Sometimes I feel like a broken record. Seems like I’m telling my kids the same things or asking Chris the same questions over and over. When it comes to speaking and writing, however, I have this disdain for repetition. I’m not sure why. Chris often reminds me that I need to repeat myself more often. Today, I’m taking his advice! I originally wrote this blog last fall. A friend pulled it up and shared it last week on her feed and reminded me how important it is that we pray for the freshman high school and college students in our midst during these first 2 months of school… so, please join me again…
Today I want to beg everyone… to pick a freshman. Let me explain.
Whether it’s a freshman in high school or a freshman in college, surely you know at least one. Think of one or two. If they’re the child of a friend, that works, too. The number of degrees of separation between you and the freshman should not prohibit your participation. (Before I go any further, let me say that I don’t have a freshman this year. I have nothing to gain by this request, so I feel complete freedom to boldly ask you to not just read this blog, but to be moved to action.)
Now that you’ve identified your freshman, please pray. Not just today, but specifically for the next two months. Why two months?
Everyone likes to belong. As a fifteen-year-old walks across a high school campus, or as a nineteen-year-old walks across a college campus, can you imagine the strong desire to feel like you fit in? Of course you can. Most of us remember that feeling all too well. The hope and prayer of every parent sending off a freshman is that their “child” will find the right friend group.
So, as you pray for a freshman, consider praying that:
• the Lord would lead them to others who have a heart for Him;
• the Lord would give them confidence to hold to their God-given convictions;
• the Lord would use this new environment to move them to a place of conviction that they may not have understood the need for before now;
• the student would turn to the Lord with his or her needs;
• the student would see God answer their prayers;
• the student would make wise choices.
Each believer is grateful for God’s promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13…
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
As a parent of two teenagers, I think about this verse more now than I ever have before. Sometimes it comforts me. Sometimes I think, “What if Mark’s or Annika’s flesh is weak? What if they don’t choose the way of escape? God will provide it, but will they take it?” As I pray, I ask God to protect them from being anywhere they will not choose the way of escape. I get the image of God just boxing them out (basketball mom, sorry) or pinning them in somewhere until the opportunity passes them. I’m sure your freshman’s parents wouldn’t mind you asking God to hedge them in and cut them off from being anywhere they cannot make the choice to take the way of escape.
Of course, I encourage you to pray beyond two months. These first two months, however, form a critical window of time. I’m asking you to serve as a prayer guard for these students during their transition. After the newness of the environment wears off and students can find a first friend or two, they’ll usually hold their own.
May our prayers form a protective armor over each freshman. If you don’t have a freshman to pray for, let me know. If you have a freshman you want prayed for, please type their name in the comments. I’m grateful for those known and unknown who have covered my children in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Now it’s our turn.