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How to Pray for Your Students

College can bring out a lot of emotions as students celebrate milestones, navigate major life decisions, and learn how to live independently, sometimes for the first time. We chatted with Kaitlin Thorp '13, a leader in Bethel's prayer ministry, about some ways parents can support and pray for students during their time at Bethel.

The Student Experience

As students, we don't always communicate well with our parents. And it can be hard to ask for help or prayers! So here's some insight into the student experience.

  • Freshman year is a world of fun, meeting new people and trying new things. But it can also be a lonely time. Students get to know many people, but can sometimes struggle to make deep connections.
  • The switch to sophomore year is a big one. Students leave behind their close-knit freshman dorm communities and move into suites across campus, with up to six people they've selected as roommates. That new kind of living arrangement brings about a supportive community of its own, but it can be tough to manage relationships with so many roommates.
  • During junior year, students start to think more seriously about life after college. The classes become a little harder and more focused. Internships and job searches kick in. And students may wonder if they made the right choice of major or how to land the perfect job.
  • Senior year brings about a lot of questions! Students wonder where they'll work and live after graduation, and what will happen with the relationships they've formed during college. 


Every year we have to make decisions about who we want to become. College is a time of self-discovery – and that's both a beautiful and a difficult thing. We try new things and make mistakes, but we need to make those mistakes in order to grow into the whole and holy people that we're becoming. Pray for learning, growth, and wisdom in the decisions that we make. Pray that we have a good support network at Bethel to ask questions and consider our options.

Prayers For Your Student's First Week of School

Our team of campus pastors created a meaningful “week of prayers” for parents and families to pray over their students as they began the school year. We encourage you to print it out and place it in a spot where you’ll be reminded to pray for your student as they navigate their way through the fall semester.

Tell Us You're Praying

The thing that will always pull us through is the knowledge that we have people who love us, are praying for us, and will never leave us no matter what happens. So let your student know that you are praying for them, even if they don't say they want prayer. Give your student space to talk to you if they want. Ask open-ended questions that encourage answers. Continue praying always. And even if we don't say it, we appreciate you!