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It’s that time of year again – exciting and nerve-wracking and monumental. College is starting, and hundreds of thousands of freshmen across the nation will be settling into campus life within the next several weeks.

As our young people prepare to embark on this new season of life, and shopping for supplies and dorm décor commences full swing, may we remember the most important preparations for college that we can still give them.

If you are involved in the life of a young person starting out in any kind of post-secondary education, have you covered them in prayer for what they’re about to walk into? Whether you’re a grandmother or a father, a youth leader or a friend, as a righteous man or woman of God, your fervent prayer in their lives is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

We know that our youth are walking into a spiritual ambush at most campuses, whether they happen to be Christian or secular. Agnostic professors, perverse curriculum,  binge drinking, and all kinds of sexual temptations will converge to “deliver the soul of your [child] to the wild beasts” (Psalm 74:19). What preemptive action will you take?

I encourage anyone reading this who is involved in the life of a young person, especially parents and grandparents and mentors and pastors, to initiate some kind of prayer session for the youth in your life, particularly if he or she is starting out as a freshman. There may be only two of you, or there may be twenty-two. But get at least one other person to “agree with you in prayer” (Matthew 18:19) for what you expect to happen as this young adult leaves for campus life.

If you need some help getting started, here are some helpful Biblical promises to pray and proclaim over your youth:

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence (Psalm 91:3 NIV)

All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. . .no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord (Isaiah 54:13-17  NIV)

The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV)

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither– whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:3 NIV)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV)

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB)

Your prayers make all the difference in the world. They may mean the path of success or failure, faith or rebellion, even life or destruction to a young person starting college.

Emily Tomko
Emily Tomko
Emily writes with fierce compassion and a deep desire to see people freed from the miry clay of this world and walking in the truth. Emily is available to minister at women’s retreats and youth functions, college fellowships, and business women meetings.

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