10 Prayers for the Graduate

Debbie McDaniel

The season of graduation and new beginnings can bring a mixed bag of emotions for many of us. Though it’s a time of great celebration and fresh starts, the letting go process can bring some pain too. Parenting is often just about that – a constant learning to let go; it’s a journey through the years. And whether they’re taking their next steps towards kindergarten, we’re watching them head off to college, or straight into their first big job, it can be difficult for us as parents.

But there’s hope. Our children are His. No matter where they go, or how old they are, they are in His care. They are in His hands. He has great purpose for them in this life and that's the very best place we can let them go. In a dark world, that can be hard sometimes. We often want to keep holding on, tightly. It’s a daily process to learn to let go, through all stages of parenting.

But as we entrust them straight into the care of our powerful and loving God, we can be assured that He sees, He knows, and is there with them, always. He is able to care for our most precious ones, even far better than we ever could on our own. 

His hands are big. To carry. To hold. To protect. To cover. To lead. And He loves each one of them more than we could even imagine.

Never underestimate the importance of speaking His blessing and truth over the lives of your children, no matter what their ages. Prayer is so powerful, and God’s words are true. He promises in Isaiah 55:11 that His word will never return empty, without accomplishing great things. He reminds us that He hears our prayers and is always at work on our behalf, and on behalf of those we love. So we can send them out… covered in prayer, rich in blessing, with great hope and a future in store. Here are 10 prayers for the graduate.

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1. A Prayer for Wisdom

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

Dear God, we ask that you help our children to walk in your wisdom and grace. We pray for spiritual eyes and discernment in all things. Help them to be wise leaders and influencers in this generation, not conformed to the world, but transformed by your power. We ask that you would equip them with all that they need to make a difference for your purposes. Help them to live as salt and light in a dark world that so desperately needs to know your truth. We ask for your power to help them to walk continually in honesty and integrity. Build within them deep godliness, that they would be more concerned about their character than their reputation. We pray that they would seek to bring honor to You throughout their lives, that they would have a vision and heart for the world. Extend their boundaries and give them incredible influence with people and nations. Make their hearts and spirits open to every plan and purpose you have for them, and to be willing to boldly go wherever You call.

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2. A Prayer for Protection

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Dear God, we ask you for your powerful protection over our children as they go different places and embark on new journeys in life. We ask that you would watch over their paths, and keep their footsteps secure. Protect their coming and going. We ask that you would cover them from behind and guard them from all evil. We pray that no weapon formed against them will prosper and that you would be their constant shield and defender from the enemy’s attacks. Please hide them in your shadow of your wings; be their refuge and security in every place they go. We pray that you would give them a deep awareness of sin, that they would be quick to confess when they’ve done wrong and have the heart to make it right. We ask for freedom from condemnation or fear. We pray that you would help them when they face temptations in this life, remembering that you are always there and able to help them overcome. We ask you to guard their steps from evil, give them diligence in turning away from what is wrong, that they would be bold to say “no” to what is wrong and “yes” to what is right. 

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3. A Prayer for Blessing and Favor

“The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Dear God, we thank you that your huge favor, blessing, and powerful light surrounds our children. We pray that your presence would continually shine on them, and that you would be gracious to them and give them great peace. We ask that you would help them to always know how very much they are loved, especially by you. Make them constantly aware that you are always with them; fill them with the faith to believe your words are true and that your Spirit guides them. We ask that they would find full confidence in the security of your love and care for them. We pray that you would give them health physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and would protect them from disease, illness, or any harm to their minds and spirits. We ask boldly for you to equip them for every purpose you have for their lives, and give them constant endurance to run the race well.

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4. A Prayer for Guidance and Direction

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Dear God, we pray that you would give our children wisdom and direction in making decisions, and in each new situation and journey you have for them now. Teach them to listen closely to your voice, that they would have a heart to obey your Word and have a desire to make the right choices. We pray that these we love so much would walk faithfully and diligently in all your ways. We ask that you would make their footsteps firm, that your Word would be a constant lamp for their feet and a light to their path. May they sense the freshness of your Spirit over their lives in amazing ways, and may they be strengthened, instilled with hope, for the new roads you have in store. We ask for your wisdom and clear direction over their lives, that you would give them understanding beyond their years. We ask for you to open doors that need to be opened and close every one that should be shut tight. Allow every gift and treasure you have placed inside their lives to grow, develop, and flourish to bring you glory.

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5. A Prayer for Peace

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Dear God, we ask for your Holy Spirit to cover our children in your great peace and security. We pray that their thoughts would not be drawn to worry and fear, but instead by filled with the strength and confidence of your power every day. Help them to believe without question that you are surely with them, in whatever they may face, that they are never alone. Help them to know that you are mighty within them. We pray that you would plant deep inside their hearts a sense of overflowing gratitude, that they would be free from the love of money, and would walk in the freedom of contentment with an amazing spirit of giving to others. We pray that out of their lives would flow service, love, generosity, and compassion in a world that desperately needs to see your goodness in action. And when fear and anxiety battle against them, we pray that your words of truth will seal them in like a shield, giving them strength, and guarding their hearts and minds in your powerful peace.

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6. A Prayer for Godly Friendships

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

Dear God, we pray that you would surround our children with godly friends and relationships, both now and in the future. Guard them from those with wrong motives and harmful influences. We pray for their future spouse, if you lead them to marry someday, that you would be at work in their lives in powerful ways even now. We ask that you would give them kind and compassionate hearts, that they would see the needs of those around them and extend love and goodness. Help them to offer your forgiveness and grace to others, knowing how very much we also need it for ourselves. Give them the wisdom to look beyond outward appearances to the heart within. We pray that you would surround them with friends and leaders who would challenge them to press closer to you.

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7. A Prayer for Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

Dear God, we pray that our children would be strong and courageous, believing that you have called them and are always with them. We ask that they would be bold to stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone. Equip them for every purpose and journey you have in store, so that they would live as mighty warriors in this life for your purposes. We pray that when they encounter various struggles and difficult times, when they experience loss and things don’t go their way, that you would teach them greater perseverance through it all. Build deeper character, stronger faith, and use any hardship in their lives for ultimate good, turning it around for blessing instead. We ask for your powerful boldness and courage to face every challenge set before them with the confidence and peace that can only come from your spirit. Raise up greatness within their lives, greatness in this generation. May they be willing to stand strong and true, passionate for you, believing that you have designed them for purpose and good works, which you have planned and prepared in advance for them to do.

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8. A Prayer for Hope and Purpose

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Dear God, we thank you that you have indeed given our children great hope and a future. We pray for the days you have purposed for them to walk in, every single one, and ask you to fill them with your spirit and power as they live out their destiny. We ask that you would inspire them to never be afraid to dream big, run strong, and soar high. We pray that nothing be allowed to hold them back in this life. May they fulfill every calling you have on their lives. Strengthen them to live a life of so much love, passion, influence, hope, and determination that this world is changed for the better. May they always know that anything is possible to him who believes, for our God is always greater. May they have a deep desire to serve faithfully and a heart to work hard. Shine over them. Fill them with your spirit. Bless them with your favor and peace.

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9. A Prayer for Joy and Laughter

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3)

Dear God, we pray for laughter and joy to fill the days of these we love so very much. Bring a great love for humor in and through their lives, that they would know what it is to laugh deeply and often. We ask that they would smile at the future and live with a sense of adventure and expectation in all that you have in store. We thank you for the reminder that the “joy of the Lord is our strength,” so even for the tough days, would you remind them that their joy is never based on outward circumstances, it’s only to be found in you. We pray that your praise would always be on their lips, that you would give them great skill in all that you’ve called them to do, and their lives would be a constant reflection of your light and joy, for your glory.

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10. A Prayer for a Heart to Walk Closely with God

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9-11)

Dear God, more than anything else, we ask that our children’s hearts would be constantly drawn to you. We pray that they would walk daily in the presence of your Spirit. Give them spiritual discernment and the ability to see through the enemy’s lies and step over his traps. May they always know the great power of prayer and choose to be warriors for your Kingdom. Help them by the power of your Holy Spirit to walk faithfully and diligently in your ways. We ask that they would have a love and desire for your Word and an unquenchable thirst for your presence in their lives. May their hearts and spirits be tender towards you. We pray that you would give them spiritual insight, wisdom, and deep understanding of your truth, even far beyond their years. Thank you that your timing is perfect. We pray that you would direct their steps, that your plans for them would prosper; that every place you have determined for them to walk would be paved clear. We ask that you would remind them every day how very much you love them, that they would find security and confidence fully in you, knowing that you are trustworthy and true.

 And in all of these things we ask in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Related: 20 Inspiring Gifts for Your Special Graduate

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