Students Unite for Prayer Vigil

Mercury Bowen, Verge Reporter

Students will come together this weekend for a 24-hour prayer vigil hosted by the Christian Campus House.

The prayer vigil will consist of volunteers having committed to one-hour shifts of continuous prayer. Six-hour shifts are also available for volunteers to help direct people to the prayer room, make sure the room is ready for the next volunteer, or to pray in case someone fails to fill their time slot.

According to Lisa Perfors, the purpose of the prayer vigil is to help people draw closer to God and to be dedicated in prayer.

“Prayer vigils are a unique experience,” Perfors said, “They get people to engage in prayer in a way that they don’t normally do.”

Prayer Action Group Leader Beth Dunahee said that the vigil is a time that people can use to delve into prayer more and have a more prayerful walk with God in their life.

“It’s a very empowering experience and it’s a really cool thing to see people come in at hours they normally wouldn’t to pray,” Perfors said, “Some people end up realizing how quickly an hour can go when you pray.”

Dunahee said that one of the biggest challenges facing the prayer vigil is initially getting the volunteers to sign up.

“It’s a busy time of year right now,” Dunahee said, “Now that it’s getting closer though, a lot of people are stepping up.”

Perfors said that this is a common issue with the prayer vigil.

“A lot of people don’t like signing up early,” Perfors said, “They’ll wait until the last minute.”

The theme of this year’s prayer vigil is the Lord’s Prayer, though volunteers can pray over any topic of their choosing according to Dunahee. There are also ideas for prayer topics involved in the decoration of the prayer room Perfors said.

“We always have a map up there,” Perfors said, “People can write a prayer on a notecard and tack it to a country they’re thinking of.”

Dunahee said that there are several different options for prayer and worship in the room, such as a journal to write prayers in and many different craft supplies to express prayers.

“It’s interesting to see how people will draw their prayers out and write a verse that inspired them to do that,” Perfors said.

Dunahee also gave an example of a station where a volunteer can write their sins on a rock and then wash them away with water.

“You can worship God in many different ways,” Dunahee said, “It’s not just one certain thing you can do.”

Volunteers can take hour shifts individually or go into the prayer room in groups. When asked why people volunteer, Dunahee said that volunteers do so to grow closer to God.

“I always had fun when I was doing it,” Dunahee said, “It’s about giving God the glory he deserves.”

The prayer vigil will be held in the Christian Campus House Prayer Room beginning at noon on Sunday, April 3 and ending at 7p.m. on Wednesday, April 6.

For more information or to sign up for a shift, visit the Christian Campus House at EIU Facebook page.

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or