Some time ago, Coleen Harvey, currently, ICS staff in Russia, sent me an article on Prayer Mapping. This is a great way to combine decoding and prayer walking a campus.
I have been hearing of a new aspect of prayer for groups of people that really has me intrigued. It is called “prayer mapping” and I think it could open up to you God’s view as well as God’s heart for the lost on your campus.
“Prayer mapping” can be done in a variety of ways. One way that seems easy to start with goes like this:
Go to your campus info desk and get a copy of a campus map (or create a map yourself). Take the school’s map to a copy center and enlarge the map to fit on an 8 ½ x14 or 11×17 page (you might want to white out the info there that does not pertain to you and re-copy the page).
You can map your campus as a group or divide up the regions on campus and assign each region to someone to find out the information and then report back to you. (If one student has most of his or her classes in one building, assign that region to them – they are already in the building at various times and they are familiar with the nooks and crannies where groups of students hang out.) You will want to know:
- where the dorms are and how many students live there (and any other important info…”freshman dorm”, “international students live here”, “party dorm”, etc).
- how many commuter students there are & what do you know about them (“most live within 5 minutes of campus”, etc – write info about commuter students in the parking areas on your map).
- if you have a Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday set of students, identify which areas (buildings, times) those students are where (“M/W tend to use these buildings”, “older students attend evening classes here, etc).
- write on the classroom buildings what the main departments there are in which building…note any Christian faculty/administrators that you know. If you know of any classes that are “anti-God” note that so you can pray for those students, do the same for classes or teachers that are “pro-God”.
- note the areas where certain groups of students hang out (athletes, international students, skateboarders, Goths, ethnic students, non-traditional students, students with certain majors, student government, etc).
- if the majority of students don’t hang out on campus, identify the places they hang out, especially if those places are near campus.
- try to identify the main groups of students that influence the campus the most (it could be the psych department, the school newspaper, the unofficial school newspaper, the off-campus house that has the most parties, etc).
- identify the main pathways on campus.
You now have a great visual picture of your campus! As you look at the campus, pray for each segment. Commuter students are often the most difficult to reach. Pray that God would put ideas in your mind for what you can do to reach those students. Pray for ways you can reach out to international students in order to build relationships with them that will lead them to Christ. Pray for Christian faculty that they will be faithful witnesses for Him in their classrooms and with other faculty. Pray about strong non-Christian faculty, that God will fill their classrooms with students who will speak out for Him in that classroom…
The ways you can be prompted in prayer are unlimited! This could be a great tool for your campus prayer times or as a tool to use to guide you through prayer before you ask God to lead you in planning for your ministry. Prayerfully it will help to open your hearts and minds to thinking about areas on your campus that are “unreached” areas in your world. Prayer mapping will help you gain a “God’s-eye view” of your world.
Why not have your team prayer map a campus where you have a hard time gaining access. If prayer is difficult and you find yourself praying the same things over and over, consider this article on praying for the lost. Finally, we know that we are in a spiritual enterprise. This article is a good reminder that prayer must be the foundation of our ministry.