As both a Future Female Leader and a Christian, I believe that every new school year is a fresh start and therefore should be treated as a new and exciting opportunity. I also know that I cannot truly accomplish or change anything of my own power. This is why I must turn my heart to the source of my hope, my Lord Jesus! (Psalm 121:1)

Embarking on my senior year, I have a lot of questions and doubts and anxieties. Yet, I want to make this year my best one so far. Since I know that God cares deeply about everything close to my heart, my prayer for this year goes a little something like this:

“Dear Lord,

Thank you for this ‘last-first day’ and this opportunity to begin anew. While the transition back to school may be hard, thank you for all the joys that lie therein…the chance to see my friends again, new school supplies and freshly organized binders (complete with FFL image quotes, of course), the vibrant colors of Fall, ‘Friday Night Lights,’ teachers who invest in me, a supportive family, and endless more.

This school year, I pray you give me the victory (and that graduation cap) through you! Give me the willpower and determination I need to push through, and enable me to always do my best “as if I’m working for the Lord, not for men,” (Colossians 3:23-24). Please bless my efforts with success, God, but teach me not to boast in this success but only in you. (I Corinthians 1:31). All that I do, please help me to do out of love and reverence for you, not to impress others. Even if I do the right thing with the wrong motivations, I still have missed the mark. I praise you because – You are my Strength. You are my Firm Foundation. My victory is in you and You Alone!

I know this year will be challenging. Every semester has its obstacles. Yet let me trust in You, Lord, to supply everything I need (Philippians 4:19). Help me never to forget that each new day is a fresh opportunity to shine your light, Lord, just as each new year is a chance to improve upon the mistakes and shortcomings of the past.

Most importantly, help others to see your influence in me. It’s easy to be known as the girl who’s involved in politics, the girl who makes good grades, or the girl who is overly addicted to coffee. Instead, Lord, let me be known as the girl who loves without limit, the girl who is a true friend, and the girl who relentlessly chases Christ.

When I am tempted to get upset with one of my teachers or classmates, give me patience (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

Give me endurance when I am tempted to cheat or give up. (Colossians 1:11).

When I am tempted to gossip or say something negative, give me the thought, ‘What would Jesus Do’?

Help me to realize that “This too shall pass,”(2 Corinthians 4:17-18when I am tempted to get discouraged. 

When I am tempted, Lord, remind me of your promise that you will never give me any temptation beyond what I can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).

‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.’ Therefore, help me to embrace, consciously and persistently, a positive attitude. After all, even though this world is chaotic and fallen, eventually it will all pass away in the light of your glory. Until that day, though, I fully desire to choose joy. No matter the circumstances of my day, may my soul long for you (Psalm 84:2) and may the joy of the Lord be my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)!

Also this year, God, please guide my relationships. I know that humans are messy (myself very much included), and relationships are hard. Therefore, I want you to pervade every area of my life. No matter how tough it gets, empower me to be understanding, show love, and continually prove myself friendly. While I know I don’t need anyone other than you (Psalm 16:5-11), I am so grateful for the people you have placed in my life. They make this world so much sweeter. My blessings overflow (Psalm 23:5)!

Lastly, guide me in my decision-making. You have numbered the stars and the sands on the seashore. Still, ‘You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar, (Psalm 139:2).  You count the very hairs of my head (Matthew 10:30), so I am secure in the knowledge that you care for me infinitely. As I face many tough choices about my future this year, help me to rightly discern your will for my life. Amid the confusion and the doubting, speak to my heart what is true.

Above all, thank you for loving me. Thank you for dying on that wretched cross in exchange for my freedom. Thank you for the assurance and validation I find in you alone. Finally, thank you for this opportunity you have blessed me with to share my voice and your truth.

Amen.”

I pray that this prayer blesses the heart and life of every Future Female Leader who is reading this, and I conclude with my life verse this year:

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15