Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Exams & Prayer

The excellent shared an article from Youthwork Magazine, in which a Christian youth minister shares an open letter to students everywhere:

Dear young people,

This letter is written with nothing but love and respect for you. We've entered exam season. I remember well the stress and tension, the constant reminders from teachers that 'these are the most important exams you'll ever take' and the feeling that you are going to do nothing but spend the next three months of your life revising.

I wanted to write to you to try and speak some different words into your life. In this time of stress and tension I wanted you to hear some other messages apart from 'revise, revise, revise!' and that feeling that your future success and achievements are all based on getting straight A*s.

This isn't about detracting from the importance of exams, or going against what your teachers are saying! These exams are important, revision is necessary, but what I'm trying to say is that there is more to life:
Firstly, before you take your exams, remember this simple fact - you are amazing. You have gifts, talents and abilities that are unique to you. You have something to offer to this world, something that cannot be taken away, or added to, by these exams. Please remember that. Your worth, your value, in God's eyes is not affected by your performance over these next few months. He already thinks you are amazing.

Secondly - and I say this without any intent of guilt - please don't give up on church. Whether that's Sunday services, house groups, youth groups - whatever and wherever it is that you connect with God, please don't give up on it. Right now, in this intense period of your life you need God more than ever, and you need the support of those around you - to pray for you, to support you. You also need times of fun, times of laughter, times of complete relaxation to not only enjoy yourself but also to help your brain process what you've been revising.

I understand that you may not be able to come every week, or to every session but please don't disappear until your last exam has finished. We want to help you, care for you and pray with you. Also, when your exams have finished - please come back! Don't think that not being able to come all the time means you can never return - we want to hang out with you, to celebrate the achievement of finishing your exams with you!

Finally - don't forget your personal faith. Your own Bible time and times of personal worship are equally important at this time. It's vital that you find time to speak to God, to give him your concerns, your worries and your fears and also receive from him - his hope, his strength, his love.
So please, remember God, remember us, and I hope we will see you soon.

(Article found here. This was written by Nick Francis who is "a youth minister in a Methodist, URC & Baptist LEP church in Buckingham. He is married with two kids, is a bit of a geek and if he wasn't landlocked would love to surf every day.")

I would also obviously recommend a prayer to Saint Joseph of Cupertino (the flying Saint!) who you can read about here.

A prayer for the undertaking of exams from the Catholic Youth Ministry site:

Loving God, be with me now, as I prepare for my exams.
Thank you for the many talents and gifts you have given me and for the opportunity of education.
Calm my nerves and anxiety, help me to remember all that I have studied, to express it clearly and to answer the questions the very best that I can.
Holy Spirit, sit with me in my exam - and always.
In Jesus' name
Matthew Huish, a Unification church pastor also shares this advice:

"I would encourage a student to pray like this at the start of the exams: “Heavenly Father, I’ve been working for months to prepare for this exam. This is now my opportunity to make an offering to you by performing well. I hope I can make you (and my parents and teachers) happy by getting the top grade!"

He goes on to give a final piece of advice (I'm not 100% on this one...):

One last word of encouragement: When the exam supervisor announces, “You may now begin the exam,” I advise you to do nothing for 30 seconds. Don’t open the exam booklet. Don’t lift a pen. Don’t even open your eyes. Just sit in calm meditation knowing that you are more important that this exam, remembering that God loves you and you love God, and be aware not just the small exam hall in which you sit in silence but also of your position in the entire cosmos. I always found that it helps me relax and be prepared to perform to the best of my ability (according to my preparation) in that situation.

(Read the full article here)

1 comment:

  1. God Bless all the students in exams!