Praying For College Students

I was shocked last week to hear that the second leading cause of death among college students is suicide. Furthermore, I read that as many as 50% of college students have thought about suicide with 15% of them seriously considering it.

That’s heartbreaking and after thinking about it I kind of get it. It’s a difficult time of life.  While I ultimately had a blast in college, thanks mostly to an incredible network of friends, I still remember wrestling with feeling…







and increasingly stressed.

At Cross Point we are so blessed to draw a lot of college kids from surrounding schools.  Starting today I want to make a more concerted effort to love on them a little intentionally.

If you see a college kid at your church this Sunday why don’t you stop and give them a hug and tell them how much you appreciate them. Take time to ask them a few questions and see how their “really” doing.

If you have a kid in college, you are in college, or you know someone in college, leave the name and college below. We’ll spend some time praying for them today.

99 Responses to “Praying For College Students”

  1. joyce says:

    I have two and appreciate the prayers….thanks!

    both go to Furman
    .-= joyce´s last blog ..Legacy =-.

  2. Christy says:

    Pete, great idea! The church I attended in college (FBC Downtown Nashville) had church families adopt college students. It was a great way to have a home away from home for an occasional meal, a place to do laundry, friends, and a family to love on you. Through a fluke in the adoption system, I was adopted by 4 different families. Not a problem at all for me! I loved every one of them and they made a tremendous difference in my life when I was going through some of the most difficult years of my life. I learned how to love and how to open my home by how they invested in my life.

  3. Yeah. I enjoyed college but it was not a period that I’d want to relive. I was pretty far from God and searching for significance. Not a great combination.

    Praying for them today.
    .-= Lindsey Nobles´s last blog ..God Calling? =-.

  4. Sarah says:

    I had a rough start at college so I’m sorry to say reading this post did not surprise me. I love how things ended and I do miss it, although I wouldn’t go back.

    Having a support system, especially from a church, helps a lot. So pray your hearts out.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..A 1st =-.

  5. Elaine says:

    My niece Mandy lives in TN goes to MI State. Thanks for insight on praying for college kids!

  6. devbeth says:

    Lauren and Andrew – UNI (Go Panthers!)
    Craig – Embry-Riddle

    Thank you!

  7. joyce says:

    I will add that so many wonderful people have stepped into my girls lives thru their involvement in Young Life. Committee people have them for dinner once a week in their homes and it is appreciated on so many levels. For part of my girls college years we lived abroad and it was such a comfort to know that there were caring adults present, available, and praying for my kids. I think college is often a place where kids go way off track. But it can also be a place where they get firmly on the right track.
    .-= joyce´s last blog ..Legacy =-.

  8. Jeff says:

    Pray for the students at RIT, UT and Geneseo.

  9. Cheryl H says:

    I am a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  10. Shelby says:

    I’m a student at UNC Wilmington, This campus could definitely use more prayer

  11. Ben says:

    Onelia Hawa – Kennesaw State Univ

  12. Amanda Fordham says:

    Becca Pippin – Tenn State – Knox
    Tanner Pemelton – Austin Peay
    Cara Thurman – Belmont
    Natalie McDonald – Belmont
    Rachel Saylor – Lipscomb
    Braeden Scarborough – MTSU
    Steven Lewis – MTSU
    All former Charge kids or current Charge Leaders. Love them all.

  13. Veronica says:

    Maureen Valle in Purdue University Lafyt.

  14. Julie says:

    Hey Pete…My oldest BETHANY, is in her 2nd year at UT!!

    My middle daughter, HANNAH will be leaving in AUGUST for UNION for the first time. I so wish you had a campus close to UNION.

  15. Kathy White says:

    I am blessed to go to a church that is very purposeful in reaching out to college kids. I have a son, Andrew who is a junior at NC State University and a son, Joel who will be attending Wake Tech in the fall.

  16. susan says:

    Me! =]

    The Richard Stockton College of NJ
    .-= susan´s last blog ..Exuma 20ten preview =-.

  17. As an adult leader with our college student for the past 4 years, I cannot stress how important it is for Christians to reach out to college-age souls and love on them where they are, and not where we want them to be. Let God bring the change while we bring the love (and free food).

    I know hundreds of student at the following colleges, so I’ll just list the schools:
    St Charles County Community College
    Lindenwood University
    Univeristy or Missouri – St. Louis
    Washington University
    Missouri Baptist University
    St. Louis Christian College
    Webster University
    Washington University
    Fontbonne University
    Mayrville University

    Thanks for bringing this to the front of a lot of people’s minds today. I pray that their hearts will be compelled to loving action for His glory.
    .-= Jeremy Walker´s last blog ..A Savior on Capital Hill – TuesdayTunes =-.

  18. Renee Hampton says:

    Thanks so much for your consideration in this. Landon is a senior at WKU. My neice, Olivia, is a soph. at WKU.I know alot of the hilltoppers would love to know you are keeping them in your prayers.

  19. diane says:

    My husband, Chris, and my sister, Michelle.
    .-= diane´s last blog ..A quick video =-.

  20. Ryan says:

    A great reminder this morning! I personally felt a lot of emptiness as I left home to attend Purdue so many years ago! Transition is tough and it impacts everyone in different ways. We certainly need to pray for our students and also let them know that our church staff is available here locally to walk with any that might be feeling lonely and lost. No one should have to do life alone!

  21. During my freshman year of college life I almost became a part of that statistic. God rescued me.

    If you would add: Cameron Hudson and Allie Bentley to the prayer list. Two of the great young leaders in our Church.
    .-= Dusty Rayburn´s last blog ..Responsibility =-.

  22. Morgan says:

    Thanks for this post, Pete. I am a college student, and can obviously understand the difficulties of this time of life. I work in a church and have been so blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and who have helped me as I moved away from home and started “out on my own.” It makes such a difference! Thanks for drawing some attention to this area, and thanks for your example in leadership and ministry!

  23. Tina Dee says:

    Praying for several at the following:

    U of Colorado
    U of A

    Thank you for the privilege to lift them and those listed by others. We’ve got a lot of praying to do today.
    .-= Tina Dee´s last blog ..Author DiAnn Mills & Sworn To Protect – Giveaway! =-.

  24. Emily says:

    Thanks for the great reminder –
    Ashley at James Madison University
    Andrew at Hampden Sydney

  25. kristi o says:

    I have an amazing daughter who attends the College of Idaho. Its about 5 hrs from us. Its a Liberal Arts college, I am so thankful God has given her a few Christian friends and they are looking for a church to attend in that area. She is often a bit lonely and seeking, we are a tight family and we’ve been thru trauma so this is a growing year for her. My prayers for her are this 1)she doesn’t have a roommate for next yr and she is so worried 2) that God would really speak peace to her about being away from home (her dad is sick) 3)the Rockin’ worship roadshow is in her town this weekend, I pray God would provide her someone to go with.
    thanks for this!! woohoo!!

  26. regina says:

    Lucinda-Motlow State

  27. Brittany says:

    wow, I remember college. (it wasn’t so long ago I graduated in 2005) And I really struggled finding a church “fit.” I’d been really hurt by some members of my “home” church in high school, and was struggling to remember “not all churches are the same.” So grateful God led me to Nashville after college (MTSU) and led me Cross Point.

    Praying for college kids today.

    Also – my mom is a 3rd grade teacher in Jackson, TN and recently got a transfer student who is showing suicidal tendancies – (she was sexually molested by a family member)
    Please pray for this little girl and for my mom!
    .-= Brittany´s last blog ..Intro to my babies =-.

  28. Marvin says:

    I remember an affluent high school near Dallas with a high suicide rate. Thanks for reminding us that our youth must be held up in prayer.
    .-= Marvin´s last blog ..Leadership requires skilled servant work =-.

  29. Samantha says:

    if it’s not too selfish to ask, i’m wrestling with this very thing right now.

    samantha — wisconsin lutheran college.

  30. Luke W. says:

    I am in college, so I also have many friends in college, and my brother and sister are in college.
    Our colleges:
    University of Alabama- me and friends
    Belmont University- Friends
    Shelton State- sister
    Samford University- brother
    Bevel State- friends

    I will be praying. Since I saw the post on Twitter last week about 2nd leading cause of death, I have been praying and was concerned about it.
    Thanks Pete for revealing this to all of us. Thanks for your concern and prayers!
    .-= Luke W.´s last blog ..John Mark McMillan releases single =-.

  31. DisneyCyndi says:

    Thanks for this Pastor P. Asking for prayer for my Daughter Nicki who is at Norfolk State in VA. She is working ful time as a clerk at a law office and going to class at night. She has made the tough decision to go back to school full time (which means giving up her job and benefits) so that she can finish out her last year and graduate next spring. Its been a long hard process for her.
    .-= DisneyCyndi´s last blog ..Life Is Good!!!! =-.

  32. Paul,

    Thanks to your and the team at Cross Point for loving on Belmont U. kids! I know a number of them that attend your church and feel both connected and loved!

    Keep it up!

  33. David says:

    My wife and I have a heart to minister to college students. Thanks for the reminder of how important they should be to God’s people.

  34. Marni says:

    What a wonderful idea. Thank you!

    Please pray for my daughter Lindsay at Tarleton State University in Texas.

  35. Mike in Milwaukee says:

    The ministry of Cross Point is a powerful draw both “live” and online. Could there be a deliberate Cross Point outreach that includes, messages, resources and peer-help focused just on Nashville and surrounding campuses – use social media & campus posters? Don’t know – just a few thoughts – hope they help.

  36. Lily says:

    Pete, I just love this. I love everything you do. I almost commit suicide myself when I was a teenager. Without knowing there was a woman praying for me. Because of that I’m here. Because of that I pray for every child and teenager I see and bless them in Jesus’name. Praying.
    .-= Lily´s last blog ..LilyAny: RT @SamaritansPurse: PRAY FOR SUDAN: Pray for efforts to prevent violence against women, especially in conflict areas. =-.

  37. Kevin M. says:

    Please pray for one of our college students named Kirsten. Thanks!

  38. Alison says:

    LOVE this idea. I have a niece and a nephew in college:

    Kristi – Central Baptist College, AR
    Robert – Central Missouri
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Vapor =-.

  39. Courtney says:

    Kaylee: Texas A&M
    Lauren: Texas A&M
    Katie: Texas A&M
    Abby: Baylor University
    Taylor: Baylor University
    Hannah: Arkansas University
    Morgan: Baylor
    Samantha: Baylor
    Stephanie: A&M

  40. Derek Ellis says:

    Hey Pete,

    My fiancee and I came to Cross Point at the beginning of the month, and I just wanted to thank you for your encouragement. Please keep the students at Wittenberg University in your heart.

    Derek, Kelsey, Trevor, Megan, Colin, Matt, Meredith, Jess, Brad, John… thank you!

  41. Kathi Waddle says:

    Don’t forget to pray for those of us that work with the college students on our campuses. To be Jesus to the many students that don’t know Him.

    Also, haven’t heard anything back on my interview. Praying for good news on that. Going to go ahead and apply for another position at one of the Dallas County Community colleges.

  42. Laurie Stephens says:

    Our twins –

    Sara @ Lipscomb University
    Erin @ Union University

    Thanks for loving the College kids – I hope you see Sara @ Cross Point on Sunday!

  43. Laura Anne says:

    I was one of those college students. As were 2 of my friends. Thankfully 2 of us are doing well, the other is still getting long-term mental health support, treatment & care. I also have countless other friends during my time at uni who struggled with self-harm &/or depression.

    Please pray for students at the University of Aberdeen in bonnie Scotland.

    Because of it’s North-Easterly subarctic location, it is only light from about 8.30-3.30/4 p.m. most of the winter. Plus it’s frickin’ cold. The granite buildings make for a grey city, and all of that contribute to high rates of Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) in the city and surrounding area.

    There is also major issues with drugs in the area close by to the uni – Aberdeen is the heroin capital of Europe, and I know when I worked with Young parents (2002/3), 20 in 1000 babies were born addicted to heroin Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. It was normal for someone to know someone who had committed suicide – it was often related to a number of social issues that were tied in with drug/alcohol abuse.
    .-= Laura Anne´s last blog ..Worthy Cause Cupcakes =-.

  44. Kim says:

    Kristen – Holmes Comm College – Ridgeland, MS

    Unexpectedly lost her daddy in Oct 09 and her 38 yr old uncle (also unexpectedly) in March 10 –

    I know she has to be struggling with so many issues but is working very hard.

    Thanks so very very much.

  45. c says:

    i can honestly say that i fall in with the 15 % statistic. unfortunately, i have found that being out of school has actually not helped the situation. once graduation rolls around you are uprooted again to start life in the real world. i am glad that you posted this because the more ppl aware, the better.

    • Erin says:

      I graduated from Louisiana Tech University recently and I agree that those feelings don’t always leave as soon as you graduate. If you don’t have a job or at least some form of direction lined up for when you get out of college, I might even say it gets worse, but that really depends on your situation. For me, though, it’s gotten worse. I haven’t found a job yet despite endless attempts and I’m getting increasingly more depressed. I don’t know if I’d say that I’m in that 15% but I’m not far from it. Prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for posting this, I know there are many many people going through it right now.

  46. Megan says:

    My church currently meets on the campus at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. I want prayer for every USCA student. The presence of God is there and they are NEVER alone or without hope!

  47. GMC says:

    My godson….Michael @ Concordia in NY.

  48. Tanner says:

    The Quanti Boys in Tigertown( Clemson, SC)

  49. Mandie says:

    My sister at University of Montana. Me at Carleton College.

    Not surprising at all. In fact, at my school they say that 90% of the students or so seek mental health care at some point. Possibly because the school is constantly trying to keep up its reputation as a really tough school academically…

    In fact, my dad, a former professor at Southern Utah University, had students commit suicide or come back to their dorms to find that their roommate had hung himself or herself.

  50. ttm says:

    I’m not at all surprised by those statistics. We, as a society, are pushing more and more academic pressure onto our youth at younger and younger ages. What used to be taught in college is now taught at the high school level; foundations for some high school subjects are being laid in elementary school. Now children are being pushed to read in preschool. We don’t let our children be children anymore.

    And that’s just the academics–never mind that we expect our kids to be able to do well at everything and manage several extracurriculars/ministries, too.

    We also don’t (usually) feel comfortable enough with paradox and not having the answers to let our children (and friends) share freely. Without that support, people are turning inward and falling apart. We need to do better.

    I’m thankful for posts like this that remind me of that and allow me the opportunity to pray for others who are struggling. You never know when it might be your child, your friend, or even you. But by the grace of God (and even then…) go I…

  51. Sue Speir says:

    Thanks so much for praying for my college kids!

    Susannah Speir – North GA College (precious daughter, a believer involved with Campus Outreach)

    Ethan Speir – Georgia Tech (great son, but needs salvation)

    Again, thanks ever so much. I am never one to pass up an offer for someone to pray for my kids. I have two other children that are college graduates, thanks be to God.

  52. Jessica says:

    Pete, I’ll be honest, in college I did think about it. I had the best and worst experiences in college and those lows really got to me. I first realized I was experience serious depression and anxiety problems after talking to people in college. Thankfully I got help.

    Please pray for me and all my former college students this week. Jason Ray, who was the mascot for UNC, passed away three years ago on Friday. I’m still struggling. He was hit while walking during the NCAA tournament in NJ on the 23rd and then passed away on the 26th. This week is really hard for me and I have been on the verge of tears a lot. It’s just hard.

    My brother, James, is graduating this year from Barton College. Graduating is the scariest thing I can thing of with all the unknowns.

    As he leaves school I will be starting back in the fall for my Masters so pray for me too in August!

    Thanks Pete!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..31 Day Challenge =-.

  53. My husband is in college. We are raising 4 children on my income as a teacher. This is a very difficult time for us and he is having a hard time staying happy with the decision to go back to school. He only has a year and a half left and he will graduate with his doctorate in PT. But it is requiring a lot of his time right now and our schedules are not meshing so stress on all of us and our relationship.
    Deric…Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

  54. Thanks, Pete, for writing on this topic. I have a great passion for college students and enjoyed being an adjunct professor at Austin Peay State University so that I could interact with students. My daughter, Emily Kinnick, is a college student at Lipscomb University and attends Cross Point. Thanks for the ministry you have in Nashville AND thanks for praying for Emily!
    .-= Randy Kinnick´s last blog ..Be Careful What You Love =-.

  55. Sheila D. says:

    My sister, Elizabeth, is a dental student at Boston University. We JUST had this conversation the other night. Dental students fit a certain profile of people and their professors reached out to inform them of this and to let them know that they have support. I pray for her and all for her colleagues! Such a nice idea!

  56. Brett
    Dallas Baptist University
    .-= Vanity of Vanities´s last blog ..A Dark Night of the Soul =-.

  57. Lisa says:

    I was on the receiving end of a frantic phone call from our daughter’s boyfriend last year. She had attempted suicide.

    This was after a series of bad choices and just two weeks into her freshman year at Syracuse (NY). Thankfully she was unsuccessful but still suffers a great deal from continual bad choices.

    I appreciate your prayers for her…for us.

    Lauren (20) Currently attending a local community college.
    .-= Lisa ´s last blog ..Time with my Father – Part I =-.

  58. Laura says:

    I’m a college student, a senior at Penn State University. This statistic saddens me. I lost a close friend to suicide two years ago. I struggled with it for a long time, I felt like a failure as a friend. It’s certainly a sad trend, and I hope it changes.

    I feel weird asking for prayer, but I think I need some. Even though I’ve been here for 4 years, I still struggle to be in a place where most people don’t have God in their lives, which is such a change from the way I grew up. Sadly, I’ve let my relationship with Him suffer these past few years, and now I’m trying to rebuild it. Any prayer or advice would be much appreciated.

    Praying for my fellow college students too!

  59. Sandy says:

    Sandy is a senior at MTSU and is feeling the pressures of college, especially now. She has an 18 hour load, along with a unpaid internship that she works 30 hours+ per week. She is feeling all of the things that you wrote, with a high level of stress. Thanks for thinking of her and praying for her.

  60. Rhoda says:

    I get that feeling. Four years (or more) of trying to figure out what you’re “going to do with your life.” It’s rough. I went through those feelings of loneliness. No bueno. Two years out of college and still working through those kinks! pray for college students! And while we’re all praying…pray for those of us in the post-college experience (better known as: “twenty-somethings”).

  61. […] Pete Wilson had a post where he stated that as many as 50% of college students have thought about suicide and 16% of them have seriously considered it. Read it here […]

  62. stacikristine says:

    My husband and I help out (I lead a Bible study and he leads worship) at the BCM at the college here in our town. Please pray for the students of East Central University. College is tough in so many ways.

  63. Tina Marie says:

    I have two students in college,and although they are in Christian colleges, I still see the need for these prayers. Your years in college are spent trying to find your place in the world as individuals and that’s never an easy job. As a parent, I try to stay involved and ready for any discussions, but it’s ministries like yours that can stand in the gap and provide a much needed “tipping point” in the right direction. Thank you for adding Samuel and Brittany to your list.

  64. kristi o says:

    I had to come back to this post and say THANKS GOD!!!!! I know it was a small request compared to the many other posts. But my daughter called today, and she has a roommate and she is so hopeful. Sometimes I hesitate asking others to pray thinking its no big deal, but in the small our faith grows. God cares about all the details. Thanks for praying, praising and letting me share.

  65. ...adam says:

    2 of my students from the youth group i led are going to Crosspoint from Belmont. Aaron and Lisa. I dragged them to church when visiting Nashville one weekend and they are now plugging in and loving it.

    Thanks for loving students well.

  66. […] You can read the rest of it HERE. […]

  67. Jason Vana says:

    This is actually one of the reasons I have been involved in college ministry for the past 8 years. College seems to be a time where students are finding themselves – apart from their parents, family and old friends. I have had many students stop at my house late at night bawling because something was too hard, or they didn’t feel like a good enough Christian, or realized something about themselves they didn’t think they could overcome. They are such an important age group to reach.

  68. jewel says:

    just one example of MANY life changing, influential reason why it’s soo important for churches to reach out to collegians…i personally LOVE them!!!

  69. Joanna says:

    Can i add, pray especially for international students. They get all the challenges of college life with culture shock and being a long way away from home to the mix. I studied abroad for a while and was lucky to find really good christian community while overseas, but it was still tough. For those who don’t find a good support network where they are studying it would be really tough.
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..Recommended reading list now available =-.

  70. Sheila Smith says:

    I have a freshman, Hannah, at Lee University, Cleveland Tn. We moved to California 6 weeks before she moved in for my husbands job. While it is a christian college I know the enemy of our soul assaults these schools even harder. She needs prayer especially today as its a long weekend and she is unable to come home. She’s invited to UT this weekend and my husband and I think its a bad idea. Pray she hears the prompting of the Holy Spirit and learns the discipline of godly solitude. Thank you for your ministry as I am far away from my daughter but I know my savior is at hand.

  71. Christi D. says:

    I will never pass up the opportunity and blessing to have someone pray for my children!

    I have 2 in college right now:

    Chelsea is a Nursing Major at Mary Hardin Baylor – She is a senior, and these last 2 semesters are extremely stressful. I am worried that she is going out with friends to help alleviate stress instead of focusing and spending time with the Lord.

    Chase is a Sociology Major “super” Senior at Texas A & M (TAMU). He has to make at least a 3.0 gpa this semester, and nothing less than a 2.0 gpa in each class per his probation contract, or he will not graduate from TAMU period! (even though he has less than 23 hours to go and has been there for 5 years) To say he is under tremendous stress would be an understatement. He is a good young man, loves the Lord, but has struggled with severe test anxiety and focus issues, which he has gotten help for. It is his dream to graduate from TAMU, and I am worried that if this semester doesn’t work out for him that it will plunge him into depression.

    Thank you for focusing prayer on this special and vulnerable group of young people!

    Blessings to you and your church, and thank you again!

  72. Juli J. says:

    My son Andrew goes to Indiana Bible College

  73. Christy says:

    Ole Miss

    Thanks for the prayers…He is a freshmen 5 hours from home.

  74. Donna says:

    Please pray for my son, Austin, who is a jr at Texas A&M. He loves The Lord, but struggles with depression and anxiety related to the stress he feels about not knowing if he is in the right major and land a good job upon graduation. Pray for God to make clear if Austin should remain in Intl Relations. Also for him to be open to counseling and medication for depression.

    • cloe -mom says:

      praying for your son, as my son seems to struggle with panic attack and anxiety as well. I pray that the fear and doubt they feel inside will subside with growth and love of all friends and family. I pray that your son stays strong and finds the answer for him to help calm his heart mind and spirt. I pray that our boys let god into their hearts. my thoughtsand prayers will be with you.

  75. cloe -mom says:

    PLs. pray for my son mac_ in first yr. college in Ottawa Canada. Struggling with panic attacks and anxiety, loves his course and new friends, but allows fear to grip him and then can not function. We love him so much and want the best for him. please pray for his strength to overcome this issue.

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