Lots of people have exams or tests of various sorts at the moment. For most of us, these are not something to be looked forward to or enjoyed – often they make us feel nervous or worried. What about you? What is going through your mind as you think about your exams?
Maybe you’ve worked hard and done lots of revision, but will it be enough? Maybe you’re worried about what questions might come up – some you can answer, but others you’re not so sure about. Maybe your exams are very important and will have a big impact on your future – what if you don’t get the grades you are hoping for?
In amongst all your studying, revision, worrying and stressing, have you thought about praying to God about your exams? I hope this article will encourage you to do so.
Firstly though, do you sometimes worry that God only cares about religious things? Do you feel that there is no way he would be interested in things like your exams? It is true that nothing is more important than seeking God’s help and blessing in spiritual things and this should always be our focus, but this does not mean that God doesn’t care about the everyday aspects of his people lives. This includes their exams. As we read through the Bible we see so many examples of people who prayed for help with the challenges they faced in their lives and had their prayers answered – think of Moses, Gideon, David, Jehoshaphat, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel, the disciples and many others. Jesus himself tells us that ‘the very hairs of your head are all numbered’ (Matthew 10:30) and Peter writes, ‘Casting all your care upon him [God]; for he careth for you.’ (1 Peter 5:7).
There are lots of such promises in the Bible that can be applied practically as well as spiritually, so do not be afraid to pray and ask for God’s help at exam time.
Pray as you study,
- Ask God to help you to work hard. Revision can be tough and sometimes very boring; however, you can’t expect to do well in your exams if you don’t put in the effort beforehand. God commands us to be diligent in everything – ‘whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord’ (Colossians 3:23), so ask him to help you to concentrate, to keep you focused and to take away distractions.
- If there are subjects and topics you find especially difficult, pray for help to understand them. Maybe you doubt that you will ever be good at maths, but the Bible tells us that nothing is too hard for God – ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:37)
Pray in the exams,
- Ask God to be with you. Ask him to help you to understand the questions, to think clearly and write good answers. Ask him to help you to remember all the things you have learnt. If you need help with a specific question, pause briefly and pray for guidance – ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ (James 1:5)
- Maybe you get very nervous before an exam? Ask God to help you to be calm. He promises peace to those that trust in him – ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.’ (Isaiah 26:3). He can do this in your exams as well as he can in any other situation.
Pray when you get your results,
Ask God to give you the right attitude –
- If you have done well, remember to thank God for his goodness to you. Don’t take all the credit for yourself.
- If you have not got the results you were hoping for, ask God to help you to be submissive. Remember that, for God’s people, ‘all things work together for good’ (Romans 8:28) – he has a plan that will always work out for the best.
A final thought,
It is important that our prayers are made in faith, sincerely, and for the right reasons (see James 1:6-7 and James 4:3). Seek God’s help with your exams, but think about why you want his help – is your desire to be able to honour and serve him better in the future?[A00035 – 16/05/2017]