Collegiate Day of Prayer: 30-Day Church Prayer Guide

Collegiate Day of Prayer: 30-Day Church Prayer Guide

DAY 22 OF 30

DAY 22: Returning To The Lord

By Nicole Stevens (Cru)

“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ But you would not...” Isaiah 30:15 (NKJV)

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. In his book, The Deeply Formed Life, Rich Villodas comments on distractions that can disrupt our time with the Lord. In quoting Thomas Keating, Villodas says: “if your mind gets distracted ten thousand times in twenty minutes of prayer, ‘it’s ten thousand opportunities to return to God.’”

Isn’t it beautiful to think that our amazing God, rather than shaking his head at us and our easily-wandering minds, welcomes us to return to Him time and time again?

But what about the bigger seasons of distraction we may go through? Sure, it’s one thing to get distracted for a few moments during our quiet times with the Lord. But what about longer seasons of distraction? Seasons of busyness where our family and career responsibilities distract us from wholeheartedly seeking our King? Or seasons of trials that keep our focus horizontal rather than heavenward? Does God invite us to return to Him even in those longer seasons of distraction and—dare we say departing—from the Lord?

The answer is a thrilling and humbling yes.

In Isaiah 30:15, we read how the Israelites—God’s own people who knew of His outstretched arm that parted the Red Sea and His loving compassion that continually pursued them—were distracted by the seemingly impressive armies and strength of the Egyptians.

And yet, as we see in this passage, God mercifully invited them to return to Him. To rest in Him. To trust in Him. And the magnificent result?

They would be saved.

Fast forward a few thousand years to our college students today. Even those raised in Christian homes—the ones who attended the youth retreats and church picnics, the ones who can quote John 3:16 and maybe even recite the books of the Bible in order. What about them?

A whole set of distractions and temptations awaits them on the college campus. They might not be searching for safety from the Egyptians, but they are searching for something or several things—all of which become distractions.

They are distracted by the search for success, approval, and significance. The desire to do well academically and socially, to gain approval from everyone from their professors to their peers. Their desire to “fit in” usually doesn’t include sporting a cross around their necks.

Is there any hope for them to return to the Lord? The answer, again, is yes.

Because that’s just how good our God is!

I know first-hand. I was one of those college students who got distracted in my walk with Jesus, absorbed in my full social calendar and 4.0 GPA. I put God on the back burner, but He never stopped pursuing me. And how good it felt when I finally returned to Him. Oh, how welcoming His arms, how loving His embrace, how sweet His whisper: “I love you!”

Let us pray for our students to return to God—to cast their hearts and minds away from those worldly distractions, find rest and grace in His arms, and be saved. As Villodas powerfully states: “[Distractions] don’t have to have the final say.”

But God does.


  • Pray for our college students who were raised knowing the gospel–that rather than falling into temptation and getting distracted while at college, they would pursue their Savior and find rest, salvation, and all they need in Him.
  • Pray for those college students who are distracted right now–pray they would return to the Lord, taste and see that He is good, and follow His plans for their life.
  • Pray that Christian students would come alongside those struggling/distracted in their faith and show them how to rest in the Father’s loving arms.


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Collegiate Day of Prayer: 30-Day Church Prayer Guide

200 years ago in 1823, nearly every major denomination and university across America united in prayer for our nation’s college students. Campuses were being radically transformed by powerful seasons of spiritual awakenin...

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