Anna Ruth Ramos, guest writer
In response to recent nationwide marches and protests, APU’s Theology Department held a community prayer vigil on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Duke 520. Directly after a Coram Deo event, faculty, staff and students joined together to lift up our nation, city and world.
Acknowledging the shift of the political climate in our nation, the Theology Department wanted to convey the message of God’s sovereignty in spite of chaos and confusion.
The prayer vigil was led by the Associate Dean of Theology, Kenneth L. Waters, Ph.D., into the second hour. It was introduced first in part with the Coram Deo panel titled “The Holy Trinity in an Unholy World” that discussed the role of the Trinity in our everyday lives and how the idea of Trinity is still in conflict with the idea of monotheism in Christianity. Moderated by Jacquelyn Winston, Ph.D., speakers included Theology professor Paul Boles, Ph.D., Psychology Professor and Rev. Stephen Lambert, Philosophy Professor Rico Vitz, Ph.D., and Karen Winslow, Ph.D.
Waters said that each one of us has a call to respond to but that we ultimately answer to God and depend on Him in situations of powerlessness, fear and disappointment.
“God is still in control,” Waters said.
“I, for one, think that many times God allows these things to happen just as a wake up call to us that we need to trust God and not any human being and not any assembly of human beings ultimately,” Waters said. “In the end we should not despair or capitulate, fear or discouragement, there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow is as full a mystery as yesterday but God is still God.”
The prayer event was about seeking the Lord for guidance amidst all the different feelings and emotions surrounding the issues our nation faces today. Winston also talked about the atmosphere in preparation for a revival and how important it is for us to pray right now as a response to current events.
“When you look at every time there’s been a movement of the spirit, it’s been because the people of God recognize they couldn’t do it themselves, so it’s that moment by moment faithfulness,” Winston said.
For Junior Theology and Humanities major Ari Wagoner, solidarity with her professors and church is an increasing priority.
“I think in this intense political climate, which is proving to be pretty divisive in the Christian community, it’s important – instead of to rest in anger, confusion or even sorrow, or maybe even people are happy right now no matter how you’re feeling – it’s important to still be active,” Wagoner said.
Wagoner attended the vigil in pursuit of being “active” in her spiritual life and prayer life “to submit prayerfully before God” in pursuit of peace, liberty and love for our nation.
“I think it’s very important to take time to process it, to think through it and what the Lord wants to remind me of is to refocus my attention on what really matters,” Junior Allied Health major, Rachel Christensen said. “I also think that when we take time for something like the vigil, we see how important it is and as we’re praying about it together, we can actually be convicted to actually act.”
Winston closed out the vigil by saying this is only one of many more to come. She talked about the importance of prayer and how Scripture talks about its different types from supplication, intercession and the silent prayer among other prayers.
As a country, Winston said, “we are where we are because we have tried to take our own destiny in our own hands and we are being our own God.”
Winston believes we ought to humble ourselves to cry out “God, our Savior. Save us again.”