My freshman year, I went on a mission trip to Florida during my college's spring break. My mission was to minister to the students who went to party. I was part of a group giving free rides from place to place with the city. We started up conversations on the street. We served a free pancake breakfast each day. It was on those streets that I learned how to pray like I never have before.
You see, I was a college freshman. I was also highly unfamiliar with the party scene. My previous experience with alcohol was champagne at weddings. Then I went to the party capital of Spring Break.
We were taught to prayer walk, to take what we saw and pray about it as we walked. We would call in specific requests that would be uploaded to the ministry's website, so others could pray (both in the ministry's prayer room and around the world). We prayed when we were sad, when we were angry, when we were scared. We prayed when we were happy, when we were discouraged, when we were out of our depth. We prayed, fervently, passionately, lovingly, mischievously. I learned what it meant to pray continuously.
While I was there, I would pray the prayer typed below, as best I could (I didn't have it memorized). But I would pray for the people I would encounter and for God to surround us with His presence. It was a little intimidating to be walking the alcohol-laced streets to do ministry. I wanted Christ to be with me, within me, before me, behind me, beside me, and speaking through me.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger,
This is a prayer close to my heart, because it reminds me of a time when I learned so much about prayer and myself. Now, as a senior, in a more familiar, comfortable environment, I see this prayer and remember its lessons. For me, this is a prayer like none other.