Chris Mills said he can think of several people he knows who came to faith in Christ in middle school, in high school and in college.
And he said he knows that happened because God moved and because a fellow student was bold enough to live out the gospel and share Christ with them.
“We should pray that God would not only open up many avenues for Christian students and youth and college ministry leaders to share with those who don’t know Christ,” said Mills, student missions mobilizer for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. “We should also pray for open receptive hearts. We should pray for boldness among Christian students and leaders.”
Most Christians know they should pray and that it’s extremely important, Mills said.
“But we must not forget that it is a great privilege. As we think about a new school year beginning and the changes that means for students and their families, we are given a unique opportunity to ask God to use this time for His glory,” he said. “Who knows how God may impact the campuses across our state, nation and world through this generation? What a privilege to know God has given us all a unique opportunity to join Him in this work through prayer.”
Ways to pray
It’s a privilege and a necessity, said Greg Davis, executive director of First Priority of Greater Birmingham.
“We all need prayer, we need God’s hand of protection and guidance in our lives, and our students need that just as much or more than any other segment of society,” Davis said.
So to help parents, grandparents and other adults know how to better lift up students, First Priority put together a prayer guide that goes through 24 virtues to pray over them, along with corresponding Scriptures.
Here are 7 of the 24:
- Salvation — “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10).
- Love for God’s Word — “May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb” (Ps. 19:10).
- Courage — “May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions” (Deut. 31:6).
- Kindness — “Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else” (1 Thess. 5:15).
- Compassion — “Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion” (Col. 3:12).
- Self-Discipline — “Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair” (Prov. 1:3).
- A Heart for Missions — “Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples” (Ps. 96:3).
“When we put this guide together, our thought was to see if we can help parents know how to pray for their kids and pray the right kind of virtues into their lives,” Davis said. “Life’s hard for everybody, but especially teenagers. So many come from a home with no parent or single-parent homes.”
Teens are often raising themselves, and the No. 1 influence in their life is their friends, he said.
“It’s important to have good ministry happening in the school system, to reach out to them and pull them in,” Davis said.
For the full prayer guide, visit http://firstpriorityal.com/will-you-pray-for-our-students.
Pray for campuses like they are missions fields
Holly Muncie, who serves with All Things Ministries at Auburn University, offered several ways from her perspective that Alabama Baptists could pray toward this end:
Pray for believing students to have heavy hearts.
“Pray that believing students would realize the huge number of unbelievers on campus,” she said.
At Auburn, in the college ministry of Muncie’s church — First Baptist, Opelika — college minister Trace Hamiter reminds students constantly of “the other 19,000,” Muncie said.
“This is an estimate of the number of students at Auburn not involved in a ministry or church or walking with Christ,” she said. “We pray our students develop a heavy heart for them and become selfless to minister to them.”
Pray for them to have boldness.
“Pray believing students would be bold with fellow students in building relationships and sharing their lives and Christ with them,” she said. “We pray that nothing would stop them from wanting to share the greatest gift and that they will build real, connected relationships with people unlike them.”
Pray for a softening of hearts in nonbelievers.
“Pray they would realize the absence in their lives and their need for a Savior — hearts ready to receive the gospel,” Muncie said.