1845 Prayer brings Baylor community together

The campus-wide prayer will encourage the Baylor community to pray at the same time every day. Photo credit: Dayday Wynn

The Baylor Community has been called to pray over the university at the same time everyday. The 1845 Prayer was established Founders Day to commemorate Baylor’s founding on Feb. 1, 1845. The initiative will be held from Feb. 1 until Easter, April 16.

1845 is significant because it is the founding year of Baylor and also the international time 18:45, which translates to 6:45 p.m., when the prayer will be practiced.

“We want it to be a moment where people say ‘Lord remember Baylor’, ‘Lord bless Baylor today’,” University Chaplain Burt Burleson said.

The Spiritual Life Advisory Committee is a group of Baylor faculty who help advise the chaplain. The group wanted to give the university a call to action to initiate prayer for the peace and stability of the school. Associate professor and director of Baptist Collections Kathy Hillman came up with the 1845 Prayer idea and presented it to the committee.

“I began to think about other people being involved in prayer. I believe we need to have a call to prayer for the Baylor family,” Hillman said. “So I presented the 1845 prayer idea that God had given me.”

Burleson wrote a short “1845 Prayer” for those participating in the initiative. The Baylor community is encouraged to pray the prayer given, or offer a personal prayer.

“The prayer begins with gratitude for our past and our trust in God these days,” Burleson said. “And from that place, we pray we might be able to humbly discern God’s will. There are so many of us working to make sense of things in these challenging days. That would be true even if we weren’t dealing with the crisis we had around sexual assault. These are challenging times for our nation as well and Baylor needs to be responsive as we’re called to do so.”

Burleson said he wanted this prayer to reach every person within the arms of Baylor, regardless of denomination. The Spiritual Life Advisory Committee’s hope was for the idea to be easy to remember so it would become a part of a daily routine.

“My dream is for people to set their phones to pray for the Baylor community,” Hillman said. “And it would be around the clock and around the world.”

Hillman said the significance of the international time “18:45” is to encourage those all over the world who have any investment in Baylor’s mission to be a part of the intercession for the university.

“There is some spiritual reality when we pray that we are tapping into. We are making something available to God as we offer prayer on anybody’s behalf,” Burleson said. “Even stopping for a moment at 6:45, maybe living halfway across the world from Baylor, I think connects people to the work of God in this place.”

The office of the chaplain and those involved with the 1845 Prayer hope the Baylor community is encouraged by the initiative and will set aside the time at 6:45 p.m. every day.

“When all the things happened in May of 2016, I became convinced we need to do something,” Hillman said. “But what could I do? I knew the most important thing I could do is pray.”