By: A BGU Senior, class of 2023
“God, I look to you, you’re where my help comes from, give me wisdom. You know just what to do…”
During my first visit to Bethany Global University (BGU), I’ll never forget how these lyrics spilled from the school’s Furnace Prayer Room stage straight to my wondering heart. It was during this time of worship with other prospective students, I felt confirmation of my calling to pursue the abandoned, widows, and orphans talked about in James 1:27.
Looking back to my initial visit to the school, I had no idea how this emphasis on worship and prayer would develop my faith over the next four years.
During my time at BGU, I have learned how to engage with the Lord and have encountered a whole new level of intimacy in my relationship with Him.
My growth in worship and prayer has also revealed God’s heart for humanity and further developed my dedication to sharing the Gospel.
This is something all of us at BGU get to experience, as it’s a main focus for the entire student body preparing for a career in ministry.
How exactly are BGU students encouraged to foster this spiritual discipline?
First, we can press into worship both individually and alongside community.
Each week BGU faculty, my classmates, and I attend two chapels, with one fully dedicated to worshipping together. During this chapel, students lead worship, we encourage each other, and pray for spiritual breakthrough.
Other corporate opportunities are held in the Furnace Prayer Room, directed by BGU’s worship and prayer coordinator, Eric Simmons.
His prayer is that “the worship and intercession that takes place in the Furnace Prayer Room, would raise up missionaries that would go into the ends of the earth proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom… and that through us, Jesus would raise a song out of every tribe, nation, and tongue to the glory of His name.”
To encourage intercession to be a normal part of life, students are invited to lead or attend Furnace Prayer Watches. These are specific hours of hosted intercession and worship.
The Furnace also hosts All Night Worship and Prayer (ANOP) events where my classmates and I sign up for specific hourly slots between 9pm and 5am. Each hour is focused on prayer for specific topics or regions of the world. During each slot there is a new team of students leading worship.
At these events, not only am I met by Christ in my own personal journey, but I discover a deeper understanding of my role in the Great Commission.
BGU leadership encourages students to take this spirit of worship into their personal prayer lives as well!
I and other classmates have written worship songs to present to each other, or to the Lord, in solitude. I even wrote laments on my 13-month Global Internship in North Africa that helped carry me through the hardships of living overseas (you can read more about my experience here).
Not only does worship and prayer strengthen our relationships with God, but it continuously overflows into the lives of those around us and those who have yet to hear the Good News.
“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples…ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.
1 Chronicles 16:24 and 29
Interested in hearing BGU’s worship music?
In 2021, BGU established its very own music platform called Bethany International Music, featuring students’ and staff’s original songs. It’s available for everyone to listen to on all major streaming platforms!
If you want to hear our recent releases and worship along with us, check out this link!