School is back in session. Students are gearing up for a busy Fall schedule complete with class, football games and campus-wide events. They are learning the customs and traditions of their schools. Their parents have raided the campus bookstore for the most recent school apparel and gear. Freshman are getting the hang of dorm life and learning to navigate the campus.
And then there’s the local community college.
Community college is different. The school vibe is not the same. The excitement is not brimming over and clothing options are not as expansive in the campus bookstore. There may be a campus-wide welcome event but it’s an hour after a student’s last class is over, so they have already headed home for the day or are off to work. Many students are just as eager to jump into their classes and pursue their degree as any other college student. However, there are many who are eager to be done because they did not plan on being at community college or at least hope their time there goes by as quickly as possible. Mixed in with these students are non-traditional college students who are coming back to finish an associate’s degree, to get further training for the workforce, or to start a second career.
Community college may be different, but it is no less a place of mission. It has no less potential for seeing a move of God that transforms the lives of students and sees them sent on mission into all of life.
Today I walked around our local community college with this on my mind. This is my prayer for my local community college and for every community college.
You know the needs of every student on this campus. You know those who wish they weren’t here and those who couldn’t be happier to be here. You know those who are getting training to start a job and those who need credits before they transfer. You know the paths they will take and the plans you have for them. Some of them are looking to you and waiting. Others are looking beyond you or have turned away from you. Would you be gracious enough to meet them where they are?
Deepen and define the desires of their hearts and the skills of their hands. Direct their paths and give wisdom for the decisions they face, whether it be what job to take and where to transfer. Keep them from discouragement when they wish they weren’t here. Guard them from despair when their plans don’t work out. Let this season of preparation or waiting be a season in which you show up in their lives. Draw those who don’t know you to saving faith in Jesus Christ and transform their perspective on their education and work. Draw those who do know you closer to yourself, sustaining them by your grace and showing them your purposes for their life—both now and in the future.
I pray for you to move in the hearts and lives of students on this campus. I pray you would raise up students on this campus who believe you have placed them here, at this time, for your purposes. May they find you fully sufficient in this season of preparation and waiting. Let them grow strong in your Word and passionate for your mission. Give them the eyes and heart of a missionary. Increase their love for you that they may love others like you. Give them boldness to share their faith and make receptive those who listen. Encourage them to be faithful in the present, whether they know what is next or are already there in their minds. Rather than being stagnant in their faith and dejected in their demeanor, I ask for their progress and joy in the faith. In this transient community, let them find true community through the local church. May they be built up in their faith and holiness alongside other brothers and sisters in Christ. Let the depth and joy of their community in Christ be a light on this campus as they invite others to know you and enjoy the same fellowship they experience. Help them to see your purpose for them now on this campus as your witnesses and ambassadors. Help them to see your direction for them as they prepare for their next step.
I also pray for the many students who don’t yet know you on this campus. They are filled with ambitions and disappointments. They are facing opportunities and uncertainty. Let this be a time they are receptive to the gospel. Let those searching find you. Let those running from you be brought back to you. Let those rebelling against you humbly surrender to you. Let those hurt and confused be restored and reconciled. Show them their need for you, open their eyes to the good news of the gospel, and bring someone across their path who will share this truth with them in love. Bring someone across their path who will show them the love of Christ and share with them the hope of Christ. Bring someone across their path who will linger long enough to have meaningful conversation before or after class. Bring them into meaningful relationships in which people are willing to share their lives and the gospel. Connect them to churches where they will hear and see the transforming power of the gospel. Raise up believers, ministries and churches who will display and declare the gospel as they love and serve students. Grant favor on this campus that the gospel may spread and many will come to faith in Christ. Let those who come to know you begin to see their lives in light of your mission. Let those who are transformed by the gospel begin to use their skills for your glory. Let those who are saved by your grace be sent into the world on mission.
Let this community college become a sending center, a place where students who are transformed by the gospel are sent out to different universities and workplaces all over North American and to the ends of the earth.
I ask this in the name of our risen and soon returning King, Jesus Christ!
This article originally appeared here.