Pause

A new school year is like a clean slate, waiting for you to write your new experiences, new growth, and new learning upon it.

As you begin again, consider what new things Jesus might want to do with you in the coming weeks, months, and year.

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Listen

During that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night long. At daybreak, he called together his disciples. He chose twelve of them whom he called apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter; his brother Andrew; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called a zealot; Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Luke 6:12-16

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Think

Are there people in your “world” (your school, circle of friends, band, team, class, squad, church, choir, neighborhood, community) who could bring something good to your life and your faith? Whose presence, even occasionally, would inspire you or challenge you?

Take some time today and make a list of people. Write down their names. Next to their names, list the things about them for which you are grateful. List the aspects of their character to which you would like to be exposed. Give thanks to God for them. Ask God to help you learn from them. Ask God to deepen your faith, expand your insight, strengthen your way ahead this year by being connected to this person. Do this for each name on your list.

This is what it means to pray deeply. This is how you invite God to help you see and understand in a significant way. Call the names on this list “great people,” “influencers," or even “disciples.”  Together — you, these great people, and God — are a powerful new force of goodness in this world.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

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Pray

Gracious God, I give you thanks for these people: (Say or list the names of people from your list). God, I see this person (using each name on your list) living in a way that nudges me to live more fully, to be more faithful. Help me see something today that will change my life in a positive way. Help me be a daring disciple for you! Amen.

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Go

God has been there from the beginning of all time and is with you in each new beginning.

May the God who makes things new bless you and keep you.

May Jesus’ love shine upon you and through you.

May the Holy Spirit bring you peace.

Gina Yeager-Buckley

Gina Yeager-Buckley serves as the national Associate for Ministries with Youth for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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