Back To School Prayer Vigil

Friday, July 31 through Saturday, August 1 / 6pm to 6pm
UGA Wesley Prayer Chapel

BTS VIGIL SCHEDULE

Time  …   Churches/Groups/Schools
6 to 7pm … The Awakening (Travis Gay)
7 to 8pm … Faith Presbyterian (Steven Brooks)
8 to 9pm … Prince Avenue Baptist Church (Joe Campbell)
9 to 10pm … OPEN
10 to 11pm … Grace Fellowship (Dave Ham)
11 to 12am … Grace Fellowship (Dave Ham)
12 to 1am … BCM (Jerry Johnson)
1 to 2am … Wesley (Dustin Sosebee)
2 to 3am … Wesley (Dustin Sosebee)
3 to 4am … RUF (Ben Coppedge)
4 to 5am … FRVR FREE (Adam Kersh)
5 to 6am … ACM (Marcia Wilbur)
6 to 7am … Phoenix Community (Nate Platto & Steven Link)
8 to 9am … Grace Athens (Jay Buskirk)
9 to 10am … ReCreation Church (Bryan & Shannon Horne)
10 to 11am … Westminster Christian Academy (Sharla Eley)
11 to 12pm … Classic City Church (Elizabeth Rogers)
12 to 1pm … Nations Church (Sharla Eley)
1 to 2pm … Cornerstone (Robert Sheppard)
2 to 3 pm … Athens Church (Josh Bayne)
3 to 4pm … Calvary Bible (Aaron Cavin)
4 to 5pm … Beech Haven Baptist (John Walker)
5 to 6pm … Athens Prayer Network (Kendall Crawford)

BTS VIGIL PRAYER GUIDE

Thank you for participating the Athens Back to School Prayer Vigil. This is a very different year for every person involved in school, but though we live in question and confusion, we serve a God who “is not a God of confusion but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) Our God is sure, Faithful, and True (Revelation 19:11). He stands with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm to deliver His people, and we meet together this weekend to ask His arm to stretch out over our students bringing salvation, sanctification and revival.

Please use this guide as a guide! It is meant to be a launching pad to pray for the students whom God has put on your heart. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads you (Romans 8:26-27) and realize that He takes your little and makes much of it! At the end of this guide there are scriptures and promises you can pray over your students as well as over their campuses. Feel free to pray for other students, campuses and faculty across Athens. We are crying out for a movement of God in all the schools in our city.

Don’t feel like you have to pray for every aged student. If you have elementary students, you have a greater identification for them. You probably know the teachers and key leaders, and you probably know the specific things that need to shift and breakthrough on that campus. Pray as specifically as you can- every prayer is a declaration of humility (we need God) and faith (He meets our need). Believe big, because your prayers (and all that will ascend to the Throne of Grace this weekend) WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE! God wants us to ask!

As you pray, please include home schools and special needs students and their teachers. They are often forgotten, but these teachers need extra grace to carry their load and these kids at home. And special children need a grace to learn and to experience God’s love.

Please note, any time we endeavor to make a list we will most likely will leave out something or get a detail incorrectly. We apologize up front for that. Nevertheless, we have presented here what we think is accurate (i.e. schools and people associated with them). Also, there is a limit to how far out we can go in the greater Athens area. So, if your school is not in Athens, it may not be on the list. Sorry. But having said that, please pray for them as if they are on a list.

One last thing, it is our desire that on every campus and at every school, there would be a spirit filled witness for Christ. Ultimately, we are praying for every student and their teachers and faculty, from elementary through college, would come to a saving, life transforming, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. That, we believe is God’s will.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NLT)
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Where do we start?

The needs are great, but our God is greater! Worship is a powerful weapon- in the face of need and darkness, we declare who God is and bring all things into eternal perspective when we worship Him. Use these scriptures and declarations to help turn your attention to God before we bring before Him our needs and desires.

Hebrews 12:27-29
The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Exodus 15:11
Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

Deuteronomy 33:29
Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights.

Psalm 35:10
My whole being exclaims, “Who is like You, O Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

“My Father will not abandon me. He will never, no never, leave me nor forsake me.” (Heb 13:5, Deu 4:31, 31:6, 8; Jos 1:5, 1 Sam 12:22) [1]

“My Father gives peace and doesn’t want me to be anxious or worried about anything.” (1 For 14:33, Gal 5:22, Phil 4:7, Col 3:15, 2 These 3:16) [2]

For every campus in each age group, ask God to raise up witnesses for Jesus who like Him will grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). Ask God to give generously: insight for people and situations; wisdom to know when to speak, listen, hold back or walk away; grace and honor in communication; and protection as they are children of the Light in dark places.

In response to COVID-19, administrative staff have planned a very different school year to keep students safe and learning. These protocols are different in the many systems (public by county, private, charter, Montessori etc.) and more families are choosing distance learning or homeschooling than in prior years.

For administrators making decisions:

Ask for wisdom that aligns with God’s will and conviction to stand firm in the face of adversity or accusation.

Ask God to meet every faculty member and administrator in areas of personal need- to use these hard times to build character and grow a dependence on God.

Colossians 1:9-10
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

For those adjusting to learning from home:

Ask God to pour out grace upon grace for parents teaching, students teaching themselves, relationships within the family and curriculum/content comprehension. (Luke 2:40)

Ask specifically for protection as students become increasingly active online- ask God to expose darkness and any area the devil prowls around seeking someone to devour. Pray that the devils seeking will come up empty as God’s protection covers every student. (1 Peter 5:8)

For those going to school:

Ask for safety from the virus, from bullying, and from conformity to this world.

Ask that students will be sensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and stand confident in His strength instead of their own especially in areas of deception, acceptance, identity, and behavior.

Ask God to raise up witnesses for Him who use their voices to proclaim the Gospel, protect the vulnerable, and prosecute sin living with purity.

Unfortunately, many students in ACC have suffered trauma without school- hunger, abuse (verbal, sexual or physical), neglect, responsibility beyond their capacity, death or sickness of loved ones, hopelessness. Take some time to pray for these students, that as the school year starts, ask God to protect, comfort, heal, restore, and redeem them. Pray they would allow God access to their heart and lives. Ask God to reveal Himself as Immanuel, “God with Us” in a personal way to each of these students.

I – Elementary

Here are some areas that elementary children need prayer…

Pray that they would know they are beautiful children of God and were created with a purpose. Ask God to grant each one a sense of identity in who He made them to be.

Pray that they would make wise choices. Ask God to make loud the voices who will lift them up and speak life instead of tear them down or lead them astray.

Pray that they would show grace and kindness to others.

Pray students would see Jesus in believing students and teachers and ask questions that lead to salvation for themselves and their households.

Pray that kids would remain strong in tough times. That though they are young, they would be strong in the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill them and lead them.

Pray that they would choose to help others in need, instead of ignoring or being a part of the problem. Ask God to expose bullies and release deep healing and a desire to build up each other instead of tearing down.

Pray that they would walk in truth and love. That they would learn to speak the truth at all times, but with love.

Pray that they would stand up for what they believe in even when others won’t. That they would be strong and courageous, instead of fearful and timid.

Pray that they would ask for help when they are feeling pressured. That they would seek to please God and not their friends.

Elementary Schools in Athens (principal/headmaster/head of school)

Alps Road Elementary School (Audra Olukoya)
Athens Academy (John Thorsen, Mark Cunningham- Dir of Lower School)
Athens Christian School (Steve Cummings)
Athens Montessori School (Andrew Kim)
Barnett Shoals Elementary School (Aliceson Nobles)
Barrow Elementary School (Dr. Ellen Sabatini)
Chase Street Elementary School (Laura Kraus)
Colham Ferry Elementary School (Tony McCullers)
Cleveland Road Elementary (Lindsey Chatham)
Dove Elementary School (Susan Stancil)
Fowler Drive Elementary (Selecia Hardy)
Gaines Elementary School (Luther McDaniel)
High Shoals Elementary School (Jennifer Whitaker)
J.J. Harris Elementary (Dr. Beverly Harper)
Howard B Stroud Elementary School (Dr. Stacie Carson)
Malcom Bridge Elementary School (Jennifer Haygood)
Oconee County Primary School (Katherine Brown)
Oconee County Elementary School (Ashley Templeton)
Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School (Dr. Bipul K. Singh)
Prince Ave Christian School (Col Seth Hathaway)
Rocky Branch Elementary School (Laura Mason)
Rutland Academy – school for special needs students (Celeste Ngeve, Director, LaToya Tillman, Therapeutic Support Coach)
South Jackson Elementary (Allyson Pennington)
St Joseph Catholic School – Prek thru Middle School (Theresa Napoli)
Timothy Road Elementary School (Kena Worthy)
Waseca Learning Environment
Westminster Christian Academy (Jared Clark)
Whit Davis Elementary (Daniel McGuire)
Whitehead Road Elementary School (April Braswell)
Various Home Schools

Elementary Schools in the Greater Athens area…

Hull Sanford Elementary
Ila Elementary – Madison County
Oglethorpe County Primary School (Pam Shields)
Oglethorpe County Elementary School (Katie Baldwin)
Winterville Elementary (Donna Elder)

II – Middle School and High School

Here are some areas that Middle School and High School students need prayer…

Pray that students would make wise selections of friends- that every friend group would include a Christ follower who longs to influence friends for Christ, and that a movement for Christ would start.

Pray that believing students would break through with other students, that many would choose to follow Jesus rather than the world, and that God would be glorified and for the Spirit to move on each campus.

Pray for FCA and Young Life as they press into these campuses. Pray that God would give them favor with the students, and for a rich harvest of disciples being plugged into Athens churches.

Pray for the football teams (the coaches and players), that God would use what the culture has deemed influential to open doors for the fear of the Lord and humility that invites the influence of God.

Please pray for favor with the school administrations and teachers, specifically at Malcom Bridge and North Oconee. There seems to be a common attitude in those schools that they don’t want the church involved. Ask for a softening of hearts and healing of any wounds that have led to rejection or independence.

Middle Schools and High Schools in Athens

Pray for the principals, coaches and influential adults (listed below) on the various campuses…

Athens Academy (John Thorsen, Jeff Stachura- Dir of Middle School, Susan Zalac- Dir of Upper School, Josh Alexander – head football coach)
Athens Christian School (Steve Cummings, Aaron Gibbs – spiritual life director)
Athens Montessori School (Andrew Kim)
Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School (Dr. Makeba Clark)
Athens Community Career Academy (Anita Lumpkin-Barnett)
Cedar Shoals High School (Antonio Derricotte)
Clarke Middle School (Christopher Pendley)
Clarke Central High School (Dr. Swade Huff, David Perno – head football coach, Jon Ward – Athletic Director, Aaron Cavin – FCA leader)
Classic City High School (Katrina Daniel)
Coile Middle School (Dr. Beverly Ford)
Foothills Charter High School (Individual Site Directors throughout North/Middle Ga)
Hilsman Middle School (Capucina Douglass)
Malcom Bridge Middle School (Michael Eddy)
Master’s Academy
Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School (Paul Gessner)
North Oconee High School (Phillip Brown, Coach Aurandt – head football coach)
Oconee County Middle School (Keith Carter)
Oconee County High School (Kevin Yancey, Coach Nolan – head football coach)
Prince Ave Christian School (Seth Hathaway, Coach Vandegriff – football coach)
Rutland Academy – school for special needs students (Celeste Ngeve, Director, LaToya Tillman, Therapeutic Support Coach)
St Joseph Catholic School – Middle School (Theresa Napoli)
Westminster Christian Academy (Jared Clark)
Various Home Schools

Middle & High Schools in Greater Athens area…

East Jackson County High School
Jackson County High School
Jackson County Middle
Madison County High School
Madison County Middle
Oglethorpe County Middle School (Mack Baldwin)
Oglethorpe County High School (Susie Johnson)
Winder Barrow High School

III – College

Here are some areas that college students need prayer…

Pray that every school (including the various ones at UGA) would have a bold, spirit filled witness among the students and faculty members who would speak out the Word and will of God with grace (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

Ask God to grant wisdom to every student and direct his/her steps. Pray none would be lured into death by college traditions, comparison, isolation, fear or “finding themselves.”

Pray for the 5,515 incoming freshmen to get involved in ministries and local churches quickly. Pray that this freshmen class would include men and women whom the Lord will raise up to be strong leaders on campus and collegiate ministries, and maybe even leaders of church youth ministries/groups.

Pray for the many transfer students. Many come to college as older students and live off campus. By that time, most friend groups are already cemented, so these students have a hard time finding relationships or a place to belong. Ask God to connect each one to a believer, a campus ministry and a local church. Ask God to specifically call each by name and destroy any assignment of isolation Satan may try to use to confuse or keep him/her away from the abundant life Christ bought.

Pray for the international students. Even in the face of racial tension and political turmoil, there is an incredible opportunity for international students to encounter Jesus in a nation of religious freedom. Pray for divine connections with these students that lead to relationships centered around Jesus Christ. Pray also for those students who will be returning to their home nations – that the fire of God would be within them as they go with more than just an education! Pray for the ministries that specifically focus on international students asking God to break any barriers to relationship and build connections of security and confidence around Jesus.

Ask God to bring revival across the UGA campus, UNG, Athens Tech, Piedmont, and Athens as a whole AND that we’d see more people come to Christ this year than we ever have before!

Ask God to provide for each ministry and missionary in our city- even in economic turmoil, God’s resources are unlimited. Ask that every campus ministry and church would have the funding they need to fulfill God’s call to make disciples this year.

Pray that the Lord would fill the hearts of all believers in Athens, on all of the campuses, etc. with a burning desire to reach the lost and help disciple growing Christians. That all believers would yearn to be laborers for Jesus!

Pray for peace, order and heavenly wisdom within the administration of UGA. Pray for the President of UGA, Dr. Morehead, and the Deans. They are consistently bombarded with issues that plague our campus. Many of these have spiritual implications and affect the Gospel witness on our campus. Ask God to bring wise counsel to them and silence the counsel that would block or hinder the kingdom from advancing on campus. Ask God to give them boldness to do what is right and moral, not just what seems right to man!

Pray for the campus ministries (Wesley, Cru, Team United, InterVarsity, Navigators, RUF, BCM, and others) including the various works being done in the Greek houses. Pray for the various chaplains who work with the athletic teams.

Ask God to speak clearly and open heaven above each student as they seek spiritual mentorship and discipleship for Jesus. Pray that this would be a year of fruitful ministry where many are saved and choose to live in greater holiness than ever before.

Pray for the local churches in Athens that have a college ministry. For wisdom, favor, boldness, focus, and fruitfulness.

Pray for greater unity on campus, specifically with campus ministries and local churches. Pray for outreach ministries such as The Great Exchange, that God would give them favor as they witness to students! Pray for Campus Prayer that provides a context for UGA students and others to come together on campus from various campus ministries and local Athens churches to pray for and with each other for the campus. Pray for BCF (Bethel Campus Fellowship) and other student organizations as they reach out at UGA. Ask God to draw students into and bless any group that makes Jesus known and calls students to repentance in Jesus’s name.

Colleges in Athens

Athens College of Ministry
Athens Technical College
Piedmont College
University of North Georgia
UGA (various schools and colleges at UGA are listed below)

  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Environment and design
  • College of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Public Health
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
  • Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Odum School of Ecology
  • School of Law
  • School of Public and International Affairs
  • School of Social Work
  • Terry College of Business
  • Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Scriptural promises to pray over students, campuses and influential leaders on the campuses

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Isaiah 64:1 (NLT)
Oh, that You would burst from the heavens and come down!
How the mountains would quake in Your presence!

Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)
Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.

Matthew 6:9-10 (NLT)
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come soon! May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Psalm 119:9 (NIV)
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your word.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Galatians 5:19-23 (NLT)
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Ephesians 1:16-18 (NLT)
I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.  I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.

2 Thessalonians 2:13b-17 (NASB)
God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.


[1] Declaration taken from Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter

[2] Declaration taken from Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter