Behind the inspiration of a Georgia Southern senior from Springfield, hundreds of sorority and fraternity members gathered on Greek Row on the university’s campus last week to join in “The Prayer Walk: Thriving in Unity, Boldness and Faith.”
The idea for the Prayer Walk came to Springfield’s Kiley Ward last May during a worship service at Connection Church.
“The Lord had just given me a huge vision during the service and placed it on my heart to do something for the Greeks at GSU,” Ward said.
Pods of students representing each of the Greek organizations began milling about, mostly in their respective sorority or fraternity groups, before the event started, chatting about class schedules or new recruits. But by the time the worship experience started, sorority and fraternity attendees stood unified as a single throng of college students.
Ward hoped to dispel some of the negative connotation attached to Greek life on campus.
“It’s time to be proactive. Time to rise up with humble, expectant hearts at what God’s going to do here,” she said.
Holding the prayer walk on just the second day of college classes at Georgia Southern, Ward hoped to encourage students to establish priorities early in the semester, to put God first in their lives.
“It’s about the one who gives us life,” she said. “He’s a big God and he is good. He is perfect and unfailing. I hope people can put him on the throne. I hope he can make Greek Row houses of worship and a well that never runs dry.”
Ward said her initial plan “started out as a sorority walk but our God’s too big to limit,” and the event soon included sorority and fraternity members on campus and local Greek alumni, as well as anyone who felt inclined to pray for Georgia Southern students.
Liz Corbett, Ward’s mentor and friend who helped organize the event, addressed those in attendance and said, “I believe God wants to break down walls, not only between each house on Greek Row, but between Greek and non-Greek on campus.
“Those differences are here to define you, but not divide you.”
Alluding to recent, devastating heartbreaks that touched the college campus, Corbett said, “You guys do a phenomenal job of coming together during tragedy. Take a stand. Don’t wait on a tragedy. It’s time to stand together in faith and prayer.”
Students passed out and lit candles for the prayer vigil, then fanned out to the sorority and fraternity houses along Greek Row to pray – in small groups, in large groups, aloud and silently. Most even stopped to pray at the empty lot with only trees and a sign that read, “Future home of Chi Omega at Georgia Southern.”
Under a beautiful moonlit sky, students held hands or wrapped their arms around one another to pray passionately for those who call themselves Georgia Southern Eagles.
“I hope that this is the spark that keeps going,” Ward said in prayer. “What may seem like a flame tonight will become a blaze on Greek Row and on this campus.”