All Are Welcome: Prayers for Student Sunday
As we approach Student Sunday 2017 (19 February 2017), we invite SCM groups, churches, chaplaincies and friends to pray for students and reflect on the theme of welcome.
We are called to welcome everyone into the life of our churches and communities. Throughout the Gospels, we see this demonstrated by Jesus – bringing people together and inviting them in with open arms.
That’s why our theme for Student Sunday next year (19 February 2017) will be ‘All Are Welcome’. We want to encourage and resource churches to follow up prayer with action – extending a welcome to all that celebrates people’s diversity, brings us together to worship God, and unites us towards a mission to seek peace and justice.
As we approach Student Sunday, here are some prayers, adapted from previous resources, that you can use now to welcome students and others into your community.
Prayers of Welcome
God of being
Be present in our gathering
God of becoming
Help us to become more fully ourselves
God of learning
Light our passion to know more
God of seeking
Be in our own search for understanding
God of teaching
Show us how to teach one another
God of story
Weave together our own stories with yours
God alongside us
You know what it is
To live a student life
Always seeking, asking questions
Always adapting, reassessing
Always learning, but never sure ourselves.
Be with us as we gather
To listen to your words
And help us to share our stories
In peace and confidence.
Written by Jenny Morgans
A Prayer for Unity
To our God who unifies us,
Grant your church the will to come together,
The patience to live and work amidst our differences,
And the joy of the Lord to sustain our strength.
Teach us to celebrate our diversity,
So that all people may be welcomed in without fear,
And encounter the immeasurable love of Christ.
Fix our eyes on the one who unites,
Our king and our servant,
And encourage us to draw from your well,
To offer our lives to each other,
And to share in the riches of your kingdom.
Knowing and Welcoming Others
God of life, we are your body.
In our gratitude for our coexistence,
In honour of the differences that express your diversity,
Help us recognise one another as partners in life’s journey.
Help us come to know those who are less visible,
Whom we must treat with special honour,
As you showed us in the unconditional love of Jesus.
Written by Sam Slatcher
God of diversity and uniqueness, help us on our daily journey to recognise those we meet as being in your likeness. Forgive us when we trample on the individuality and diversity you created in each person. Give us hearts that celebrate and praise your wonderful creation that is humankind. Amen.
Written by Kirsty Ann Mabbott
For more information about Student Sunday, click here. SCM is producing a resource toolkit that can be used by churches, student groups and individuals. If you would like to receive this toolkit when it’s ready, please sign up here.