Did you know that today is the Collegiate Day of Prayer? Up till a couple weeks ago, I did not. Then I read about it and realized, this is probably one of the greatest battlefronts for souls that there is across this nation and many parts of the world. In fact, I became a born again Christian when I was a freshman in college, so why would I not want to pray for others to do the same? What was helpful or harmful to your faith when you were this age?
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. I Timothy 4:12
There are indications that the faith of some students declines as they go through college, which might be from a variety of reasons. When you first stepped out from under your parents roof, you had many more freedoms, choices, and consequence than you were aware of previously. Is it any wonder that anyone with a weak faith to begin with would be misled by any number of temptations? What were you most concerned with when you were this age? It probably hasn’t changed all that much.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Even if you have no direct affiliation with a college right now, you may ask, ‘what can I do?’ Well, here are a few ways you can be involved, even if indirectly.
Pray for the college nearest to you. Whether it is within 3 miles, or 50 miles from you, there is usually a small liberal arts or community college within a short drive from most places in the US. Do a prayer walk through campus and find what ministries may be active on their campus. Find out how you might be able to get involved, or simply pray for them regularly. If you know students on campus, invite them to your church and encourage them when you see them.
Pray for college students you know. Whether family, or friends, you already have a connection with them, so show them you care by visiting with them and being a role model and a voice of truth in their life, even if a small one. If you know anyone in the same 18-25 year old age range not attending college, pray for them as well, as many practices and ideals are formed in these years that will last a lifetime. If you have any interaction at all, be an encouragement to them in their faith walk.
Pray for the college you or your family members attended. Alumni may have more influence promoting campus ministry activities than someone without any ties to the college. Along these lines, also pray for the athletes and other students from your favorite collegiate sports team. These student athletes often face more challenges and trials than your ‘average’ college student, and may need your prayers even more than your cheering voice on gameday.
Pray for the campus ministries and local churches that have contact with students there. The primary purpose of ministries like Intervarsity and Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU), is to spread the truth of the gospel and win souls on college campuses around the world. Support them through prayer and financially when you are able.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
Our actions and attitudes toward college students is an indicator of the amount of love in our hearts. Especially if we have no children or direct contact with a local college, we may not think twice about what is happening on that campus. Please pray regularly for the hearts and minds of the young adults being formed there that will affect generations to come.
Strength and Courage in Christ,