Pray for Troy gathering tonight

(PHOTO/ Lauren Breland)
(PHOTO/ Lauren Breland)
Katie Breland, a freshman elementary education and dance double major from Nashville, Tennessee, in coordination with her sister Lauren Breland and Troy Church Pastor Jason Durant, created a first-time prayer gathering event to pray for the university. Pray for Troy will take place tonight at 8 in the Troy Amphitheater.
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Zach Henson

Staff Writer

Pray for Troy, an upcoming gathering of students and community members to share in a time of prayer for Troy University, will be held on Thursday, March 16, at 8 p.m. in the Troy Amphitheater.
“I just think it would be great if we could just come together and bring our concerns and worries for Troy and pray for our school,” said Katie Breland, a freshman elementary education and dance double major from Nashville, Tennessee, who is organizing the event.
Breland said she attended Passion 2017, a Christian conference held in Atlanta for young adults ages 18 to 25, and came back with a new perspective on her faith.
“I really started praying about ways that I could bring the hope of Jesus to our school, and I just had this idea one day,” Breland said. “I was sitting in church … and the pastor was giving the message on prayer and I just thought, ‘How often do we go to prayer, and how often do we pray for our university?’
“I just thought it would be so awesome to have our school together and doing something like this.”
Breland said that she has gone to church her whole life and has grown up with strong believers around her, but that she has recently seen the power of prayer in her own life.
As an example of the power of prayer, Breland told the story of scheduling the use of the Troy Amphitheater. She initially found that the amphitheater was expensive to rent, but after praying over the issue with friends and other leaders, she contacted Janice Hawkins (Chancellor Jack Hawkins’ wife), who agreed to let them use the amphitheater free for the event.
Pray for Troy will feature a worship service, led by Lauren Breland, a Christian musician from Nashville, Tennessee, and a devotional on prayer led by Jason Durant, the lead pastor of Troy Church.
Afterwards, Sarah Singleterry and Emily Tew, both Troy students, will lead the student body and community in prayer for the university.
Breland hopes to have 250 to 350 students and community members in attendance.
“I think it’s so huge to, you know— we’re here for four years, five years, six years, whatever…to invest in this place…,” said Singleterry, a junior broadcast journalism major from Alabaster. “… Spiritually invest in this place and pray for this place, because this is our home.
“It truly is just coming together to literally see the Lord work in this community.”
Singleterry hopes the event will spark a permanent change in those who attend.
“I hope that students kind of get plugged in,” she said. “That’s huge for me because I think that there are a lot of emotionally charged, one-time events, but something I’d love to see from this is friendships formed and small group relationships formed, and people wanting to know and learn more.”
Durant, the keynote speaker of the event, also hopes for the event to make a great impact on campus.
“If nothing else, I hope that people are encouraged to understand prayer a little bit more fully, not so much just as an empty religious act, but as an actual interaction with God,” he said. “We can ask God for things that require us to actually trust him, so asking him for things that are bigger than we can do ourselves.”
As a pastor, Durant said he sees many people who are hurting and dealing with tough situations in their lives.
“If someone here believes in the Bible as an authority of truth, I just see where it promises that God promises to act on behalf of those who ask him for things that honor him with the right motives, so I’m excited about the hope that we might do that,” he said.
“Prayer works,” Singleterry said. “I think it’s really hard to really grasp it until you’ve kind of seen it for yourself.”
Durant encourages individuals of all walks of faith to not let any reservations about attending stop them from coming.
“No matter where you’re at with God in your beliefs, if there is any part of you that would even like to believe that there is a caring, loving God who would be interested in acting on your behalf, it would be worth a shot to at least come check it out,” Durant said.