I have sought to serve campus ministers and their ministries all through my pastoral career. Yet it is so different when one of your own is under that ministry. My son is. So here is a prayer to all of you men and women who are serving Christ by shepherding university students:
Father of all-surpassing knowledge and understanding
Whose Only Begotten Son is the very Logos that speaks life to the universe
Grant that His grace, strength, patience, wisdom, boldness, and all things needed
Will be given through the Holy Spirit to those ministers of the Gospel and other workers of Thine
Who labor day-in and day-out to shepherd our college students for the sake of the Lord Jesus;
And that in doing so they may find satisfaction in Thee, O Christ, as the ever-present Power who
Walks with them across campus greens as a minister listens to joyful dreams of a young man who was moved by a message from a large group Bible study; or in a coffee shop as a ministerial assistant seeks to help a first year coed deal with her parents’ divorce and piles on too many courses that can never anesthetize her pain; or confronts the young believer who has taken grace—and distance from mom and dad—to mean license to sin, theological arrogance, and must learn grace as an eternal, willing bondage of gratitude of the will to a saving Christ, and being a covenant child as a privilege and gift unearned and undeserved.
In these labors and so many more instances of intense ministry that few of us can even imagine, bless these gifted ministers and their teams, and guard their hearts that the Evil One may not cast a snare to entrap them. Help them to honor their families and to give attention to the priority of family life lest ministry becomes a dark replacement for the affirmation that comes from the love of a wife and children. I pray for pastors’ wives in this calling. Give them courage, understanding, and wisdom to counsel their husbands. I pray for our young ladies who minister on campus teams. As they help to shepherd the hearts of our daughters give them strength in the Word of God. Cause them to be strong Daughters of Zion who are immovable in the face of a sensate culture and teach young ladies the meaning of Biblical womanhood.
Guard our campus ministers, also, from the sideshow con artists selling books and hosting conferences, promising popular but unbiblical roles and identities that guarantee certain success. Help them to be satisfied with the role of pastor, steward, father, prophet, evangelist, teacher, and preacher. Give them faith to be fully confident in the ordinary means of grace—Word, Sacrament, and Prayer—so that Thy redemptive goals are accomplished Thy way. Let them learn the way of the Cross. Let them lead our children there by Word and daily example.
As parents and congregations we pray regularly for our sons and daughters as they apply the wisdom of Thy Word unto the knowledge they receive. We pray for their sanctification in the Christian life. Today, we intercede, O Lord, for those special servants who minister to our sons and daughters during this unique phase of life. May they know the anointing from on high in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with Thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.