From the Parent Council
Whenever parents of George Fox students get together, they naturally talk about their kids at Fox. The conversation goes something like this: “Yeah, we had two of our kids at GFU last year, but the oldest graduated . . . Oh, she is a junior, majoring in elementary education . . . and what about your son?” Last September I had a conversation with a mother whose daughter recently started at Fox as a freshman. She breathlessly rattled off how much her daughter was enjoying the time and meeting new friends and involved in all kinds of activities. Then, after a brief pause, she said, “I hope she goes to class sometime.”
Often those conversations about our students turn to applause for what is going well and turn worrisome over what isn’t going well: “He loves what he is studying, but it is so much harder than what he did in high school. I just hope he can make it.” … “She and her roommate seem to fight over everything. I just wish they could work it out.” … “Her faith is being stretched, but I think it is really good for her.” … “He is always sending me texts about a certain young lady. I’m not sure he is ready for this. I’m not sure I am ready for this.”
Imagine having those same sorts of conversations, expressing our joys and our fears, and including God in the conversation. That is what the Parents Day of Prayer is all about. Of course, God is always aware of our conversations, but when we pray together we intentionally invite him to be a part. On the Parents Day of Prayer we talk about our children to God. Usually, when parents share concerns about their children, there is very little I can do about it. But I can talk with them to the One who can make a difference in our lives and the lives of our children. Together we trust that our Father in heaven loves our children more than we do.
The Parents Day of Prayer is on Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to noon. We meet in the Cap and Gown Room in the Student Union Building and start with a time of worship. Then, after a brief challenge about prayer, we divide into smaller groups for a time of praise and thanksgiving. After that, we wander around the campus praying in groups for our children and the people who touch their lives in the buildings that they live, study and play in. We return to the Cap and Gown Room and pray for specific requests that students and staff have submitted. Our time is concluded by some of the student leaders coming in and praying for the parents. Many comment that the time when students pray for us is the most powerful time of the day.
If you live too far from campus to attend the day of prayer, you might check out the regional locations where parents meet together to pray for the university and our students. Also, if you would like to pray on your own that day, you can request that a list of prayer requests be sent to you. By now you should have received an invitational brochure in the mail about the Parents Day of Prayer. That has a tear-off registration form, or you can register at the school website (georgefox.edu).
You don’t have to be a professional or a prayer warrior to join us for the Parents Day of Prayer. You don’t even have to pray out loud if you are not comfortable with that. We don’t pray together as a group because we are good at it but because we are strengthened and encouraged as we pray together. I hope that you can join us March 12 as we have good conversations with our Heavenly Father about our children and the university they attend.
Winslow Thurston, Parent Council Chair