A Parent’s Guide to Prayer for College Students
“It takes a village to raise a child” is one of the most quoted phrases about parenting. It is usually used to refer to the neighbors, friends, and grandparents that surround the family during the upbringing process. Another, often less considered, yet evermore powerful support system comes through prayer. God is the greatest support and refuge you’ll find in the parenting process because he created you, the parent, and your child. He knows what is best for both!
But what happens when your son or daughter is all grown up and headed off to college? Their need for prayer and support does not stop. In fact, they need it more than ever as they make the transition to living on their own. As a parent, you will not have as much say in their day-to-day life. You will need to fully entrust your child into God’s hands, and prayer is the most important way to do that.
Michael and Michelle Riggins are just one example of parents who took prayer very seriously as their daughters grew up. “Our goal was for the girls to value prayer in their own lives, and so we wanted to model that to them from the beginning,” Michael said. When both girls went away, prayer for college became an even greater priority. “We had been praying for them since they were little, and so it became about praying for them exactly where they were at,” Michelle remarked. There was a long list of prayers the Riggins’ prayed over their children in college, believing that God works in all areas of their lives. Here were some of the categories they focused on:
1. Prayer for College Students Relationship with God
Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing (Psalm 34:9).
College is a busy time, and it can be hard to find time to read the Bible and pray intentionally. Parents need to be praying that their student will recognize how important it is to keep this relationship, the most important in their life, alive and flourishing. Here are a few specific ways you can pray for their relationship with God.
- Seek Him With their Whole Heart
- Listen to the Holy Spirit and Deepen their Relationship With Him
- Preference His Leading Over All Else
- Honor God With their Lives
- Represent Him Well
2. Prayer for College Students Relationships with Others
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity (Proverbs 17:17).
Your student will meet a lot of new friends and acquaintances during college. Having solid, positive, and God-honoring relationships is vital to succeeding in college. Here are some prayers you can pray to this end.
- Have Fun With Others
- Love and Serve their Neighbor
- Connect Well With Others
- Build Genuine Friendships
- Friendships Would Continue After College
3. Prayer for College Students Health and Safety
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).
Going to college adds an extra level of responsibility for your student to take care of themselves. They’ll need to know how to eat, sleep, and participate in campus activities in a way that honors God and allows them to put their best foot forward.
- Have Wisdom About What they Eat
- Prioritize Sleep
- Protect their Goings and Comings
- Guidance on Where to Be and Not to Be
- Fly Under the Radar of Evil
4. Prayer for College Students Academics
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you (Proverbs 2:10-11).
Your student will encounter a whole new vista of knowledge in their classes and discover exactly what it is they are most passionate about. Praying for academic success and enjoyment is important because this is the core reason why they are at college.
- Wisdom for Time Management
- Enjoy the Learning
- Work Well With Other People in Group Settings
- Grow as an Individual
- Clarity About their Degree and Calling
5. Prayer for College Students School
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
As a parent, you want to trust that the school your student attends is a safe and positive environment. Not to mention, that those who work and lead at the institution are making wise decisions that honor the Lord and serve students well. Here are a few ways you can pray for those who are impacting your student day in and day out.
- Hedge of Protection Around the Campus
- Holy Spirit’s Guidance for Leadership and Professors
- Leadership Submitted to God
- Health, Energy, and Dedication of the Staff/Professors
- Legislation Impacting Higher Education
Finally, we encourage you to keep track of your prayers and log the ways God answers them! This is a great way to be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you partner with God in parenting your child.
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer.” (1 Peter 3:12)
Here at Grace College, we value having parents involved in our community. You can learn more about campus life, involvement opportunities, and the admissions process on our Parent Page.