Join global prayers for students this Sunday

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student 2 yingchou han 241463 unsplash 1One of the oldest ecumenical days of prayer which recognises the extraordinary contribution students make to the life of the Church and their communities, is fast approaching.

Student Sunday, on 17 February, known internationally as the Universal Day of Prayer for Students, also highlights the challenges students face, and their need for practical support and prayer.

Dr Sam Richards, Head of Children’s and Youth Work for the United Reformed Church (URC), highlighted some of these challenges.

‘URC Youth includes many college and university students who contribute enormous energy to the Church. They are at the leading edge of our engagement with social justice and environmental issues and in sharing God’s love with those beyond the Church.  

student jeshoots com 523925 unsplash 1‘They, along with the rest of their generation, face particular challenges around mental health, suicide, loneliness, financial pressures, 24/7 connectivity, complex family backgrounds, and future uncertainties connected to climate change, migration and Brexit.’

Natalie Gibbs, a URC Youth Moderator, and Reuben Watts, URC Youth Moderator-elect, explained how some of these challenges can be overcome.

‘Connecting with the wider community, feeling at home at university, college or school is of vital importance,’ they said. ‘Churches can also help by offering a space, whether on a Sunday or throughout the week, for students to meet friends, explore their faith and establish a base amongst the midst of deadlines and exams.’

Dr Richards encouraged people to include students in their prayers on Sunday.

‘Pray for them as they seek to walk the way of Jesus in a rapidly changing world, as they discover how to be disciples in the 21st century.’

student 3 ben white 170383 unsplashThe Student Christian Movement has created a toolkit that includes prayers and reflections from students, as well as church leaders, to help churches mark Student Sunday with their congregations. Download it here.

Pictures: (Top) A student walking down a street. Yingchou Han/Unsplash.

A student studying (middle left). Jeeshoots/Unsplash. 

A student praying (bottom right). Ben White/Unsplash

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