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By Melissa McCutchan
CIU Student Writer
Three times each semester, Columbia International University cancels classes to allow students a structured forum in which to pray. These Prayer Days usually feature worship, teaching, and extensive times of prayer.
However, on April 2, Prayer Day took a little different approach. Students, faculty, and staff gathered for a time of teaching and prayer on a sensitive but prevalent issue: human sexuality.
CIU Counseling professor Dr. Larry Wagner began the day by addressing the issue of sexual sin and the restorative power of Christ.
“Think about the individual trapped in a cycle of pornography,” Wagner said. “Is it possible that when they go to that image, they are really testifying to the ache to be loved?”
Wagner focused on the healing power of the cross of Jesus Christ, and restored relationship found in Christ’s death and resurrection.
“The message of the Spirit today is, ‘Let’s restore,’” Wagner said. “Will you allow Him to clean you and fill you?”
Following Wagner’s teaching, the CIU community attended various breakout sessions, ranging from biblically engaging gay theology to intimacy and sexual addictions.
“I love that I go to a school that isn’t afraid to speak life into a realm in which the Church has been irresponsibly silent for centuries - the areas of human intimacy and sexuality,” junior John David Woolington said.
The breakout sessions were followed by a panel discussion on singleness in the Christian community, featuring CIU Library Director Stephanie Solomon, who is single.
“No one ever says it, but somehow it’s communicated that when you’re Christian, you get married,” Solomon said. “I thought I had to be married to serve God properly. I had to reevaluate, ‘Where are these thoughts coming from?’”
Wagner concluded Prayer Day with a lecture on appropriate levels of intimacy in human relationships.
“Often, people don’t take time for a relationship to develop to support their degree of intimacy,” Wagner said. “They end up with hurt.”
Ultimately, the message of Prayer Day was one of healing. Everyone has past burdens and sins, but the message of the cross is one of redemption.
“You don’t have to believe you’re damaged goods for the rest of your life,” Wagner said. “There is hope. There is restoration.”
Listen to Dr. Larry Wagner's messages at: