When I was in college in the 90s Conan O’Brien and his sidekick on Late Night, Andy Richter, had a bit where they looked to the future … the year 2000. In it they’d make these goofy predictions connected to the news of the day. “The year 2000,” the phrase they kept repeating, someone seemed far away even though it was a just a few years into the future.
It’s hard to believe that this year’s college freshmen moving into their dorms were born in 2000. For them, the United States has always had troops in Afghanistan. Gay marriage has always been legal somewhere. They rarely actually visit a bank. Robert Downey, Jr., has always been an Iron Man. Perhaps the hardest to fathom, Big Brother has (somehow) always been on TV (aside: You people doing this must be stopped. For more examples to make you feel older, click here.)
I’ve written before about how important Baptist collegiate ministry was to me. My story is a little different in that I didn’t have the bells-and-whistles, always-active youth group in high school. That setup I found at college attracted me to my community where I met new friends and was discipled.
However, I also saw how easy it was to not go to church when there wasn’t a parent urging you on Sunday morning to get out of bed. Joe Graham, state missionary in Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministries, recently sent along a 10-point pray list written by Emily Tillman Hamilton. Emily is a New Orleans Seminary graduate and former intern with Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministries.
10 Ways to Pray for College Students this August
1. Pray that they hold on to the truth of their salvation. So many collegians “take a break” from their faith during college. We know that John 15 says that we must abide in God in order to produce fruit. Pray that they are able to do so in a collegiate context.
2. Pray that they will have someone to invest in them. Scripture points us to see some implications for believers living life together. The books of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy show the relationship between Paul and Timothy. Our collegians need someone to help them grow in the same way that Paul helped Timothy grow into an effective minister.
3. Pray that they will invest in someone else. Not only did Timothy learn from Paul, he poured himself out to others. Discipleship comes through relationships. Our college students need to be helping others grow. That is part of the Great Commission, after all.
4. Pray that they will share the Gospel. The nations are on our campuses. May our Christians students share. Regularly. Passionately. Boldly.
5. Pray that they will encounter the Gospel regularly. God reveals Himself in so many ways. Pray that lost students would become aware of God around them.
6. Pray they will find people who live out the Gospel. Maybe it’s a roommate or group project participant, but there are believers who are living out their faith. Pray that they will intersect with non-believers.
7. Pray God will move in their hearts. Only the Holy Spirit can work in someone’s heart. God uses His people to reveal Himself and teach others, but may it begin in their lives with an openness towards the Gospel.
For international students:
8. Pray they will find safety in the body of Christ. As they come to America, many international students are overwhelmed by the changes and challenges. The body of Christ has a unique opportunity to offer truth in these moments.
9. Pray for their families’ hearts to be molded towards the Gospel. Many international students do not follow Christ because they do not want to hurt their families. May God work in their lives as well.
10. Pray for their salvation. Pray boldly and with the confidence that God is who He said He is: The God of Salvation.
Supporting and being active in your collegiate ministry is important. But, it begins with prayer. Let’s get our hearts in line with God’s and seek how to minister effectively to collegians.