It’s both exciting and scary to drop your child off at college at the end of summer. On one hand, it’s thrilling to see our kids pursuing their passions and studies, meeting dormmates and roommates for the new year, and enjoying the rites of college football or sorority rush.
On the other hand, we’re releasing them to a world we can’t control. They’ll decide not only what classes to take but whether to go to class at all. They’ll decide what friends to hang with and what activities they’ll do with those friends. College is often a catalyst for kids to reevaluate what they’ve been taught at home and the values they’ve been raised with. They’ll be exposed to partying, people and philosophies and their response to all three will shape not just their next four years but who they are when they graduate.
But we parents have a weapon in this war. Prayer is not a last resort when we get a late-night phone call but our first opportunity to fight for them.
As our kids go back to college or move onto campus for the first time, we can intentionally pray for them. These are prayers you will want to bookmark to pray for your college child throughout the year or share with fellow parents of kids headed to college. Let’s look at 10 prayers for your college student.
1. Prayer for the New College Student
Dear Lord, I pray for my child who is stepping into a new season on a new college campus this year. I pray You will help him with all of the logistics of getting classes, meeting professors, setting up financial aid and getting moved into housing. Surround him with friends who will challenge him to walk more closely with You and guide him to a church where he can serve you while at college. Help him to work hard, to study well and to use this time to develop skills and gifts for Your purposes. As he encounters new challenges, help him love You with his whole heart. As he hears different philosophies, help him love you with his whole mind. As the enemy prowls around tempting him with all manner of worldliness, help him love You with all his strength. Give him courage to follow hard after You and to glorify You where You’ve placed him. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2. Prayer for God’s Direction
Lord, I pray my child will have eyes to see You and ears to hear You as she navigates big decisions about her major, internships, relationships and her future. Please bring clarity and to her decisions and peace as she makes them. Help her to seek Your will above her own. Help her to know the purpose You have for her. Help her to be patient as You reveal Your perfect will for her and help her to lean not on her own understanding but to trust You to make all of her paths straight. Help her discern when others are speaking wisdom from You. Open doors widely and close them loudly as You lead her. In Jesus’ name, amen.
3. Prayer for Provision
Dear God, I know You promise to provide every need according to Your riches in Christ Jesus. So I ask you to meet the financial needs of my child while he’s in college. Provide for his housing, for transportation needs, for his tuition and books. Help my child to honor you with his money, to give cheerfully, and to see Your hand as You meet his needs. Your eye is on the sparrow and You gloriously clothe the lilies of the field and I know You will also care for my child. Help us not to worry but to trust You and Your timing and Your ways. Thank You God, that You already have all provision and will meet every need for the schooling You’ve called my child to. In Jesus’ name, amen.
4. Prayers for a Strong Christian Walk
Lord, I pray my child will feel Your strong presence as she ventures out to college. Draw her to You and give her a hunger for Your Word that isn’t satisfied anywhere else. Help her find a local church where she can grow, be discipled and serve and help her dig deep in Bible study. Help her to guard her own personal time for Bible study and prayer when so much else tries to crowd in and keep her from You. As she meets challenges and struggles, help her turn to You. I pray she will stay rooted in You, will flourish as a light for You on campus and will know how wide and long and high and deep Your love is so that her soul is filled to the full measure of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
5. Prayer for Doing Hard Things
God, this next year will bring challenges for my child. Perhaps challenges in her faith, her actions, or her studies. Help her to do hard things that glorify You. Help her to stand alone against peer pressure. Help her to stand up for righteousness. Help her to trust Your promises when circumstances are saying different or her emotions are whispering lies. Help her to manage tasks that are outside her skillset or comfort zone. And help her to be an influence for Your kingdom where You plant her this semester. In Jesus’ name, amen.
6. Prayer for Finding Friends
Lord, You tell us that bad company corrupts good character and so I pray that You will bring true friends for my son at college. Help my son choose wise friends who will help him grow more like You, who reflect Your heart and will and who glorify You. I pray that my child’s roommates would also be godly, that deep friendship would take root and that the time spent in their dorm or apartment would be edifying. I pray that these friends would be a source of great joy and laughter, and that they would spur each other on to do good things and live for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
7. Prayer for Sexual Purity
Dear God, my heart is broken over the world that waits to entice my child into all kinds of sexual impurity. At the outset, I ask You to powerfully draw my child to You so that Your voice is louder than any other he hears at college. I ask You to surround him with likeminded friends and peers who would encourage purity and help him keep wise and healthy boundaries. I pray that he would stay in Your word where he can daily renew his mind from the lies of this world. I ask You to strengthen him, to keep him from yielding to any temptation and to clearly open his eyes to the way out when temptation comes. May he seek Your will and Your power in any temptation. In Jesus’ name, amen.
8. Prayer for Managing Time
Lord, You have given my child enough time to accomplish every one of Your purposes this semester. I pray he will seek You first as each day starts and learn to let You order his steps. Help him be a good steward of his time and bless the time he puts into study and work to make it effective. Help him sleep well and not to be stressed or overwhelmed with his schedule. Help him discern unforeseen interruptions that are from You while keeping him from harmful distractions. Give him insight into how to use his time well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
9. Prayer for their Future Spouse
Lord, I pray that You will bring a godly spouse for my child in Your perfect timing. I pray she will trust You and wait for Your specific will. I pray she’ll pursue You and keep from any relationships that would distract her or keep her from following hard after You. I pray even now that her spouse is also drawing close to You and also following hard after You. Bring godly men and women into both of their lives to disciple them, give them a vision for marriage and prepare them for marriage and parenthood when that comes. May my child’s relationships glorify You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
10. Prayer for Protection
As I release my child, Father, I pray for her physical protection. Thank You Lord, for hemming her in behind and before and for keeping Your hand on her. Keep her safe at night, as she walks on campus, and as she goes to places that are new and unknown to her. Guard her health and keep her physically strong this semester. I also pray for spiritual protection. I pray she will stay grounded in Your word, that her faith will guard her mind, that Your righteousness will guard her heart and that she will take every thought captive to Your truth. Thank You for being her strong defender and her refuge. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Lisa Appelo is a single mom to 7, young widow, author & crazy in love with Christ. She shares soul-deep encouragement for the life of faith at LisaAppelo.com. Check out her free Bible study & journal 100 Days with Christ here. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.
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