A Prayer for All Graduates
By Debbie McDaniel
“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
The season of Graduation and new beginnings can bring a mixed bag of emotions to many of us. Though it’s a time of celebration and fresh starts, the letting go process can bring some pain too. Yet parenting is often just about that – the letting go. And whether it’s letting go as they head to Kindergarten, or letting go as they head to college, or straight off into their first job, it can be difficult.
But there’s hope to remember.
Our children – are His. No matter where they go, or how old they are, they are in His care. They are in His hands. And He has great purpose for them in this life – and that’s the very best place we can let them go. We’re entrusting them, again, straight into the safe care of a powerful and loving God. And that’s the safest place they can be.
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 ever imagine.
So here’s to great year ahead of God’s favor and blessing.
Prayer for Graduates:
We pray for our graduates today and lift them before you. We thank you so much for these we love and for the work you are continuing to do in their lives. They are a gift to us and to many others. And during this season of new beginnings, we ask that you would make their way clear. We ask that you would keep their footsteps firm and remind them that you are with them, always. May they sense the freshness of your Spirit over their lives in amazing ways, may they be strengthened, instilled with hope, for the new roads you have in store.
And today, again, we release our children straight into your tender care. Because we know that’s the best place they could ever be. We thank you in advance for all you have in store, for this day, for this year, for their lives.
We pray for protection, for your covering, that you would surround their lives as with a shield. Protect their coming and going. We ask that you would help them to live aware in a dark world and keep harm or evil intent far away. We ask that you would hide them in the safety of your powerful presence.
We ask for your wisdom and clear direction over their lives, that you would give them understanding 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 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.
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.
We ask that you would teach them your ways and fill them with an unquenchable desire to learn your word. Give them a compassionate spirit, and 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.
We ask for your peace to cover them. We ask for laughter and joy to fill their days. We pray that you would give them boldness and courage to face challenges set before them, with the confidence and peace that can only come from your spirit.
We ask that you would raise up greatness in their lives, greatness in this generation, 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.
Be a lamp for their feet, and a light to their path. Shine over them. Fill them with your spirit. Bless them with your favor and peace.
In Jesus’ Name,
“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
Find more by Debbie at www.debbiemcdaniel.com, Facebook, or Twitter.
As graduation season approaches, we need to intensify our prayers for graduating students. Consider the following prayer suggestions:
- Pray for clear direction and wisdom regarding the future.
- Most students will be experiencing adult freedoms for the first time, which create new challenges. The world will bombard them with liberties that may have been taboo for them a short time ago. Pray for them to handle temptations.
- The students who go directly into the job market will have to assimilate into workplace environments that will include people of all ages and backgrounds. They may come in contact with unethical business practices, crude and vulgar language, or other less obvious behaviors. Pray for them to stand firm in their beliefs.
- New responsibilities will create new burdens for them financially and socially. They may have to pay for insurance, travel expenses, continuing education expenses, clothing, etc. Pray for God to meet their financial needs.
- Pray for those who will be continuing their education. Pray they will take their education seriously and learn skills that will be helpful later in life.
Prayer for Graduating Students – An Example “Father God, we thank you for these graduating students. We pray that you will give them direction, purpose, and perseverance as they enter the next phrase of their lives. Give them clearness of mind to move forward into the plans and purposes that You have for them. May these young people gain wisdom from You and have discernment for proper behavior. Raise up Christian mentors for these graduates so they have someone who holds them accountable for their actions. We pray that they will rise above ungodly behaviors and have the boldness to stand up for what is right wherever they work, study, or socialize. Give them wisdom to spend their time and money wisely. Grant them success for their efforts at every turn and guide their feet to follow Your ways. May they be eager to do good and not evil all the days of their lives. Use them in might ways, Dear Father. In Jesus name, amen.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
At the college where I serve, we are fast approaching commencement. I am always amazed when I watch the graduates walk across the stage. How can it be that you are graduating already? It seems like they just got to campus yesterday!
I have become familiar enough with these students during their time in college that I almost think of them as my own children and I feel mixed emotions. I am happy for them, excited for their futures and for what they will accomplish. I am proud of who they are becoming. And I’m a little bit sad they won’t be here next year.
This year my wife and I have two children graduating—one from high school and one from college—so those emotions hit even closer to home.
These soon-to-be graduates do not yet know much of what the next chapter holds. They may still be looking for a job. Moving to a new community. Wondering who their friends will be. How they will pay their bills. These are often times of high anxiety for students and for their parents.
I find this passage from Philippians 1, a wonderful prayer and assurance as I think about the graduates in my life.
In the opening section Paul says, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” (v. 4-6) We can pray for our graduates with joy because of our confidence. Not necessarily confidence that they will land a great job, that they will immediately find a great group of friends, or that their lives will be free from trouble or pain. Rather we have confidence in a richer, greater truth–that from long before these children were born, God planned and began to work in them something good, and that he promises he will see that good through to its completion.
Just that assurance might be enough, but Paul goes on to strengthen his claim. He says it is right for him to have such confidence “since I have you in my heart and…you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (v. 7-8)
If we were able, wouldn’t we all see to it that our loved ones were kept from falling? And if we would do so, will not God do it, and do so more perfectly than we ever could?
Of course, we pray that our graduates will be kept safe, for good work habits and grades, that they will form lasting, quality friendships, that they will have meaningful careers and strong families—and these are all good. But Paul’s prayer is for ends that we know are most precious: that your love may abound more and more…that you may be able to discern what is best…that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit or righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. (v. 9-11)
As this academic year nears its close, I encourage you to use this passage as you pray for and with your graduates. We know their paths will not always be smooth or straight. There will be happiness and pain, success and failure, times when the way forward is clear and times when it seems shrouded in fog. Yet we can pray with thanks and joy, confident that the good work started in them will be completed, that they will be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. Their lives are in hands bigger than ours. All glory and praise to God!