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Global church urged to pray for students
Churches are being invited to pray for those preparing for exams or essays around the world on Student Sunday.
Student Sunday, known internationally as the Universal Day of Prayer for Students, is one of the oldest global ecumenical days of prayer and recognises the contribution of students to the life of the church.
It aims to highlight the specific challenges facing students and their need for prayer and practical support.
Alex Ackhurst, a third year music Christian student at Durham University and member of the National Student Movement told Premier why students' unique time in life needs prayer: "When I came to university I'd never really lived in a city before and I was quite a homebird...some people come to university from another country or in another culture, or perhaps they come to a town where accessibilty is a problem,
"It is a time of transition and actually the whole period, if you take the life of an undegradute, and even someone who's going on to post graduate studies, it's never a completely settled period, it's a time of change and transformation".
Ackhurst said it was a chance to challenge and discover things about oneself but that also made it a vulnerable period.
"I think certainly in our student Christian groups we try not to shy away from difficult issues and issues of faith and theology but I don't know whether it's necessarily a difficult place to be a a Christian or whether it's a difficult place and a difficult time to be a person".
Hilary Topp, National Coordinator of the Student Christian Movement added: "Students have a vital role to play in showing us how the world can be...At this time of global instability and uncertainty they need our love and prayers as much as ever".
Revd Dr Paul Goodliff, General Secretary of Churches Together in England said: "Students need our prayers that they will be guarded by God's grace, empowered to grow into the people who will make their contribution to human flourishing, and discover that by finding and growing in faith in Christ they can have life in all its fullness."
Churches around the world are taking part.
This Universal Day of Prayer for Students the Student Christian Movement-WVSU interviewed some students, pastors and church-workers on their prayers for peace in a world of darkness, hate and prejudice.#UDPS2019 pic.twitter.com/xzz3eg2pLG— Student Christian Movement of the Philippines-WVSU (@SCMPWest) 17 February 2019