Nurses, doctors, delivery drivers and other front line workers have all received recognition during this COVID-19 period. They’ve been thanked for their service and hard work in such a difficult season. As September and a new university academic year looms, students, families and loved ones are now turning their focus to the leadership, chancellors and vice chancellors of universities for answers to worries and fears they have about going to university in the new term.
As a movement, we have regional prayer meetings every week to pray as regional teams for each city that we work with. Being a part of the sunny south team, we had the joy of praying for Portsmouth recently. Now this city has a special place in both mine and my team leader, Ben’s lives. We both went to university here and it’s where our faith grew and deepend in ways we never imagined due to the support from the local church.
As we were praying for Portsmouth, God placed the Vice-Chancellor on my mind and I began to reminisce over the few encounters I had with him at my time at university. I recalled the time he and his wife attended the Christian Union Carol Service at Christmas; I thought about my graduation day as I walked across the stage to be greeted by a proud smile beaming from his face, ready to shake my hand congratulations.
So we began to pray and speak life into the university, praying blessing over the whole leadership team and for the Vice-Chancellor and his family. We prayed for wisdom, clarity and peace in this time as well as rest and joy in their down time. We didn’t pray anything big or fancy or pray for hours on end. It was simple prayers with the aim to bless and remember the university staff and chancellors.
Once we finished praying, God prompted me a step further to send a short, encouraging email to the Vice Chancellor himself to let him know that we prayed for him and to ask for any specific prayer requests that we could continue to pray for over the weeks. He responded quite quickly with it having been a pleasant surprise among the many others that he regularly receives. He was encouraged to know that there were people praying for him and the univeristy.
As September approaches and Freshers Weeks draws near, could you pray for your city, chancellors and staff in the lead up to freshers? Why not even be bold and send them an email with encouragement or a prayer for them. It will make a welcome change to the COVID emails that will be monopolosing their inboxes as well as encourage them and brighten up their days! Let’s be a voice of hope for universities and stand with them as they navigate what September will look like.