Pause

A student body often joins together to celebrate excellence and achievement – in sports or in academics – at a pep rally.

But when it comes to the life of faith, you don’t have to achieve great things to be celebrated.

God has created you and called you – and that’s something to celebrate!

So we pray:

God of Life, breathe into me the truth of your word.

Redeemer of Love, nurture my faith by the promises of your word.

Spirit of Peace, anchor my soul with your wisdom of your word.

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Listen

I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy. I’m glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the gospel from the time you first believed it until now. I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:3-6

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Think

This verse is a favorite. It basically says, “Every time I think of you, I say thank you to God.” I wonder if you have a person in your life for whom the very thought of their name and face makes your heart smile. Your love and appreciation run deep for this person; your prayers are celebratory because of this person.

You will have a lot of projects this school year, homework will pile up, and after-school responsibilities will busy your mind and keep your feet tired. In the midst of it all, you will need a friend – someone who can remind you to pause and pray for daily fortitude and grace, someone who will make you laugh, someone whose very presence makes life more enjoyable. This person will partner with you as you live out the gospel message of faith, hope, and love.

If you have someone like this in your life, say a prayer of gratitude for them. If you still need a friend like this, pray for this person to be real in your life. And in both cases, be that friend for someone else.

Aram Bae

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Pray

God, thank you for the gift of friendship. Nudge me with your Spirit to celebrate and to pray for my friends this year. Guide me to be a loyal friend, too. Help us to be present for each other especially when the loneliness runs deep. Amen.

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Go

May God our Creator bless us and keep us.

May God the Redeemer smile upon us and be gracious towards us.

And may the Spirit of Truth lead us in the path of wisdom and peace.

And all of God’s people said: Amen.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA and teaches classes on faith development and religious identity. In addition to her passion for ministry with youth and families, she’s considering a new hobby — road biking. Help, Lord Jesus, help.

I Surrender All

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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