Are you searching for just the right gift for a graduate in your life? Consider giving high-school or college grads something they will cherish for years to come—a “YOU Gift.” It’s free and it will make this season special. Here are five suggestions:
- Express value. Graduates are under a lot of pressure. They’re adults now but they may not have every detail of their future in place. (We don’t either, right?) One way to encourage them is to tell them the positive qualities and skills you see in them. Resist offering advice but instead, affirm them. You just might guide them into the right path for study and career.
- Ask them for advice. This is a very creative generation! They are thinkers and they are passionate and compassionate. They see life differently from older adults and have creative ways of solving problems.
- Get healthy together. Take a walk or go to the gym together. Chat about healthy foods over dinner. If they get on a good health track now, chances are they’ll make good choices when they’re on their own.
- Listen to them. They want to be heard. Ask for their opinions without interjecting your own. And you will learn too!
- Pray for them. Studies show young adults believe in God, believe in heaven, and believe in prayer. Ask them how you can pray for them. And definitely pray they make good choices and follow God with their lives.
50 Life Lessons For Grads
Janet McHenry is the author of 24 books, including the bookstore bestselling 50 Life Lessons for Grads. A mom of four college grads and a former high school English teacher and academic advisor, she still keeps score at the home basketball games and loves hanging out with young people. More about her writing and speaking can be found at https://www.janetmchenry.com.
Easter is a time to draw close to Christ and learn from his experience. We also can learn from his prayers from that last week of his life. It’s interesting that of his ten recorded prayers, six come from his last week. And they can inspire our prayer lives.
- “Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:28 NIV). Despite Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he said, “Now my heart is troubled.” When we are troubled, we also can ask God to be glorified in us.
- “May they be brought to complete unity” (John 17:23 NIV). Jesus’s chapter-long Upper Room prayer emphasizes the importance of unity in the church and is an example to us to pray for the same today.
- “Yet not as I will, but what you will (Matt. 26:39 NIV). In the Gethsemane Garden Jesus prayed the two-sided prayer—what he wanted, life, but also God’s will in the matter. When we face critical decisions, we can pray similarly.
- “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV). In Jesus’s first of three prayers from the cross he models the imperative of forgiveness in the face of injustice and cruelty.
- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 NIV). With Jesus’s second prayer from the cross we see his humanity in his “why” question and know that we can pray our laments also.
- “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:45 NIV). Ultimately, Jesus’s last prayer shows us that the best posture of prayer is submission.
While we don’t have to use Jesus’s very words, he shows us the importance of opening our hearts honestly in prayer and opening our hands to receive what the Father has for us.
The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus
Janet McHenry is the author of twenty-four books—six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. Featured in Health and other magazines and media for her prayerwalking for her community, she directs the prayer ministries of The Bridge Church in Reno. Janet loves serving event planners and churches through her speaking and may be contacted at https://www.janetmchenry.com
Prayerwalking: Walking for your health, praying for your community
Just over twenty years ago I found myself falling apart physically. I was huffing and puffing going up stairs. I needed painkillers to sleep. And the turning point occurred when I fell down the back steps because my knee had given way.
I needed to do something about my health, but I also knew God had been nudging me to spend more time with him. So I decided to get up a little earlier the next day to walk, and while I walked I would take care of my prayer lists.
There was a lot of my-ness in those prayers: my marriage, my kids, my teaching job. But that changed when I saw a young man entrust his blanketed little girl to the daycare worker outside Toddler Towers in our town of eight hundred in the Sierra Valley.
At that moment before six in the morning that little girl said, “Bye, Daddy. I love you.”
And I knew right then that God had me out on the streets of my town not so much for the my-ness of my prayers but more for the needs of the people in my community.
Walking as an exercise is making a comeback, and as we embrace it, we can multi-task our miles by praying for our neighborhoods. Here are some suggestions to carry it off well:
- Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy clothes—just a good pair of shoes and clothes that address weather needs.
- Schedule your walk. Put your prayerwalking times on your calendar. I’ve made the commitment to be out the door by 4 p.m. daily.
- Leave the buds. Music or podcasts can distract you from noticing the prayer needs around you, as well as oncoming traffic.
- Pray for what you see: schools, homes, commuters, and more.
Janet Holm McHenry is the author of twenty-four books, including the bestselling PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer and Strength and Discipline. She loves to speak about how God has transformed her life as she has partnered with Him in prayer. Connect with Janet through her Facebook author page, her group called The Walking Club, or her website: https://www.janetmchenry.com.