prayer room in 2009, students have run a student-led initiative known as the prayer movement. This program established prayer on campus by providing an atmosphere of worship.
Students can access the prayer room 12 hours a day. It gives student leaders and participants the opportunity to seek God in intimate worship and intercessory prayer.
ORU underwent dramatic change when the school separated from the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association in May 2008. Prior to the separation, the Prayer Tower had been the central base of the Abundant Life Prayer Group’s 24-hour ministry since the founding of ORU.
After the separation, Dean Clarence Boyd and other campus leaders decided it was time for students to have a place to pray. In February 2009, the prayer room opened for all campus residents and visitors to use. It is designed to be an intimate sanctuary of prayer.
But sophomore Seth Silvers and other students wanted more.
They took the newly-created space and founded a ministry of campus worship and intercessory prayer known as the prayer movement. In January 2010, students began holding prayer meetings on a weekly basis.
Students also have initiated pre-chapel prayer every Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. as part of the movement.
Then, starting in August 2010, they formed teams of student musicians, singers and prayer leaders who take turns worshiping between 8 and 11 p.m. each Monday through Friday in the prayer room.
The ministry opportunities of the prayer movement were created to encourage students to take responsibility for their faith. Silvers said the vision of the movement is simply to know God.
“Prayer is the place that changes our hearts and brings our hearts closer to God. In the knowledge of him, we begin to really see ourselves for who we are.”
Students across campus said the prayer movement provides the atmosphere to enter into God’s presence and have spiritual awakening. Those who participate said they are truly blessed with intimate time with God.
Sophomore psychology major Neema Andrew said that the prayer movement has changed her radically.
“It is a place and time where I can pour out my heart to God, especially when I am struggling with something, like maybe a stressful day or going through insecurities that everybody experiences. It is a blessing to know I have a place to go to where I can feel intimacy with God and feel his presence,” she said.
The prayer movement also provides a humbling experience for students leading the nightly worship.
Freshman Rozy Simon said she is passionate about glorifying God and loves that she can use the gifts He has given her as a musician and singer to serve her peers.
“Being a part of the prayer movement has been an awesome experience for me because it allows me to put aside all my worries and worship and intercede alongside classmates and peers who are hungry to see God move in our campus, community, and country,” Simmons said.
In addition to the prayer movement’s current activities, a new ministry known as Cry Out will soon begin. This time of Friday morning prayer is devoted to intercession for ORU.
“Cry Out is focused on an awakening of the campus,” Silvers said.
Almost exactly one year since the first weekly prayer meetings began, students still want more—more of God and more of prayer. Plans to initiate 24-hour student-led prayer are in the works.
By Beth Knier