For the Freshmen
Yesterday was move-in day at Moody.
This morning I am in my office, watching a thunderstorm roll through and preparing to meet a new class of freshmen for New Student Orientation. I spent much of my (long, stormy) commute praying for them. And as I pulled into the parking garage, I remembered the prayer that I wrote last year at this time. I am praying this prayer again, and I thought you might want to join me. So here’s one from the vault…
They arrived today.
With their baskets of bedding and their neat stacks of notebooks and their brand new jeans. They came to our campus with their snarled up stomachs and their wide wet eyes and all of their hopes and dreams.
They arrived with their siblings and parents and friends, who filled up their fridges and helped settle their stuff, who gave lingering hugs and some last words of advice and finally waved goodbye.
I watched them come for the eighteenth time, and I am always moved by the sight of them.
On the sidewalk I greeted a few with a handshake, a smile, and a “you are welcome here.” On Monday morning I will meet many more. I will show them a syllabus and learn their names and begin my specific task of helping them read and think and write.
But knowing what I know—that these next four years will be full of all manner of things—that my role and my control are oh-so limited—I also feel called to bathe them in prayer. Please join me if you will.
Walk with them. Reveal Yourself—in ways old and new. Be near.
Fuel their passions. Strengthen their resolve. Fill their hearts with love.
When loneliness comes, be their Friend.
When fear overwhelms, be their Rock.
When the path seems hidden, be their Light.
When they are broken, heal their hearts.
When they doubt their calling, be their ever Burning Bush.
When they doubt You, show up in unmistakable ways.
May they fall in love with learning.
May they discover new gifts.
May they steward well their money and their time.
May they discern Your truth and cling tightly to it.
I pray for a church home where they can be fed.
I pray for a mentor who will challenge and cheer.
I pray for some life-long, life-giving friends.
Build into their being tenacity and resilience,
Patience and compassion,
Boldness and gentleness,
And a deep dependence on You.
When they trip and fall, or when they run headlong in the wrong way, be their Father. Pursue them relentlessly. Pierce their soul. And bring them back.
You are God.
They are Yours.
We commit to serving You and them, to the best of our ability and by Your grace.
We lay this school year on the altar. Do with it as You will.