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An Update on the Transformation Prayer Network

Joy Choi (Postdoctoral researcher in Biochemistry) and Victoria Udom (Postgraduate, MBA) have been faithfully running the Transformation Prayer Network this year after its founder, Keziah Stephenson, handed over the baton to them at the end of summer 2021. The aim of the network is 'to see Christian postgraduate students meeting together regularly to pray in every university department across the city'. Joy provides a short update of what has been happening this year below.

How many prayer groups are running and in which subjects?

Four departmental groups are currently meeting: Life Sciences (Medical Science Division): ~10 people; Maths, Stats & Computer Sciences (Natural Science Division): 3-6 people; The Blavatnik School of Government: 8-9 people; and one group in the Said Business School with 15 people meeting.

How have you been encouraged this year?

I have been encouraged by experiencing such a sense of community forming within the group through these weekly prayer meetings. The Life Science department prayer group, which I attend, meets every Monday morning at 7.45; we share our praise and thanksgiving from the previous week and prayer for the week ahead. I’ve experienced how powerful regular simple praise and prayer together is in forming strong community and friendship. Many of us have found that our prayer meeting has been the highlight of our week and something to look forward to. Also, it has been so wonderful to see how much God treasures and listens to every single prayer of ours. God has been speaking through us for each other, and this has been so encouraging for all of us.

What has been challenging this year?

In this unprecedented time, almost every member of the group has had challenging days at some point. It has been such a privilege to stand together and pray for each other, seeing how God has answered our prayers, and witness joyful victories over challenging situations.

What else would you like to share?

We are living in a very blessed time and place, where we can freely meet to pray and worship together. Doing this online wasn’t any less significant than doing this in person, as experienced over last year. Gathering with a group from the same department, we can pray more specifically and strategically. For example, we have been praying for very specific things in our research, situation in the labs, departments and university and for the world.

How can current and future postgrads/postdoc students get involved in the network?

If you would like to gather and pray together in your department, I highly encourage you to do so! If you are the only person in your department, why don’t you initiate a group? Please contact us by signing up via this link or email us at (transformation.network@oxfordpastorate.org); we would love to connect more of you together. Let’s go together in this exciting journey!