As you read this, hundreds of college students are in Panama City Beach, Florida this week and next week (March 4-10 and March 11-17) to do something that can only be described as counter-cultural. College students and leaders from churches and collegiate ministries all over the United States are taking part in Beach Reach 2017 where they’ll be pointing their peers toward the hope that is in Jesus and Jesus alone. They’ll do this by serving them, loving them, and being a light for the gospel in a place that can be quite dark.
Beach Reachers serve their fellow Spring Breakers by giving free van rides into the wee hours of the morning, hosting a free pancake breakfast every morning on the main strip of PCB, and engaging in conversation throughout the day while at the beach, in restaurants, and on the streets. Many of these encounters turn into an opportunity to share the gospel with college students who may have never truly heard what a relationship with Christ is all about.
To say that Beach Reach is one of my favorite things to attend throughout the year is a huge understatement.
I’ve seen college students gain a deeper understanding of the urgency of sharing the gospel in whatever context they may find themselves in—whether it is on the beach at Spring Break or back on their campus walking to class. This is crucial. I love the conversations. I love the genuineness of showing the love of Jesus. I love the intense prayer that covers the weeks. I love seeing what God does!
I invite you to pray along with and for us each evening using the live prayer link at beachreachlive.com. We’ll list specific prayer requests from the Beach Reachers in real time from 8:30 pm until 2:00 am or later. We need you praying with us!
As you pray for Beach Reach over the next two weeks, here are some general needs you can pray for:
1. Pray for Beach Reachers’ hearts to be broken for those far from Jesus.
The lostness that Beach Reachers will see in the thousands of visitors to PCB will be intense. Pray that Beach Reachers will have hearts that are broken, not judgmental, for those far from Jesus.
2. Pray for the salvation of college students that are there on Spring Break.
Last year over 60 college students gave their lives to Jesus after these conversations with Beach Reachers. Pray that many will go home with a new identity.
3. Pray for the leaders of these collegiate groups from churches and campus ministries.
The leaders of these ministries that come to Beach Reach are volunteering their time to walk alongside college students as they serve the masses in PCB. Pray for rest for these leaders (most of them don’t regularly stay up until the early morning hours like they will during Beach Reach). Pray for them to be models of encouragement to their students. Pray for them to help their students process how they can return to their own campuses with this same urgency of sharing the Gospel.
4. Pray that God does something beyond our imaginations in Panama City Beach.
Pray boldly for these Beach Reachers! Pray that God will show up in ways that will cause us to say, “That was nothing but God!” May Jesus be what is talked about in Panama City Beach during Spring Break 2017.
5. Pray for your own opportunities to share the gospel where you are.
Why should this only be happening in Panama City Beach, Florida these two weeks? Pray that God will lead YOU to people that your heart will be broken for because they do not know Jesus. Pray that YOU will have opportunities to share the hope that is only found in Jesus.
Please join us each evening to pray for the needs posted on the live prayer feed at beachreachlive.com. And make plans to bring a group to join us in 2018!
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.