August 2, 2020
My friend Stuart spent the late hours of his birthday praying by name for each person who left a message on his Facebook wall that day.
I love how he gave such a precious gift to others on the day meant for him to receive all the special favors.
Reading his message reminded me of a friend who does something similar each year with the birthday cards she receives and the Christmas cards her family receives.
When it’s time to put the cards away, she gathers them in a basket and each day pulls out one card. She prays specifically for that person or family during her morning prayer time before tossing out the card — I mean, filing the card in the important documents folder, of course.
On a similar note, I attempted to pray for each of the classmates of my graduating niece, nephew and dear friends this year during graduation season.
While sitting through two live graduation ceremonies and two online ceremonies, I prayed for each graduate — well, almost everyone — by name. My mind wandered a few times.
As each graduate’s name was called to receive his or her diploma, I repeated the name in my mind and added a quick prayer specifically for the graduating senior.
The pace of the names announced as well as the fact we all sat silent and still during that time made it a simple exercise, but staying focused and diligent through all the names required a bit of discipline and tenacity.
The opportunity to lift up so many young lives in a relatively short amount of time inspired me to look for more ways to do the same.
As your child, grandchild, other family member or friend’s child starts to school this fall, in whatever form that takes, consider developing your own form of praying for your student and those who surround him or her.
It might mean placing the football team roster next to your Bible, so you can pray for each player by name over the course of a week.
It could be asking for a group photo of the sorority or fraternity your student joins and praying every morning for each individual pictured.
Maybe once a month, you visit the website of our Alabama Baptist-connected schools — judson.edu, samford.edu and umobile.edu — and click around on their sites to find the list of faculty and staff members and pray for them by name.
And then once a quarter, you do the same for your alma mater — all of them starting with elementary school on up.
What if the nearly 1 million Alabama Baptists in our state all committed to consistent prayer for our students, teachers, administrative staff and school systems in general? Can you imagine the possibilities?
And while I want sports seasons to return as much as the next person, those aren’t the types of prayers I’m describing.
Check out the articles in this issue for inspiration on how to pray for our students and those surrounding them this fall.