Sending your kids off to college today? Or are you starting classes yourself? I want you to know that many Christian professors begin their new semester in prayer for their students. At the Christian university where I teach, we make it a point to pray together, but I also have my own private prayer ritual each semester, in which I print out all my class rosters and pray for each student individually. One professor I know from another institution does something similar, often visiting the classrooms he’ll be teaching in before the first day of class and praying for each student that will cross his path. Most professors aren’t just aloof academics, but normal people with a passion for their topic and a deep care for their students. Many times, that care includes earnest prayer over the young people who will fill their classrooms.
So, this morning, I offer up this prayer for my students. It’s geared toward college, but many of the ideas apply equally well to high school kids, too.
A Prayer for my students:
First, Lord, give them peace.
There’s more than enough anxiety to go around, so I ask for peace.
Peace about leaving home, about new roommates, about finances.
Peace about making friends, losing friends, finding love, losing love.
Peace about learning new things, meeting deadlines, completing difficult tasks.
Peace about Big Life Decisions — academic major, career, where to live, who to love.
Peace about Big Life Questions — what is truth? who am I? what’s the point of it all?
For each of those areas of worry and stress and for all the others still unmentioned, I ask that you would guard their hearts and minds with peace beyond all understanding.
Next, Lord, give them hunger.
Hunger for righteousness, that they may be filled.
Hunger for knowledge and wisdom in their major areas of study and beyond.
Hunger for good things — good food, true friendship, capital-T-Truth — instead of junk food, shallow friendship, and fake news.
Hunger for joy, for life, for all the wonders still to come in this beautiful world.
Hunger to know God, both as Holy Deity and true friend.
Finally, Lord, give them wisdom.
Wisdom in their studies, to discern truth.
Wisdom in how they manage their time, how they juggle work and relationships and school. Wisdom in deciding who to spend time with; wisdom in where to direct their energy and their thoughts.
Wisdom in reading syllabi, in interacting with professors and classmates, and in understanding the practical requirements of their coursework and major.
Wisdom in caring for their bodies, for their eating and sleeping and general health.
For you, Lord God, are the fount of all wisdom, the source and satisfaction of our deep hunger, and our refuge of true peace. I pray that you would teach these students to trust the hand of a kind Father who generously gives good things; to trust the incarnate Son of God, who gave his very self that we might have abundant life; and to trust the Holy Spirit, Comforter, who guides us into truth.
I ask these things in Jesus’ name and for His sake.