From the Executive Director

The subject of prayer is close to my heart right now. Not only have we been busy planning the Parents Day of Prayer for George Fox University parents on March 13, but I’m also taking a class on prayer right now at the seminary. I’m learning about the history, practice and purpose of prayer.

There are people who have the gift of prayer and find it the most natural thing to do. Then there are the rest of us (probably most of us) who, if we are completely honest, really struggle with prayer. We know we are supposed to pray often but we don’t, so we feel guilty. Many of us have been taught that there is a formula to prayer, but sometimes the formality of that pushes us away from spending time in prayer. We worry that our prayers are too “us-centered” and not “God-centered” enough. Perhaps many of us feel uncomfortable praying out loud in the company of prayer warriors who blow us away with the beauty of their prayers. These are just some of the thoughts I have about prayer. I wonder if you can relate to them.

I’m excited about this semester because I know my ideas about prayer are going to be challenged and stretched. Already, I am encouraged by these concepts:

Simple prayers are good. We don’t have to be eloquent to be heard by God.

Prayer has the power to transform us. It is possibly the most transformational form of worship.

God responds to prayer. It moves his heart.

When I pray I cover a lot of topics, but one topic I never leave out is my children. Even after years of praying for their salvation, health, safety, and spiritual journeys, I don’t run out of things to pray for them.

When 100-plus George Fox parents participate in the Parents Day of Prayer with that same heart, the power of that time together is transformational! What a privilege it is to spend a couple of hours worshipping the Lord and praying for our children. After 11 years of experiencing the annual Day of Prayer, I know God hears the collective hearts of the parents who pray together on that day (even if we’re not in the same room), and that he answers those prayers.

While considering whether or not you want to join us for the Day of Prayer, remember that simple prayers are effective because they prompt a response both in your heart and God’s. Sacrificing a Saturday morning to pray with people you don’t know can be a difficult thing, but the smiles on the faces of the parents who participate tell me it’s a worthy sacrifice!

Blessings to you,

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations