Let us pray for all those who are beginning college, and for all those returning for classes.
Almighty God, You have promised to watch over all Your children, and to be with them in every time of change, in every time of temptation, and in every time of doubt. From Your throne in heaven, You hear the cries of all those who come before.
We ask that You would especially watch over all those who are beginning college, that You would be with them as they depart from family and friends and communities they have known their entire lives, and encounter new teachers, new friends and new places. Watch over them as they enter a world unlike the one they are familiar with, and give them the strength to stand firm in the face of many and various temptations.
Be also with those who are returning for classes, that as they continue their studies You would make clear to them the vocation that You have called them to. That they would be confident in all that they do, and that You would help them develop their talents and abilities so that they may love and serve their neighbors.
Be with all Your children who find themselves on college campuses, that though they may be far from home, that they would seek out Your house, where they may take refugee from the chaos that surrounds them on campus, and be reminded of their baptism, find comfort in the words of absolution, and be nourished by Your holy body and blood.
We ask all these things, so that when their course of study is complete, these Your sons and daughters might be devout husbands and wives, mothers and fathers; that they would be upstanding leaders in their communities; that they would be servants of You wherever You call them to love and serve their neighbor.
We pray that this time of extended education would strengthen their love and devotion to You and not hinder it. We pray that they would cling to Your words and Your promises in both good times and in bad. We pray that they would be shining lights to those sitting in darkness, as You have called them and us to be.
We pray all these things through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.