Christian Living

Praying well before COVID-19

Moore College has always been in the business of praying. As a student a few years ago, I distinctly remember being struck by the faculty’s prayerful dependence on our Lord. They prayed at the beginning of each lecture. They prayed as a response to and as an application of what we were learning from the Bible. They prayed in chaplaincy groups as we shared ministry wisdom and talked through issues at College. They prayed with tears of sorrow as we struggled through life’s hardships. They prayed with tears of joy as we celebrated the happiest of moments in Christian community. They prayed before each exam, focusing our attention on the goals of growing our relationship with God and developing a deep love for people to come to Christ and grow in him. They prayed for us individually during morning tea, lunch, over coffee and as a collective faculty on Monday mornings.

Post-College, life has not been easy. Things have not gone to plan, as far as our plans are worth anything. Things have been difficult personally. And in all of this, the faithful prayer of the faculty has not stopped. With tears, couched in wise advice of those with years of ministry experience, and with empathy that brings me to tears as I pen this at my desk, some of the faculty who have mentored me have held me in prayer.

Moore College has always been a praying College. Not just the faculty, but the whole College. Our Governing Board, faculty, staff, students, wider community, alumni, donors, ministry partners and supporters. In Australia and further abroad, shaped by the life-giving gospel that brings us together, Moore College is a praying College. And this is no coincidence.

As we see so clearly in the Scriptures, praying is a big part of living the Christian life. Praying helps us to keep trusting the Lord Jesus, as we model a posture of dependence on our Lord. When we pray, we let go of all those burdens in our life which weigh us down. When we pray, we articulate our submission to our Lord who is in control of every part of our life. And so, we give him praise and thanks for saving us from an eternity apart from him by that ultimate display of his love on the cross, as well as every blessing we experience day by day.

But even more, because of his reconciliatory work, we also ask him for whatever we need, knowing that he, as our heavenly Father, gives us good things, abundantly more than we could think of asking. And finally, we pray knowing that prayer is powerful. For as we listen and inwardly digest the Scriptures, the Spirit works in aligning our affections with those of our Lord. And as we love what he loves and pray in response to what the Scriptures show us, we see that God answers our prayers. I am often reminded of this in the book of James. In his epistle, the brother of our Lord exhorts us to pray in trouble and praise in times of joy.

And so, when the pandemic hit us, we did what we have done throughout our history as a College – we prayed. The women of our College prayed. Our faculty prayed. Our students prayed. We prayed in chapel. We asked those in our Diocese to pray. And taking the lead from our Principal, Dr Mark Thompson, we came together online in the Men Praying for Moore event, and we prayed. We had people join us from as close as Sydney city and as far as Carrickfergus, Ireland. We had elderly brethren including former archbishops and retired clergy, as well as current faculty, College students, current chaplains and faithful pray-ers in partner churches. Together we prayed for the College, the Diocese of Sydney and the continued impact of the gospel around the world. We prayed for all those suffering because of this pandemic, both within the College community and further afield. And we thanked God that although COVID-19 seemed powerful, our Lord Jesus is more powerful. He who spoke the stormy sea into submission was not overwhelmed with a virus, as our world has been.

I am so thankful for the model of prayerful dependence on the Lord that I have received from Moore College. The priority and consistency of prayer speaks volumes to what the College values. Moore College was praying well before COVID-19 came along, and I take it that the College will continue praying long into the future, as would be expected of a Christian community who love the Lord Jesus, teach the Scriptures and prepare men and women for gospel service.