When parents see their children off to college, their offspring are no longer children, even though they are still the parent’s kids. These teens and twenties are stepping out into the world at large with a whole big range of new things to discover, new temptations to overcome, and new difficulties and challenges to learn how to handle.
Christian parents are aware of the need to cover their children in prayer from cradle to grave, and college is no exception! Prayer is one of the best tools in a parent’s arsenal to help teens prosper throughout their lives – whatever that may look like in each teen’s life.
While most prayers will be equally appropriate for both young men and young ladies, there are some that might be more specific, because while many things are the same for either, they do each have the potential to face specific challenges that are gender related.
Prayer as Your Child Leaves Home
It can be incredibly difficult, as a parent, to send a child off to college. For many, it is their first time to spend any length of time away from home. For some, the child may be attending a local college and living at home, but college is still a new experience and there will still be a lot of time away from home.
“Heavenly Father, as You blessed me with this child, please bless this child who is leaving home to begin a life with less input from me as a parent. Help my young person to follow You and to know Your presence always. Help me as we move into a new type of personal relationship, to let go more but still be available when needed. Give my child confidence in independence and help my child to glorify You in all decisions made.”
Prayer for Faith & Dedication
One thing that Christian parents always desire to see in their offspring is a continuation of following Christ that was learned in the home as the child grew up. With so many things pulling in other ways, this is one area of a young person’s life that can often be set aside. Parents who pray for their children to maintain their faith and devotion will often see their children continue in the faith in which they were reared.
“Dear God, You have been with us as we raised our child, and You know what the commitment is in my child’s life. Please draw my child and encourage a continued commitment to following You and serving You as has been done until now. Remind my child to communicate with You through Bible reading and prayer and nudge my young person to share You with others in the school and at work.”
Prayer for Time Management
This can be one of the most difficult parts of college – learning to use time efficiently. With many college students needing to work to pay their bills as well as class time, social activities, and homework, it is easy for time to get away and for deadlines to creep up and appear suddenly. Young people can use all the prayer they can get in this area!
“Lord God, please be with my child in learning how to use time efficiently. With all that my young one needs to get completed and as little time as is available, please keep my child focused on what needs to be done when. Help all deadlines to be met, either on time or ahead of time.”
Prayer for Tests
While kids have tests in school, the tests in college are a bit higher stakes and a bit more difficult, generally speaking. College students have more to remember and more trick questions, often. Keeping college students in prayer during test times can only be helpful.
“Dear Father, our child has to take tests this week. Please bring to remembrance all the content that has been studied and taught this semester. Give calm and peace during the test times and help my child to achieve the success desired in the grades received on these tests.”
Prayer for Relationships
Many college students are in search of serious relationships as they further their academic education. Also, there will be new friends, even in the absence of romantic entanglements. It is possible that friends made in college may be lifelong friends. Still, there are also bullies and negative influences, even in college, so it is important for young people to be choosy, which is not always easy.
“Dear Lord, please be with my child and surround my college student with good influences and good friends. Keep the negative and unkind people away and give my child positive influences and friends who will encourage proper behavior and a deeper relationship with You. Give my child friends for life so they can be there for each other, and if it is Your will, please bring my child a good potential spouse so they can get to know each other before beginning a future together.”
Prayer for Purity
It is a common stereotype that college students do a lot of partying and hooking up for one-night stands and such. Even if the young person is at a Christian college, the temptations still exist, even if the opportunities are somewhat fewer. Sometimes it is only the help of God that keeps kids from getting themselves into bad situations.
Prayer for Son
“Heavenly Father, please keep my son pure. Help him to police his thoughts and eyes and keep them on You rather than dwelling on or lusting after others. Keep him safe from false accusations and help him to keep himself from situations where such a thing could be a possibility. Help him to keep his hands to himself and be pure in speech, thoughts, and actions.”
Prayer for Daughter
“Our Father, be with my daughter as she attends college away from us. Keep her safe and protect her. Help her to be pure in thoughts and actions and keep her from situations where her purity could become compromised. Protect her from potential attackers and help her to defend herself if necessary. Help her to keep her hands to herself and treat others as she would want to be treated.”
Prayer for Decisions
Decisions abound. From what major to choose and what classes to take to what is for dinner, there are big and small decisions constantly. This can be difficult for some college students – even the minor decisions can feel suffocating at times. Additionally, making wrong decisions can make life very difficult following.
“Dear Jesus, please help my child to make the right decisions, no matter how big or small the choice is. Help my young person to choose wisely and to weigh the options of large and important decisions carefully before deciding on the course of action.”
There will doubtless be more situations for a college student that will need to be lifted up in prayer, but these are some of the most common. God wants His children to come to him and ask Him for what is needed and this is an area where His help is definitely needed, so parents should not be afraid to take everything to the Father in prayer.