The confinement in our homes is forcing millions to stop abruptly, cancel all our plans, and take time to look in the mirror.
As students head off to university, there are several ways we can be praying very specifically for them.
Going to university is a wonderful, exciting, liberating and sometimes scary time!
There is a world of unknowns to explore. For the first time, you have total freedom, with everything at your fingertips. You have money deposited into your account, a pool of potential new friends and endless opportunities.
For some this is the dream they have longed: countless opportunities for adventure, friendship and fun. For others, it might feel more like a nightmare: the dread of deadlines and unknowns brings anxiety and worries.
As students head off to university, there are 5 ways we can be praying very specifically for them.
One of the best and most daunting things about university is the potential and fear of friendship. Will I make friends? What will they be like?
Before students even get to uni, we can begin praying for two types of friends for them.
1. The first type of friend is the friend who loves Jesus and will help Christian students love Him more. These friends are jewels who stretch you, love you, help you and spur you on.
Students often make these friends in church and in the Christian Union, and these are the friends who help them get stuck in and keep going as they live and speak for Jesus at university. Do you know someone from your church who is about to start uni? Ask God to bless them with two fellow runners to help them run the race.
2. The second type of friend that we can pray for is the student who God is already at work in. University is full of students who are asking big questions. Why not pray for a friend to be put next to them in halls or in their course that your uni starter can connect with, form a deep friendship with and share Jesus with.
Our new student welcome pack includes items to help new students build communities of friendship around them when they start uni - including coffee, biscuits, a meal kit and door hangers for the whole group to share!
Students starting uni will often be joining a new church. CUs often run church searches to help students explore the local churches in their new city, and get settled in.
Pray that students will find the CU church search, tries their top 3 churches and finds somewhere to call home within their first three months at university.
This will mean they are settled into church family, loved and looked out for while they grow deeper in God and His grace.
Why not send our guide to church searching to a new student you know, and talk through with them how to approach getting settled in a new local church?
LIVING AND SPEAKING FOR JESUS, TOGETHER
The Christian Union is a missional community that unites Christians from different churches and helps them boldly live and speak for Jesus together.
Students will be spurred on in their love for Jesus, equipped to share Him in different ways, and will have many opportunities to do so.
Pray that they would settle in quickly and find the CU in freshers week.
LOVE OF LEARNING
University is, after all, a place of learning. Pray that new students would love their lecturers, seminar leaders, make great friends in their courses and ultimately excel and love learning more deeply and widely in their chosen degree.
Explore our bethinking resources to dig deep into a Christian perspective on academic topics and big questions.
In a new environment, it is easy to either get involved in everything or to cautiously hide away.
Pray that students would be able to delight in living all of life to the glory of God – whether that means wholeheartedly getting involved with university life or having wisdom about setting boundaries or not getting involved in certain things.
Pray for wisdom about what to do, what not to do and to have peace about it.
Hannah is one of three UCCF Staff Workers in Manchester. She came to know Jesus aged 16 and knows how pivotal university can be for students finding family and deepening their convictions and love of God.
This article originally appeared in UCCF’s webpage. Re-published with permission. if you’re reading this from the UK, you can connect to your CU here.