A Praying Generation

Prayer is the breath of every believer. It is an ever potent and reliable tool to secure God's attention and attract His mighty of power. This obviously must have been the understanding that coloured the happenings in the fellowship in the eighties. It was indeed an all-round experience of prayers. From the leadership down to every member of the fellowship, everyone bore what seemed like an unquenchable burden and passion to pray. At this time, it was not an uncommon sight to see brethren, brothers and sisters alike, scattered round the 'woods' to pray or as they called it 'agonize'. Many would stay glued to the trees negotiating fervently in prayers. All sorts of imaginable positions of prayer held sway. Indeed, for many of the brethren the woods provided a ready harbor for them to pour out their deep, heartfelt agony. It was an expected reality to always find people praying at any time of the day. The exact reason why this was so nobody could really tell, save for the fact that these men just wanted to touch and experience his awesome manifestation. And they did. Many of the active participants of those days variously shared their testimonies that the reason why that persisted was because they kept getting results, some of which were unbelievable, humanly speaking. So they prayed more in order to experience more of the Holy Spirit and his power. However, all these did not go by without attracting the attention of 'outsiders'. Many of the lecturers and senior friends became concerned for this young people. They often termed them as being too overzealous. The Muslims too were not left out. For instance, they variously accused the brethren of deliberately facing the mosques to offer incantations (speaking in tongues) against their god. The media too was attracted at a point. It is on record that there was actually a time when the Ogun State Television came to video the brethren praying.

Expectedly, the prayer band unit was the central rallying point for these activities. As a matter of fact, many are still of the opinion that the heat which originated from the pray band was what had ripple effect of the House. Friday Bekee, onetime prayer secretary and later president, described his first encounter with the IVCU through the prayer band as “as simply awesome”. Although Bekee had met the Lord Jesus Christ before being admitted into the university but upon his arrival he saw a new dimension of commitment in the place of prayer.

On his first day in school he was told about the crusade, 'Mission 80' and he decided to be part of it. However, while the crusade was going on, he felt the urge to pray and he met with a Brother who incidentally was prayer band member. The prayer band was then being led by Sunday lsehunwa. When Bekee was taken to the 'woods' where the prayer band had converged to offer prayers for the success of the crusade, he was amazed at the commitment of members. In his words: ‘When I saw these young men and women praying. I was impressed. In fact, when I saw them praying, I lost my prayer grace, desire and anointing to pray!’

The prayer band of these years was known for intense and concerted intercession. Often times, prayer band members fasted for days in order to offer supplications to God over the members and activities of the fellowship. Aside from the regular meeting days Mondays and Fridays, members of the prayer band held vigils regularly to pray. Prayer chain was equally a regular feature of the prayer band activities such that there was always a group of people praying at every hour of the day. Surprisingly, no member of the unit was left out because they were motivated and taught how to pray. For the young members, watching their leaders or other older colleagues pray vicariously left severable indelible marks on them. It was in fact a major tactic employed then that if you wanted a new convert to grow very rapidly, then the prayer band was the place to send such. Attesting to this, Victor Odunjo, a member of prayer band who later became the general secretary of fellowship, said watching seniors like Moses Aransiola, Femi Agiri, Bekee, taught him what it meant to pray. This, to him, was because their prayer life robbed off on him. 'To date, I must confess that I am yet to meet men who prayed as I saw these men pray. They carried burdens, agonized in prayer and we were literarily baptized by their way of life’, he said Friday Bekee's tenure as the prayer secretary witnessed a significant growth in leaps and bound. The membership strength sporadically grew from about 40 to 120. Although a first year student, he was totally sold out to praying. Reflecting on the experiences of those days, Bekee said his ultimate desire was to see men became fiery intercessors for the fellowship that will turn out to be great intercessors in the nation. Indeed, his prayer was answered as many members became baptized with the spirit of grace and supplication. This was evident in the way the Holy Spirit graciously manifested himself in fellowship meetings and the commitment of prayer band members. It was then a usual sight to see prayer band members willingly come and do a two hour pre-prayers to prepare themselves for the actual prayer meeting. The office of the assistant prayer secretary was inaugurated in 2004/2005 tenure when Tobi AdeyeOluwa was prayer secretary. With Kemi Ladele as the first asst prayer secretary and also the first female assistant prayer secretary.

Prayer band holds their retreat at least once in a tenure for which we either go on 3days marathon or we have it on 3 consecutive nights. IVCU is dedicated to having prayer and fasting service every first Wednesday of each month and also we have intercessions each Friday for families, academics, Nigeria and the house at large. Prayer band is dedicated to coordinating the pre meetings before each service, they go for prayer walk in villages before the village outreach, they organise vigils for the house as required and the prayer secretary is in charge.