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10 Important Prayers for College-bound Students

1.  Pray for your child’s relationships with their roommates and hall-mates.

One of the blessings of living in a residential college setting is the opportunity to learn in community. This means working through your academic learning with others but also means learning by being in a community. It can be hard when sinners live together in close proximity and share the stresses of school and adjusting to new environments, but the fruit of learning how to work through hard things and sharing life with other believers is a beautiful thing worth wrestling through the hardships (Psalm 133). These lessons and friendships can not only make college a good experience but serve students well down the road in life. Please pray for the ups and downs of these relationships and that growth and bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood will result.

2.  Pray for your child’s relationships with members of the opposite sex.

College is a combination of wonderful excitement and mass confusion in this area. Students are coming from all manner of different backgrounds and experiences and the reality is that many students will find a spouse on this campus and many students will not. In both situations there are joys and frustrations. Please pray that God will use this opportunity to grow your child in their understanding of being a brother or sister to members of the opposite sex and to give direction, purity, freedom from fear and anxiety, peace, encouragement, and grace to these interactions.

3.  Pray for your child’s friends.

This could also encompass the two above categories but Proverbs and other scriptures speak often of the importance of our companions. Pray for wisdom for your child in who they choose to spend time with. That they would make friends who encourage them in their faith and that they would be friends who do that for others.

4.  Pray for their involvement on campus.

It is really important for students to be involved in campus life either on their hall, through a club, a service group, or some other avenue of connecting with and getting to know others. Pray for discernment for your child as they seek to make these decisions and balance various things going on in their lives. Pray they would be willing to let some opportunities pass, but be bold to take advantage of others.


5.  Pray for mentors for your child.

In addition to friends and other students, pray for the leaders on your student’s hall (RAs, etc.).  They are upperclassmen students who desire to serve your child and walk alongside them. If your child is in one of these positions, pray for them and their work as these provide excellent opportunities for God to work in and through them. Pray for faculty and staff who interact with your students, and for pastors and other members in the local church where your child attends.  Pray that one or two of these people would be equipped by God to connect with your child and speak the truth of Christ into their life regularly.


6.  Pray for your child’s church involvement.

If they happen to attend a Christian college, it can be easy for students to think they get what they need in Bible classes, chapel, and hall prayer times. Sleep can feel very urgent on a Sunday morning, so please pray that your child will connect with a local congregation. It can be scary and intimidating at times, but is a great means of grace in their lives.


7.  Pray that God’s spirit makes your child’s heart and mind alive to the Scriptures and the gospel.

Being surrounded by people who profess the same thing you do can easily lead to assuming the gospel of Christ in our lives and taking the scriptures for granted. Pray that in chapel, class, church, and personal devotions, the Holy Spirit will awaken your child’s heart and mind to the truths of God’s written word and the work of Jesus, the Living Word.


8.  Pray that their identity would be found more and more in Christ.

Students deal with issues such as physical appearance, religious reputation, academic or athletic prowess, good relationships, bad relationships, future goals, past achievements, etc. All of these and countless others are calling to students (and to all of us really), and asking your sons and daughters to place their trust and hope of joy and fulfillment in them. Pray that your child will hear the voice of Christ calling loudly above all the others, and that they will grow in the joy that Paul knew in Philippians 3 of being united with Christ and found in him.


9.  Pray that your child would grow in Christ-likeness.

Pray that as they grow in their understanding of what Christ has done for them, they will grow in his likeness, being quick to forgive and slow to anger, considering the interest of others before themselves, and looking for opportunities to serve others and show them the love of Christ.


10.  Pray that your child would learn from his or her mistakes.

Part of growing and learning is making mistakes along the way. Pray that these times of frustration, disappointment, and even embarrassment would help them to grow in their understanding of the grace of Christ, mature as the young men and women they are, and would guard them from larger frustration, disappointments, and embarrassments in the future.


And one to grow on ~

Pray that they would know God more.

Following Paul’s prayer for the Colossians–

“May you be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” ~ Colossians 1:9b-10.

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Excerpted, with permission, from Kevin McAlvey, one of the Resident Directors at Covenant College.

Your turn:  This is by no means an exhaustive list; if you have suggestions to add, please leave them in comments.

Please share this post with others who have college-bound children or friends.

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Parenting Teens and Tweens

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