Cedarville Magazine, Fall 2023

Donna (Payne) VanLiere ’89 is the author of more than 15 Christian fiction books, including New York Times bestseller The Christmas Shoes. She was honored as the 2023 Cedarville University Alumna of the Year. Father, we come to Your throne of grace and lift up the students of Cedarville, who are living in both strange and exciting times. We are aware of the hour, Lord. We know that the return of Christ is near, and we pray that these students would be salt and light in whatever small corner of the world they live in. As our culture struggles with mental health, twists Your Word, rewrites our own country’s history, and redefines gender, sexuality, and what is good and evil, give the students in history and government, education and social work, psychology, and English, literature, and modern languages wisdom that can only come from You. We ask that each of their lives would be a living testament of Your grace and that those around them will sense something different about them, something of peace and hope that is attractive and compelling — something that is real in an unreal world. We ask for one-on-one moments throughout their lives where the students can share the hope that is within them with someone who feels hopeless and lost. We pray that as they are at Cedarville and long after they’ve left, You would increase their faith in You, that they would always know Your truth from what this world proclaims is truth, and that they would walk in Your purposes. Your Word says, “Open your mouth and I will fill it.” We pray that, each time these students are engaged in conversation with coworkers, in their neighborhoods, inside a classroom or school board meeting, with family, at City Hall, the halls of a hospital, or a church meeting, that when they open their mouths, You will fill them. We pray that they will feel the peace and the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding them as they walk through life. Protect them from unbelief during these times. Give them godly friends and influences and let them be a godly friend and influence in someone else’s life. In a world full of distractions and noise, give them a greater desire for Your Word and to walk closer with You. Your Word says, “My sheep hear my voice.” We pray that these sheep going out among wolves will always hear Your voice and never confuse it with another. Equip and enable these students in ways they never dreamed possible. Use them for Your glory and Your good. Lord, we pray that You would bless and keep these students, make Your face shine upon them, be gracious to them, turn Your face toward them, and give them Your peace. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen. A Prayer for Cedarville Students 25