I’ll always remember how I grew more off the court than on it during the National Championship run.


Cutting down the nets with my teammates was a memory I’ll never forget, but the growth I experienced in prayer is what I will take away from Branson.  I learned that there is something special that happens when you pray in unity with a group of men who are all passionate about seeking the Lord. 


When Josh Mawhorr got up and shared with the team and led us in prayer time the morning before we took on Davenport, something clicked inside of me.  Rather than talk about our basketball experiences and successes, Josh shared about all of the ways that God has moved through prayer this season, including a story about a particularly hard time that I had been through.


Praying in front of others isn’t necessarily something I felt uncomfortable doing, but it didn’t ever feel very natural.  Throughout our trip in Branson there were many opportunities that were given to me to pray with a teammate and I felt my courage and confidence in the Lord grow each time. 


Seeing a teammate I respected as much Josh who was so passionate about the Lord was very meaningful, and I remember the prayer time that followed.  I felt my prayers shift away from struggling for words and trying to ‘speak on my own’ and toward being fully surrendered to God and just seeking Him.  By the end of the week I was able to look back and see how much I had grown in prayer in a short time.


Having this experience was extremely helpful.  Not only did I experience a connection with God on a deeper level in the midst of prayer, but I already feel better suited to continuing my Christian ministries path at IWU.  Winning a National Championship will always be special for me, but not as meaningful as the way I grew in prayer.

-Jackson murphy