I'm writing this post today with a request for prayer. I've been a seminary professor for almost 24 years. I love my students, but I also know they face daily challenges. For that reason, I'm asking you to say a prayer for them today—and to invite others to join us in praying. I encourage you to pray these ways:
- They'll be willing to give God a blank check. They're at a pivotal, inquisitive stage, and I want them to consider all the different options God may have for their ministry. I especially want them to consider a call to the nations.
- They'll have clarity of calling. Of course, this request relates to No. 1 above. Many of our students know only that God has called them to attend seminary, but they aren't clear about His direction beyond that.
- They'll love the local church. I'm concerned that some students have already given up on the established local church—or, they want to change that church before they've grown to love them. I want my students to know that they're where they are because churches have supported and prayed for them.
- They'll be humble. None of my students wants to be arrogant, but the subtle danger is that they'll try to impress others with their theological acumen and preaching abilities. Pride lingers at the door for most of us.
- They'll have healthy marriages. The enemy has aimed his arrows at marriages since the Garden of Eden. Those attacks remain fierce, and seminarians are not immune from the battle. Their student status, in fact, might put them more in the enemy's sights.
- They'll be wise in spending. Some of our students come to us with thousands of dollars of college-related debt—so much that they must retire some of the debt before a mission agency will consider sending them. Pray they'll establish good spending and saving patterns early.
- They'll be free from secret sin. No seminary campus has ever provided automatic protection from hidden sin. What students hide, though, can ultimately hinder (or even disqualify) them in ministry. Pray they'll be honest with somebody while they have a supportive community.
- They'll find mentors. If I were king for a day, I'd require, and provide, a mentor for every student. They long for older adults to invest in them, so pray that God will raise up men and women to take on this task.
- They'll love the Word and prayer. Too often, students come to us with poor spiritual disciplines—often because they've come from churches that didn't equip them well. My prayer is that their desire to spend time with God would become part of their DNA.
- They'll be more focused on the name of Jesus than on their own names. Students at the beginning of their ministry training already have thoughts about how God might use them in the future. I want them to believe strongly that God will bless their work, but I also want them not to worry about whether their names are ever part of the story. This work is not about us, anyway.
Would you join me in praying for seminarians today?
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.
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