Prayer Guide for Back to School Vigil – 19

August 2-3, 2019 from 6pm to 6pm
Wesley Prayer Chapel

Thank you for participating the Athens Back to School Prayer Vigil. This is going to be an amazing gathering of churches and groups from around Athens, joining together to pray with one voice, for the students going back to school. While putting this guide together I asked various pastors, campus ministers and prayer leaders what they thought should be included. Their suggestions include what they have been praying for already and want to invite us to join them. So, as you pray, you are agreeing with others who are praying the same things!!! There’s power in the prayer of agreement!

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. Go for it, with laser precision, shoot those prayer missiles where they need to go. And believe big, because your prayers (and all that will ascend to the Throne of Grace this weekend) WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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.

I – Elementary

Here are some areas that elementary children need prayer…

Pray that they would make wise choices. Pray that they would gather around them friends who will lift them up instead of tearing them down or leading them astray.

Pray that they would show grace and kindness to others. That other students would see Jesus in them.

Pray that they 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.

Pray that they would know that they are beautiful children of God and that they were created with a purpose. Ask God to grant them a sense of identity of who they really are.

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

Alps Road Elementary School (IN NEED OF A PRINCIPAL)
Athens Academy (John Thorsen)
Athens Christian School (Steve Cummings)
Athens Montessori School – PreK thru Middle School
Barnett Shoals Elementary School (Jennifer Scott)
Barrow Elementary School (Ellen Sabatini)
Chase Street Elementary School (IN NEED OF A PRINCIPAL)
Dove Elementary School (Heather Landrum)
Fowler Drive Elementary (IN NEED OF A PRINCIPAL)
Gaines Elementary School (Luther McDaniel)
Howard B Stroud Elementary School (Stacie Carson)
Malcom Bridge Elementary School (Jennifer Haygood)
Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School (Scarlett Dunne)
Prince Ave Christian School (Seth Hathaway)
Rutland Academy – school for special needs students
South Jackson Elementary
St Joseph Catholic School – Prek thru Middle School (Theresa Napoli)
Timothy Road Elementary School (Kena Worthy)
Waseca Learning Environment
Westminster Christian Academy (Jared Clark)
Whitehead Road Elementary School
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

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 they would find Jesus in the busyness of life, that they would influence friends for Christ, and that a movement for Christ would start.

Pray that students would break through with other students, that students would choose to follow Jesus rather than the world, 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 something powerful could happen on them.

As far as specific things, please pray for favor with the school administrations and teachers, specifically at Malcom Bridge and North Oconee. There seems to be a common attitude towards the church in those schools that they don’t want involvement within the schools.

Middle Schools and High Schools in Athens

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

Athens Academy Middle School (Jeff Stachura)
Athens Academy (John Thorsen, Josh Alexander – head football coach)
Athens Christian School (Steve Cummings, Aaron Gibbs – spiritual life director)
Athens High and Industrial School
Athens Montessori School (Warren McPherson)
Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School (Makeba Clark)
The Career Academy
Cedar Shoals High School (Derrick Maxwell)
Clarke Middle School (Christopher Pendley)
Clarke Central High School (Swade Huff, David Perno – head football coach, Jon Ward – Athletic Director, Aaron Cavin – FCA leader)
Classic City High School (Katrina Daniel)
Coile Middle School (Marsha Thomas)
Foothills Charter High School
Hilsman Middle School (Utevia Tolbert)
Malcom Bridge Middle School
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 High School (Ben Wiggins, Coach Nolan – head football coach)
Prince Ave Christian School (Seth Hathaway, Coach Vandegriff – football coach), Will Cantrell – basketball coach)
Rutland Academy – school for special needs students
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 stand with them.

Pray that students would get plugged in quickly into a campus ministry and a local church and not be lured into the world; and that Christian students would be bold to reach out to the lost students around them in their classes.

Pray for smart choices by our students. Pray that they wouldn’t come to college with preconceived notions about the party life and automatically fall into that lifestyle, but that God would lead them into paths of righteousness and relationship with Him and His followers.

Pray for the 5000+ 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. They are essentially an unreached demographic on our campus. 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. Pray that God would connect them to believers, a campus ministry and a local church.

Pray for the international students. Though we don’t have a huge international student population, we have a large first-generation immigrant population. Many student’s come to UGA whose parents immigrated. Many grew up in an environment with limited exposure to a clear presentation of the Gospel. Pray for divine connections with these students that lead to relationships centered around 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.

Pray that the Lord will bring revival across the UGA campus, the Athens and Oconee schools, and Athens as a whole AND that we’d see more people come to Christ this year than we ever have before!

Pray that the Lord would provide necessary funding and other resources for ministries to be able to minister and carry out the call the Lord has given them (some ministries are currently experiencing funding-related hardships).

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 all the campus ministries, including the various works being done in the Greek houses. These campus ministries include but are not limited to… Wesley, Cru, Team United, InterVarsity, Navigators, RUF, BCM,… Pray for the various chaplains who work with the athletic teams.

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 their groups.

From Jerry Johnson (BCM).

Please pray for…

  • Continuing transitions of new campus ministry leadership
  • Incoming student leaders (BCM SERVE team) catching of vision to reach our campus
  • BCM Leadership retreat for SERVE student leadership in OK, Aug 3-8
  • MOVE IN DAY connections to new students!
  • That older students will see the need to reach and disciple new students on campus
  • GOSPEL conversations and GOSPEL appointments for the new contacts we receive—that the focus will be the GOSPEL!!
  • Joint worship by area Baptist Churches, Tate Theater, Aug 11 @ 9:30am – that the gospel be presented clearly and students encouraged to connect with both a campus ministry and with a strong local church:  as a discipline of faith, to be a part of a body of believers of all ages, and to serve connected to Christ’s local body.
  • For moving the main gathering of BCM ONTO the campus each Tuesday night at Eight at Tate Theater—that this is done wisely and well and that this important transition sparks greater revival at UGA and beyond.
  • For two important Outreach events:  Homecoming Week outreach Oct 15 & 22 at the University Chapel and Q Union @ UGA: (engaging our culture) “The Power of We,” Oct 24 location TBD.

From Alan Goddard (Cru)

Here are the things I am feeling keenly and trusting God for in Cru and for the campus as I look at the fall.

Cru:

  • We will have a small team and VERY few women leaders to disciple a host of female students. Pray for women leaders to be faithful, take ownership, and disciple others well. Pray that God would double the portion of grace on them.
  • Please pray for God to completely heal and restore Karen Goddard from Adult Leukemia. She is an active part of Cru.
  • Pray for a large increase in freshmen and sophomores attaching to our ministry this year. We have many older leaders but the succeeding years look weaker at this point.
  • For strong sense of student ownership and submission to Christ’s lordship to take great steps of faith out of delight in Christ.
  • For a student led spirit of prayer to cover our entire ministry.
  • That doors would remain open to us in the Greek system and we would see even greater fruit there. that eventually every single Greek house on campus would have a “light”–at least one student who truly follows Jesus and wants him to be known in that house.

Campus:

  • Pray the incoming freshmen class will be full of students God leads to be devoted followers and that many would come to Christ over their four years at UGA. Pray that no incoming freshman would be able to leave UGA without at least one credible opportunity to respond to the gospel.
  • For a sense of unity among all the campus ministries, starting with the leaders and staff, but reaching all the way down to the freshman class. That we would be one body of Christ on this campus together even with our different parts.
  • That Christian students would not be satisfied with just a small portion of God that would make them feel comfortable, but would embrace all that He has for them in Christ.

Colleges in Athens

Athens College of Ministry
Athens Tech
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.