FM72 Brings Together Students for 72 Hours of Prayer, Nightly Worship March 19-22
Since 2019, students have joined together on Fountain Mall to passionately seek God and the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit
WACO, Texas (March 16, 2023) – Baylor University’s Office of Spiritual Life, in partnership with multiple campus ministries and local churches, will again host FM72, a gathering of college students for 72 hours of continuous prayer Sunday through Wednesday, March 19-22, on Fountain Mall. In addition, each night at 8 p.m. CDT, students will gather on Fountain Mall for worship and to hear from God’s Word. Worship also will be livestreamed on the FM72 website
FM72 was first held at Baylor in spring 2019 and has become part of the annual rhythm of campus, said Charles Ramsey, Ph.D., associate chaplain and director for Chapel and Campus Ministries at Baylor.
“The purpose of FM72 is to stir a passion for Jesus Christ in the Baylor community,” Ramsey said. “It is a time to take inventory of one’s own journey, to linger in prayer and to recalibrate towards what is most important: our shared faith in Jesus Christ. Simply put, the goal is that every person experiences a clear, caring and compelling invitation to know Jesus, and to find a discipleship community where they can grow and flourish.”
“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1)
The 72 hours of prayer have been an integral part of FM72 since its beginning, including having a prayer tent on Fountain Mall that is open to all students, faculty and staff. In fact, FM72 derived its name to reflect the desired importance of prayer.
“We agreed that prayer is central and essential to the Christian life, and yet we were humbly aware of the paucity of attention we give to this,” Ramsey said. “The tent provides a sense of pilgrimage and of impermanence. This is a special place and a special time consecrated to the Lord.”
The theme for this year is “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). The prayer tent is designed with stations structured according to the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father). Ramsey said each year students ask that the tent be kept open longer, and it is not unusual for the 72 hours to be more like 144 hours. Though simple, it is meaningful to have a place to go pray.
“We hope that any person who enters, regardless of their spiritual journey or faith tradition, could walk through these stations and have a time of silent preparation, reflection and petition,” Ramsey said. “There is no other reason to be there, no pretense and no need for an excuse. We are here to seek the Lord. It is a vulnerable and yet endearing and empowering experience to pray – to ‘get spiritual’ with your friends and colleagues.
“But something good, tangibly good, happens when we stop to pray. There is a wonder, and sense of joy in discovering prayer, and for many this opens the way to an ongoing and deepening devotional, a more personal faith and a love for the church,” Ramsey said. “That is our hope: to engage more of the facets of Christianity in our community and to humbly invite greater participation.”
FM72 also will provide times of guided prayer, when students are led by practitioners invited from local churches and ministries who have training or experience in different forms and styles of prayer, or who will lead in prayer for a particular theme.
The speakers this year are all from local churches, including:
- Dale Wallace, who led Vertical Ministries at Baylor for five years, who will lead Sunday’s worship and tell the story of FM72, introduce the tent and challenge listeners to explore and pursue prayer;
- Rev. Sam Doyle, pastor of Greater New Light Baptist Church, committed civic leader and caregiver at Mission Waco, who will bring the Word on Monday night;
- Yanit Ross, senior adult minister at Highland Baptist Church and former missionary to South Africa and Israel for many years, who will speak on Tuesday; and
- Carl Gulley, an elder and pastor of Antioch Community Church who carries a powerful message on Wednesday night on the importance of spiritual formation and of going deeper in Christ.
FM72’s musicians and worship leaders are a combination of students, campus ministers and friends from multiple local churches. A student choir drawn from across campus also will perform.
“I have the joy of serving and supporting FM72, but this is only possible because of the friendships and unity experienced by multiple campus ministries and local churches,” Ramsey said. “Watching them collaborate, share resources and support one another is a source of great hope to me; it is a characteristic of this generation and an indicator of how the church will function in the years to come. I am very hopeful.”
Revival and renewal
FM72 is not the first gathering of its kind at Baylor. In 1945, Baylor students prayed for renewal for 90 days, and the impact of it was felt worldwide, igniting ministries like the Passion Conference and Journeyman Mission program.
“FM72 is a reminder of what we yearn for, of spiritual promises yet to be fulfilled. Students become mindful of what God has done in the past, and hopeful that they too can carry forward the torch that is entrusted to them,” Ramsey said. “As I heard one student pray, ‘Lord, we ask for a forest fire not a grass fire.’ That is a movement that will transform the trajectory of this generation from being one trapped by anxiety and fear, and instead released to the wide-open spaces of joy and freedom in Christ and experiencing the delightful surprise of the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit.”
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.