Prayer For Unsaved Students In Today’s World
7 Back-to-School Prayers for Students
It’s back-to-school season. And that’s weird to me.
This is only my second year of not going back to school, but it still feels strange. My heart and mind are in sync with the school calendar. And as a student, September seems more the beginning of a new year than January. It’s a new season—new classes, new teachers, new backpacks, new books, new schedule. The longer, lazier days of summer shift into the shorter, sharper days of fall.
When I was a student, the end of the summer season was all about preparation—getting my books, supplies, and calendar ready, gearing up for the new year.
But it’s only in recent years that I’ve realized there’s something else students should prepare as they approach a new school year: their hearts. They need to recalibrate and tune them to the frequency of focused faithfulness. And the way that they do that is through prayer. Intentional prayer.
There’s something else students should prepare as they approach a new school year: their hearts.
So, students (and those who have or serve students), here are seven specific things to pray as you go back to school.
1. Pray for gratitude
Education is a profound privilege. Over 70 million young people don’t have access to it, so if you do, that’s a providential gift from a benevolent God. Do you realize that?
Pray that God would make you grateful for it, that he’d awaken you to the rich blessings he’s bestowed on you. Pray with thanksgiving for the opportunities and privileges he’s given you—and pray that you won’t grow oblivious or hardened to them.
2. Pray for humility
I’m ashamed to admit that, as a student, there were times when I was the know-it-all kid. I was the one who thought she had all the answers, who thought that she and the instructors were intellectual equals. What I regularly lacked (and sorely needed) was humility.
Students, don’t make the same mistakes I made. Pray for God to break any pride in your heart and give you a willingness to submit and grow this year. Pray for a teachable spirit. Pray for protection against self-righteousness and self-pity and arrogance. And pray for empathy and compassion.
3. Pray for witnessing opportunities
Whether your school is public, private, or Christian, whether you attend university or community college, or even if you’re homeschooled, ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel and be a witness. Pray for boldness and clarity. Pray for faithfulness. Pray that God would put people in your life and give you the courage to reach out to them with the message of hope that you hold.
4. Pray for serving opportunities
Pray that God would make you a sacrificial student who’s keenly aware of how you can serve those around you. Pray that he would give you chances to serve your teachers, your classmates, your family, your friends, and whomever you meet—opportunities to comfort the hurting, speak life, encourage, help, heal, love—and then seize those opportunities when they come.
5. Pray for diligence
Pray that God would make you a dedicated, committed student this year. But don’t pray for praise, accolades, achievement, or grades; instead, pray for diligence. Pray that you would remember you’re working for God, not man (Col. 3:23), and that you would prioritize faithfulness over favor.
6. Pray for the people around you
Pray for your teachers, advisors, and coaches—that God would give them wisdom, strength, and grace. Pray for your classmates—that God would prepare their hearts, that he’d save the unsaved, and that they would find joy this year.
Pray for your friends—that they’d be motivated, faithful, and diligent. Pray for those who work at your school—that God would give them patience, delight, and encouragement.
Pray for your family—that God would give them peace in this new season, wisdom in daily life, and contentment in the mundane.
7. Pray for joy
Pray that you’d find happiness in Christ this year. Pray that your life won’t be marked by discouragement, frustration, and anger, but peace and satisfaction. Pray for trust and confidence in your identity in Christ and ask for a greater desire to serve and please him. Pray for joy this year.
And you can pray with confidence, because we know God hears the prayers of his people. “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
Students, call on the Lord this year for help and hope and faith and joy—and watch him answer your prayers.
3 Encouraging Prayers for Students
Our students face a multitude of challenges daily, and they need our encouragement and prayers more than ever. Friends, faith, and schoolwork consume a large portion of their time and concerns. If your child is a student or you know others who are, here are three helpful prayers that you can lift up to God for them often.
A Prayer for Students to Make New Friends
Lord Jesus, school can be a welcome place or a lonely experience for our students. Guide them as they seek to make new friends. Encourage the timid students and give them boldness and strength in knowing they are loved, unique, and created by You. To the insecure, grant confidence so they can be free to help others find the same assurance in You.
Guard our students from those who bully or tease because of their own insecurities. As iron sharpens iron, may they choose friends wisely, always asking You to lead them and guide them in their relationships. Help them to be slow to anger and quick to listen.You have promised to give wisdom when we ask, so prod them to speak up when their words can make a difference. Show our students how to bless their friends, to stand up for them, and to take the initiative in helping others in times of discouragement. Help them understand that friendship is a boomerang.
Kindness and unselfishness given away will return to them as a blessing. And above all, may they always consider You, Lord, as their Best Friend.
A Prayer for Students to Study Well
Lord, bless our students with the kind of study habits that help them do their best. Teach them how to manage their time and energy as good stewards of all You have given them.
Show them how to develop their talents, to find the path You have set before them, and to be courageous and adventurous to try new things and learn new skills. Place our students in the kind of classroom atmosphere that will both challenge them and encourage them, but still be conducive to their particular abilities.
Show them the importance of learning, remembering that You are always with them, leading them as they acknowledge You daily. Eliminate the distractions in their lives that keep them from excellence. Give them persistence and the desire to follow through with each assignment.
When things seem difficult, provide the help they need. Help them to be excited about their studies, to be creative in their endeavors, and to remember Who and Whose they are at all times.
A Prayer for Students to Balance School and Faith
Lord, we want more for our students than mere survival. We pray You will make them outstanding leaders and imitators of Your character, secure in their faith. Our students deal with tests often, not just with their schoolwork, but in their spiritual lives.
Help them to be bold as lions, in the sense that their faith won’t be shaken by those who attack or question it. Give them knowledge of Your Word and time to memorize and meditate often on its biblical truths.
Teach them to respect others’ beliefs without compromising their own.
a tightrope walker, Lord, our students are trying to balance familiar Truth against a host of other unfamiliar voices that are trying to sway their beliefs and make them fall.In a world where values are decreasing, morality is fading, and persecution is increasing, help our students to walk humbly, to honor You daily, and to remain true to their calling in Christ.
Let them be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks them for the hope or confidence they possess and a reason why they have chosen a relationship with You. Help them to let their Light shine at school and wherever they go so that others who observe their attitudes and actions will know that they are the real thing.
When our students make mistakes or feel they have become imbalanced, help them find the courage to admit, “I was wrong. Forgive me,” or “Lord, I need help.” Let them treasure their “difference” as a gentle yet bold believer, never to flaunt it or to hide it because of timidity or embarrassment.
If they encounter challenges that pit their studies against their faith, remind them that You are always on their side and that You are their Wise Counselor, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You are the One who can dispel lies and deceit.
Whether they face fear or danger or simply need comfort, may they always turn to You, the One Who always hears their cries, and the One who will never leave them or forsake them.
5 Encouraging Bible Verses to Stay Motivated
- Matthew 6:33 NIV,But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- Colossians 3:17 NLT,And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
- 1 Peter 3:15 TLB,Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord, and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.
- 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT, So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG,Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
No matter what our students encounter—in the positive experiences and the challenging ones—we can surround them with prayers of deliverance and safety. They need to know more than ever that they are loved, they are accepted, and that Jesus walks beside them daily, helping them as students and young believers to succeed.
Our prayers can make a difference in their lives and help them grow in godly character.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart.
She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com.
You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
This article is part of our Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.Serenity Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Irish Blessings & Prayers
Good Night Prayers
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Protection
Prayer for God’s Help
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Prayer for Strength
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Parenting unsaved adult children with prayer, hope, relationship limitations
I looked at the row of velvet boxes and noticed a cross with a rose nestled next to it. I asked to see the attractive silver ring and bought it minutes later. For the first time in days, I felt a gentle touch of peace.
I'd been feeling only fear and grief as I watched my youngest daughter denounce her faith and rush into sin. Now I had a symbol of hope to cling to. As the father of the prodigal son placed a ring on his son's finger at a “coming home” celebration, one day I hope to do the same for my daughter.
It has been years since my daughter walked away from Jesus Christ. Today we call and visit each other, but it has not been easy. The Bible asks, “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14, NIV).
Since the obvious answer to this is none, how do parents maintain relationships with their adult, unsaved children? I have had to find answers because my daughter does not want to be estranged from her family.
No parent can be blamed for backing away from the incredible hurt a sinning child brings. Watching my baby girl turn into a streetwise woman produced the worst pain of my life.
Even losing my husband to cancer did not bring the kind of anguish this evil has brought. I had to make heartbreaking decisions, and at times I wanted to cut off my feelings for my daughter to ease the pain.
My desire scared me, and I pleaded with God to keep my love for her safe.
He did, and today love is what holds my youngest to our family. Despite the fact that I have had her admitted to a lockdown drug facility, told her to leave my home, and refused to let her move back except for a temporary emergency, she has told me, “I've always known that you love me.”
Accept the relationship's limits
Accepting a shallow relationship with someone who is literally flesh of our flesh is difficult, but sharing our inner selves is rarely possible with unsaved adult children. Since God is the basis of our lives, and they usually don't want to hear about Him, relationships tend to stay on the surface.
My daughter and I often deal with this, especially when either of us is experiencing problems. The comfort one offers doesn't fit the other. Recently my daughter was struggling, and I could only listen and tell her, “I just don't know what to say.”
After I made that statement several times, she snapped, “I know, Mom. You never know what to say to me.”
I could only answer, “Honey, everything I would say to someone going through what you are, I can't say to you. I can't offer to pray or to share Scripture verses that have helped me. I'm at a loss.”
Realize it has all been said
Christian parents of unsaved children earnestly want their sons and daughters to come back to the Lord. As a result, our greatest temptation is to quote one more verse, to say one more God thing, and to remind them one more time that we are praying for them. But they've heard it all.
My daughter grew up in church. She won AWANA awards, performed in church plays, did sign language in worship services, had quiet times, and even led to Christ a friend who today is in Bible college. She knows the truth about God. Nothing I can say or do will push a spiritual button that will “fix” her. Her relationship with God is literally my hands.
Draw the line in your home
Just as parents must respect their adult children's desire not to hear about God, sons and daughters must respect parents. They need to leave their lifestyles outside our homes.
Whether living near or far, my daughter has worked at respecting my home. She knows how I live and rarely pushes the limits. She smokes outside, turns off her foul language, and doesn't bring boyfriends around. But once in a while something happens, and I have to speak to her. I dread it.Our relationship is so fragile that I'm never sure if it will endure the confrontation. I also know it will not survive if she does not respect me and my home.
One counselor at the drug rehabilitation center put it this way: “You cannot control your daughter, but you can control your life and your home.”
Keep communication open
When a relationship has pain in its past and shallowness in its present, maintaining communication is difficult. A wrong word or a thoughtless act easily breaks it. Sometimes this means estrangement. Other times it means an inner shutdown; we talk, but there is no heart behind our words. Either way, communication stops.
The only person who has ever cussed at me or slammed a phone down in my ear is my youngest daughter. The pain and anger this behavior triggers does not make me want to call her back. And for a while, sometimes for days, I don't.
God never lets it end there. At some point after our emotions cool, one of us calls the other. I call to ask her to forgive me for what provoked her behavior, or she calls to apologize for her actions.
I pray that no matter what lies ahead this will always be the case. No matter who is right or wrong, I pray that I, the one who knows God's love, will set the example of keeping the communication open.
Be diligent in prayer
Continuing to pray year after year is not easy. The words we say become rote. The faith to believe them grows weak. The discipline to keep going fades as there is no evidence of change. Prayer is our only place of power. It is one thing we can do that will make a difference. Regardless of how much time passes, that truth does not change.
all parents dealing with a son's or daughter's extended rejection of God, I have said rote words, prayed in unbelief, and lacked discipline. God always gives me a way them. He pricks my conscious, brings a person of prayer into my life, or allows trouble. He knows, even if I forget that, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (Jas. 5:16, NIV).
Find common ground
With our hearts confined to prayer and our words stuck on surface issues, time with our unsaved children can often be stressful. What do we say? What do we do? How do we react? I have found no easy answers to these questions. Even though I pray a lot before my daughter visits me or I visit her, I can still fret about spending time together. Looking for common ground has helped.
We both 1960s music and dolls. We enjoy doing crafts, shopping, and eating at fun restaurants. These are the things I concentrate on when we are together. They strengthen our limited bond instead of taxing it.
Not long ago, I found the cross and rose ring I bought for my daughter 10 years ago. Black tarnish covered its once shiny surface. Staring at it, I half prayed and half cried, “Oh God, it's just her. So much darkness.”My pain made me think of cleaning the ring and giving to my other daughter who loves God. But immediately He stopped my thought and reminded me of my hope. Brushing my tears away, I said, “You're right, Lord. This ring is for my daughter's coming home party.”