By Ashley Batiste
Under the direction of Celestine Robinson, Administrative Assistant and Student Missionary Director of the Office of Spiritual Life, and Chaplain Rupert Bushner, Ph.D., Oakwood University students will soon have a comfortable and quiet place in which to pray when the church is closed. The Prayer Room, located in the Office of Spiritual Life, is the first of many planned for Oakwood University’s campus, and will be available to students, faculty and staff. During certain hours of the day and evening, the Prayer Room will be open where students, faculty and staff will be able to sign up and take advantage of the opportunity to engage in prayer for fifteen minutes. The room is designed to be an intimate place where a single person can pray, or a group of four people can pray together. Although prayer is the main focus of the Prayer Room concept, it will also be a place for grieving, and by appointment with Chaplain Bushner, communion. Though not yet officially open, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned and will be announced at a later date.
This is no ordinary room, but a consecrated, holy, and reverent place. While entering, one may notice a welcome sign on the door that reads, “Bless all who enter,” which reminds everyone who enters that before prayer it is imperative to claim the blessing they ask for. Shoes are removed to show reverence, and to help adopt a mindset humility before entering into prayer. The warm colors, prayer stools, candles, and calm sounds of nature evoke a sense of serenity, and demand all attention be placed on Jesus Christ alone. It is a place where one can meditate on life, study God’s word, develop a closeness with God, and witness the presence of God, all without distractions. The Prayer Room forces one to give up on all of the stresses of life, and simply relax in Jesus.
“Ask, seek, knock and the door will be opened unto you,” Luke 9-13, is showcased on the wall to encourage and emphasize the importance and power of prayer. A computer is also a part of the Prayer Room, where students, faculty, and staff will be able to leave prayer requests and share answers to their prayers. It is the goal of Robinson and Bushner to have a designated time during each Tuesday’s student chapel for anyone who has witnessed God’s answer to their prayer to present their testimony.
When it comes to prayer, Chaplain Bushner encourages everyone to remember how important it is. “The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. . . .” (CSA 27.1).
As placed on the wall of the Prayer Room, the goal is simple—“When life gets too hard to stand…kneel.”Ashley Batiste is a student writer for the Office of Public Relations at Oakwood University.
News & Events -