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3 Things to Pray for Your Students

Every day your students are on the front lines– whether it’s walking the halls of school, hitting the practice field or navigating a troubled home life, there is one thing that every one of your students need: your prayers. You know they need you to pray for them… but do you ever struggle with HOW to effectively do so?

In John 17, Jesus prayed for His disciples, knowing that He did not have a lot of time left on earth with them. He would soon be back in heaven, and the disciples would be left to carry on His ministry here on earth. As you read Jesus’s prayer, you’ll find a great example of how you can pray for your students.

About halfway through His prayer, He focuses on three things that I believe will revolutionize the way you pray for your students.

  1. Pray that your students would insulate and not isolate (John 17:15): Some parents and youth leaders want to protect their students at all cost, but end up keeping them from ever being in a place where they could rub shoulders with lost people. Jesus did not ask the Father to take them out of the world, instead He asked the Father to protect them from the evil one as they minister in this world. Yes, our students need protection– they need to be insulated. However, students who are always isolated from the world can easily become self-righteous and disconnected people who have no burden for the lost. 
  1. Pray that your students are sanctified and not satisfied (John 17:17): One of the top struggles we hear about from youth leaders is dealing with apathetic students– you probably have some in your youth group. They are satisfied with where they are spiritually and don’t seem to have a desire to grow. Pray that your students have a passion to continually grow to be more like Christ and help them take the steps necessary to see that growth take place.
  1. Pray that your students are active and not anchored (John 17:18): Jesus compares the Father sending Him to Him sending the disciples. Think about it now from the perspective of your youth ministry. You have been sent to minister to these students, and now you want to send them into the world of their friends and family who need Christ. You do not want your students anchored in the sense that they are stuck and not going anywhere. Mobilize your students with the gospel. Help them see your passion and desire for people to know Christ. Model it for them just as Jesus modeled it for the disciples.

In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul says that we are to be ambassadors. Your students are ambassadors and in the world we live in, they need your prayers. I’d challenge you to begin following the model that Jesus set in John 17, and see how He uses your students to further the Gospel.

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