Best Places for Student Prayer

by Jared Thornton '12

Since 1899, Azusa Pacific University has held tightly to it's God First motto, encouraging students to grow in their relationship with God and offering quiet places on campus to enable students to spend time in prayer and worship. Some of these places are designated for prayer, and others are somewhat unknown. Here are some of the best places on campus to pray or just reflect.

1. Hartwig Prayer Chapel

Hartwig Prayer Chapel on East Campus is a popular choice for prayer. This sanctuary was built specifically to give students a place to pray and spend time with the Lord. The quiet chapel offers low lighting, making it ideal to silently speak to God or just be in His presence. Apart from praying, papers and writing tools are available for students to write a message, record a verse, or draw a picture for future students to see and reflect on. A cross stands at the back of the room; at the foot of this cross lies an altar with a Bible and more tools to record one’s thoughts. Padded altars line the sides of the chapel for people to kneel in prayer.

2. Rose Garden

A short walk away is the Rose Garden (or Faculty Quad), known as one of the most beautiful spots on campus (which may explain the number of proposals that have occurred there). Although not always as quiet as other areas on campus due to nearby offices, the assortment of colors and aromas enclose a person in God’s creation. A single fountain in the middle of the garden compliments the roses. The two seating areas allow small groups to sit and talk, while the vines and flowers provide some privacy for conversation.

3. Cougar Stadium Cross

Students looking for a non-conventional spot to be with the Lord, may want to try the cross at the east end of Cougar Stadium. This spot is relatively unknown to most people on campus and is not typically thought of first when searching for a spot for prayer and reflection. The anonymity of this cross is beneficial because it allows a person to be secluded, alone with their thoughts, and it allows God to speak to them without interruptions. This is also one of the few places on campus where one can literally pray at the foot of the cross.

4. Place of Prayer

Another popular place one can be in God’s presence is the Barbara and Jack Lee Place of Prayer, located east of the Felix Event Center on West Campus. This entire area was designed to provide the community with a place to pray and be in the presence of God on West Campus. Inspired by Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, people who stop here often write prayer requests on a piece of paper and leave it in the cracks of the wall for others to pray for them. APU’s version of the Wailing Wall features the four cornerstones forming a cross, reminding one that they are in the presence of God.

5. Mary Hill Garden

The Mary Hill Garden outside the theater on West Campus offers another outdoor location where one can experience God. The flowers create an atmosphere of beauty and relaxation, promoting the spiritual discipline of rest. The sun warms the entire area and makes the roses stand out against the background of palm trees, while the shade of the tree offers a cool break on a hot day. A statue of APU’s first president, Mary Hill, serves as a reminder of where the university came from, and the continuation of its 112-year commitment to God First.