August has to be my favorite month of the year. I have the privilege of serving as a state missionary at one of our great universities here in Alabama. As I serve in that capacity, I have the opportunity to meet and welcome some amazing students to our campus each fall. I have served for more than 16 years now as a campus minister, and this fall I welcome our 17th class of freshmen. As I meet with students and their parents, I let them know that I will do everything I can to assist and to help their students grow in faith. In a sense, I am telling the parents to trust me, our leadership team and our ministry to provide opportunities for their students to become faithful followers of Christ. I have enjoyed receiving those students each year, but for the first time in my college ministry I am actually sending one to college.
This month, I loaded my student and her belongings and moved her to a campus that seems like forever away. So now I am having to say that I trust the campus minister and his leadership team and ministry to help my daughter to grow in her faith. My prayer life has changed in that I now have a different direction to pray for my daughter.
- My first prayer is that my daughter works out her salvation with fear and trembling and that her faith actually becomes hers and not an extension of mine. As a campus minister, I see too many students leaving the faith they grew up with because it was never theirs to begin with. Our students have to learn through the difficult times to grow in their faith.
- The second thing I pray for is the campus minister and the ministry on campus. As we move closer to the end times, I know that persecution will get stronger on those who are believers. Those in leadership positions will become targets as the world moves further away from the teachings of Christ.
- The third thing I pray for is that my daughter chooses her friends wisely. My level of influence has decreased as she is not under my roof, so the friends that she picks will guide her decision-making process more than I will while she is in college.
- The last thing I pray for is that she will share her faith with others because, by her sharing, she will grow stronger in her faith. I am sure that as her freshmen year progresses there will be other things that I will be praying for, but for now this is my starting point.
I realize that the next four years of her life are going to go by really fast, but not as fast as the previous 19 years.