“Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.” – 1 Peter 2:12 NLT
Prayer is the most important and powerful thing we can do for international students. Here are some suggestions for each day of the week to pray for students from a European background.
Monday – Pray that European students who come from a post-Christian worldview will be open to encountering Jesus Christ here on campus. Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT – “I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms.”
Tuesday – Pray that European students would see a real need for a relationship with Christ and be open to hearing his truth. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 NLT – “And we will never stop thanking God that when we preached his message to you, you didn't think of the words we spoke as being just our own. You accepted what we said as the very word of God - which, of course, it was. And this word continues to work in you who believe.
Wednesday – Pray that European students would make friendships on campus with genuine Christians who would demonstrate the unconditional love of Christ to them. Romans 12:9-10 NLT – “Don't just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.”
Thursday - Pray that European students would realize that there are truth claims which are worth caring deeply about. Romans 1:19-20 NLT – “For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.”
Friday - Pray that the pride of the European students would be broken before the Lord and that they humble themselves before the Lord. First John 2:16-17 NLT – “For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.”
Saturday - Pray that European students who desire great wisdom would find it only in Christ. Romans 11:33 NLT – “Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge!”
Sunday - Pray that European students who discover a personal relationship with Christ while studying here in the U.S. would freely share that with their peers upon returning home. Colossians 1:23 NLT – “But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed by God to proclaim it.”
Principles cited in this blog: Prayer is the most important and powerful thing we can do for European-background international students.
Application for ISI ministry: The key to changed lives is asking the Holy Spirit to do it in Jesus’ name.
Next blog topic: Using the holidays to minister to international students!
Doug Shaw with Derrah Jackson