Canvas | Issue 88: People of Prayer
Welcome to our Autumn 2020 edition of Canvas, my first as editor. I am excited to join the TSCF team, to be part of this passionate community committed to reaching students for Christ. As a university student, my involvement with TSCF was formative in my faith journey, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the spiritual formation of a new generation of students.
This issue, “People of Prayer,” comes at a time when COVID-19 has led to significant upheaval in our world and our daily lives. In this time of uncertainty, our God wants us to turn to him. His Word promises that he is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1), and he will come close to us when we come close to him (James 4:8). It is a time when being and becoming people of prayer is even more essential to our faith.
Prayer is an integral part of who we are as TSCF. All we do in serving God to reach students for Christ, we know we need to commit to him. In this issue, our National Director Ben Carswell emphasises that “Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath” (quoting James Montgomery), and we need to increase our oxygen supply from God, our source. Geoff Robson highlights the apostle Paul’s understanding that his ministry would only grow through prayer, and that our lives of faith are only as strong as the engine that drives them. We hear from Kate McClelland about God’s people at Festival One “weaving together their prayers for the nation” in a Sanctuary set apart for connecting with God. The Global Reach journeys to Nepal and Fiji speak of students growing a heart for overseas mission and gospel partnership within a culture of prayer.
Prayer is foundational to who we are as followers of Christ. It is both a privilege and a necessity. In his Word, God asks us to pray for many reasons. First, because this shows we trust in him and we are dependent upon him (“Apart from me you can do nothing,” Jesus says in John 15:5). Second, prayer draws us into a closer relationship with God, that we may be one with him – something he longs for (as Jesus prays in John 17:20–23). Third, God invites us through prayer to take part in the eternal work of building his kingdom.1
This issue of Canvas reminds us of the need to weave our prayers through every part of our lives, creating a rich tapestry of close, dependent relationship with our Heavenly Father. The more time we spend in prayer, not just talking but listening, the deeper our relationship with God becomes. The work of art grows broader and more intricate. Each of our prayer tapestries combines to form a greater work as the people of God. My prayer thread interweaving with your prayer thread, interweaving with those of our wider family in Christ – across Aotearoa and the world our collective prayers connect us. Praying together, even at a physical distance, reminds us that we are part of something bigger – God building his eternal kingdom.
At this time, and in the weeks and months to come, may this be our prayer to our God:
Make my life with you
a cherished tapestry;
me woven into You,
and You woven into me.
1 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 376–377.
Bex Allen, Communications Manager