When I was in the second semester of my first year in college, some Christian classmates and I started to feel concerned that our faith was getting buried amidst our assignments, friends, clubs, and hobbies. We didn’t want it to be something that we briefly attended to during the weekends, and then set aside as we bounced back to the exciting and busy pace of college life on Monday. The problem was compounded by the fact that some of us were now living far away from the churches and fellowships we were used to, while others were living with family members who weren’t believers.
Someone had the idea of getting together twice a week over lunch to pray and swap thoughts about our faith lives. It seemed like such a small step, and though I agreed to try it out, I doubted if this would really help us make Jesus a bigger part of our lives. We decided to meet on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Usually, we started with singing some songs. Then some would share spiritual lessons they were learning, while others talked about answered prayers or special touches of God’s love in their lives. Other times, we discussed ways to make time for prayer and Bible study in the tumble and rush of college life, or how to initiate conversations about Jesus with our friends. Afterwards, we’d exchange prayer requests, which ranged from upcoming exams to relations with our families to career decisions. These times of talking about Jesus in the context of daily concerns and issues reminded me of how much Jesus wants to be actively present in my life and inspired me to invest time in strengthening my personal relationship with Him.
Before starting these lunches, our friendship had been mostly centered on our studies and class activities, but as we continued to fellowship together we forged deeper bonds because of our shared faith. Instead of feeling isolated and awkward about our beliefs, we encouraged one another because we were a team with a common goal: to “run with endurance the race God has set before us.” 1 In addition, knowing that we had friends who also valued spiritual truths created a positive, motivating atmosphere that inspired us to seek out ways to revitalize our spirits during our daily routines—listening to an audio Bible during our commute, reading some spiritually motivational material between classes, among others.
I treasure the joyful memories of those prayer meetings, because that’s where I learned that there’s always a way to include Jesus in my life, no matter how preoccupied I am or how crammed my schedule is. Seeking out interaction with those who are like-minded strengthens my commitment to being a disciple of Jesus. The more I experience the relevance of His principles in my daily struggles and watch the wonderful ways in which He works in the lives of my brothers and sisters in the faith, the less I’m inclined to section Jesus off to the weekend.
- Hebrews 12:1 NLT