Graduation is quickly approaching. Those who are about to receive their degrees are also about to move into a new phase of life. This experience is both exciting and terrifying, whether or not plans have officially been made. In response, I would like to offer a prayer for graduating seniors.
Our God in Heaven,
Thank You for blessing us with these people. Thank You for giving us time with some truly amazing humans. Thank You for the friends, acquaintances and peers that have influenced us in ways we may not even be aware of. Thank You for the conversations, meals, events, late nights, study sessions and weekends that we have been able to spend with these people. Thank You for creating these humans.
I pray that You continue to push them in the direction You want their life to go. And I pray that they follow without too much of a fight. I pray that the coming years would be full of new opportunities and that You show them parts of themselves they have yet to discover. I pray that in moments of stress, anxiety or fear, You would be there to comfort and guide them.
I pray that those who do not know what after-graduation holds for them don’t fear the coming months. I pray that You would open up doors for them and motivate them to try new things. I pray that they would take advantage of this time that they get to spend freely. I pray that they would get to spend more time with You and build a strong relationship with you that will last a lifetime.
I pray that those who do know what after-graduation holds for them are able to rejoice in You. I pray that they take time to reflect and that if they find that what they are doing isn’t their calling, they are able to walk away. I pray for ears to listen to Your voice and the ability to discern the right path for them.
I pray for strength, wisdom and discernment. I pray for grace, joy and peace. I pray that all of the graduating seniors know how much You love them and how much we love them. I pray that they will walk across the stage without fear of what’s on the other side. I pray that they are aware of Your presence on graduation day. I pray that they know how proud You are of them.
I pray that no matter where life takes them, they know You are with them. I pray that they know how much love and support surrounds them from family, friends and peers. I pray that they remember the people and places they are leaving behind and that they remember to come visit.
Most of all, I pray that regardless of all circumstances, they know that You are always on their side, and You have a plan for them.
“‘How do I reach my co-workers?’ asked Dani (pictured on my back), as she contemplated how to advance the Gospel in her school. I sat across from her amazed by how much she’s spiritually matured since she was a freshman in my Bible Study a few short years ago.”
“Dani is now a senior and is in the last phase of her Special Education degree: Student Teaching. She graduates in December, and though she knows her time is limited in her current school, she recognizes that she has been placed there to make an impact for Christ. THIS is one of the reasons I love giving my life away to college students! One day they will graduate and have ministry opportunities amongst their co-workers. Students, like Dani, are being trained to be disciple-making missionaries for their future jobs! Please pray for courage and opportunities for Dani to be a light for Christ in her school. Pray for the Lord to provide a job after she graduates and for Dani to be a life-long laborer for the Kingdom in her workplace and in every other context.” -Amanda Garcia, Texas A&M
I read this little blurb a few months ago now. But it stuck with me. You know why I think it stuck around when the majority of things I read are quietly forgotten? Here’s why…
I did some digging and found that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 1,855,000 students are projected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2015 (source: Seriously. Almost 2 million!
Hundreds, if not thousands, of those students will have been deeply impacted by a Navigator ministry by the time they toss their cap in the air. Most of those will have received significant training through that ministry on how to reach out to others and help them walk with Jesus. Some of them will graduate and enter a full-time ministry position, but the majority won’t do vocational ministry after they graduate. The hope of the staff (like Amanda) and older students who have poured into them is that they would take what they’ve learned and apply it out in the workplace.
4 Ways you can Pray for Graduating Seniors
Will you – parent, student, accountant, photographer, pastor or missionary alike – join Amanda and the rest of the Navigator staff who are currently praying for the graduating students in their ministries?
- Pray that as God sends these shiny new grads into the world, they would continue to lean on Jesus to sustain them and then reach out to their co-workers with boldness and love.
- Pray that 2015 would be a year in which the graduating class of college students would let the Holy Spirit not only make ripples through them in their workplaces, but even waves – waves that sweep multitudes of individuals into His loving arms.
- Pray for their perseverance through the lean and difficult times, that they wouldn’t let discouraging circumstances get the better of them.
- Pray that the LORD would bring alongside our grads other likeminded and like-hearted individuals who would labor with them in their workplace.
“Faith enabled Moses to choose God’s will, for when he became of age he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” Hebrews 11:24 (TPT and NKJV)
Right now, thousands of students across the nation will soon be graduating from high school. And thousands of parents are on high alert, battling all sorts of emotion. I know…I am one of them! Our babies will soon be leaving the nest. Are they equipped to survive and thrive in the world?
For Christian parents who are lovers of God, we ask deeper questions. And we pray.
Will the children God has given us embrace their identity in Christ and live out the call of God on their lives? Will the faith modeled in our homes and lives continue to grow in theirs?
The good news is that God has given us a template to pray for our graduating children. The example we see in Moses are qualities we can anchor our faith in!
“(Moses’) parents saw he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s command.” Heb 11:23
Parents, we need to believe God is longing for us to agree with Him in seeing our children walk in victory as they leave home. We cannot afford to just “hope for the best”, covering our eyes in denial as we send them off to the Egypt’s of our day…the college campus.
We need to resist fear and replace it with faith….faith in God’s power that directed and protected Moses’ heart as he transitioned into his future.
Moses’ parents did not succumb to the fear of what the world at that time was threatening to do….rip off the internal fabric of his identity. Moses was a child of God’s people, His chosen nation….and God had big plans for this kid. Our children are set apart as well. However, the enemy wants to steal our child’s destiny and sense of who they are as they dawn the doors of the college campus.
We can pray with confidence and authority and stop Satan’s work, asking for purity and cleansing in our graduating child’s life.
Here are 6 points of prayer for graduating Seniors:
- I pray that ______will grow strong in their identity in Christ. I confess this (see footnote below) over my graduating Senior and pray they will confess these scriptural truths over themselves as well, being proactive in their faith, “that they may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17)
- Lord, I pray that ______”will choose faith’s certainty above the momentary enjoyment of sin’s pleasures.” (Heb 11:25, TPT)
- I ask that______will esteem and value spiritual riches and the things of God more than temporal, earthly riches. (Heb 11:26)
- I pray that _____will look with wonder, not on the immediate, but on the ultimate….faith’s great reward! (Heb 11:26, TPT) I pray _____will begin their young adult life with the end in mind. Help them look away from everything else in order to look intently on one object….Jesus Christ.
- I pray ____would see the invisible God. Lord, reveal Yourself to my graduating Senior in magnificent ways. Open the eyes of _____heart.
- I ask you , Lord, that _____would be faithful to do what they have been taught and trained to do in our home. (Heb 11:28)
Footnote— “Who I Am In Christ” (www.prayertoday.org)
I am not who I feel like I am. I am not who I think I am. I am not who others think I am. I am what God says I am! Therefore, I will declare His truth concerning me.
I am the head and not the tail. I am a victor, not a victim. I am strong and not weak. I am a saint, not a sinner. I am a child of God, not a child of the devil. I am free, not a slave to sin. I am clean, not dirty.
I am above and not below. I am whole, not broken. I am rich, not poor. I am wise, not ignorant. I am adopted, not abandoned. I am strong, not weak. I am kept by the power of God.
I am able, not disabled. I am seated in heavenly places in Christ. I am a joint heir with Christ. I am more than a conqueror. I am a warrior, not a wimp. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
No evil can strike me, and no plague can come near my dwelling. I am safe and secure, kept in the palm of His hand. He that began a good work in me will perform it until the day Jesus comes again. I am a temple of God. I am indwelt and filled with the Holy Spirit. I am a clean vessel sanctified and ready for the Master’s use.
Click here for Beth Bennett’s Blog, She Smiles
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.”
Sending off our Seniors
One of the great joys of congregational life is watching children grow up in and through the church. When these young people graduate high school, the church has a special role to play in honoring and sending them off. Whether students are headed to college, the military, service work, or the working world, many churches mark the occasion by giving gifts. Here are some ideas to consider:
Common English Bible – Study Bible
When this new translation was released several years back, it drew excellent reviews. The Study Bible version, which includes scholarly notes and introductions to each book, is an important tool for graduating students. Check out the Building Faith review.
A classic since 1952. As a whole, there may be no book that so clearly and winsomely outlines belief in Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. (Recent edition by Harper Collins, 2001)
Daily Prayer for all Seasons
This book was written for an Episcopal context, but many Christians will find the prayers and liturgies helpful and inspiring. Daily volume offers short daily prayer services that change for each season: Advent, Epiphany, etc. Excellent for individual use, or for small groups and Bible studies. (Church Publishing, 2014)
Non-Book Gift Ideas
Realizing that graduating seniors have plenty of books coming their way, here are some other options.
Gift Card for Faith-based Apps
One of the best ideas is a gift certificate to iTunes or amazon (for Android users), along with a list of four or five suggested apps. Let the students decide if they want a Bible app, a study app, a spirituality app, etc. Don’t attach strings to your gift – some might buy music or a game, but we think most will honor the gift and its purpose.
A waterbottle filled with “rescue” items: flashlight, thermometer, band-aids, and other minor items newly independent young people might need. Include a prayer book, set of prayers, Scripture verses, or card!
Thinking Outside the Box
In addition one of the above gifts ideas, the following actions can bear much fruit for graduating seniors as their faith lives develop.
Do some searching and make a direct connection with a campus chaplain, military chaplain, or congregation in whatever place the student is going next. If the student isn’t leaving town, how about distinct formation and ministry opportunities within your congregation?
One Christian educator offered the following idea, “I would give each graduating a card with my phone number on it and a written promise that they can call me any time for any reason.”
In difficult moments, young people can lean on biblical verses or prayers. If you gift a bible, consider using post-its or bookmarks to mark particular passages that will provide guidance, comfort, and strength.
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