One of the most difficult parts about being a Christian is being open to God’s call for your life. God often calls us out of our comfort zone. He might be asking you to volunteer at a homeless shelter, join a Bible study, or change careers. Whether you’re the one leaving or it’s someone close to you, these big changes often mean saying goodbye and sometimes even a going away party.
The apostles are a great example of responding to God’s call. They left everything to follow Jesus while he ministered to the poor, sick, and forgotten.
“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. 19 He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:18-20, NIV).
I’m sure Peter and Andrew weren’t planning on leaving their jobs as fishermen, which provided them with a steady income and food on the table, to go do who knows what with Jesus. It would have been a big risk to trust this man they just met.
That speaks volumes about the beauty, truth, and goodness of Jesus. These men were able to leave everything because, despite the uncertainty they were about to face, they knew that following Him would be what was best for them.
Isn’t that the hardest part though? Trusting that God’s plan is better than ours and letting go of that control? Several months ago, my husband found himself in a rut with his teaching job. On a whim he applied to work in auto claims in my hometown, 2 hours away from our current residence. After much prayer we surrendered our concerns to God and trusted in His protection because we knew moving was the path God was calling us too.
We got COVID-19 right before we moved so we couldn’t have a proper goodbye with our friends, but it’s common when people move to have a going away party. One special gift you could give to someone at a going away party is praying for them. This is a gift that keeps on giving and is more thoughtful and appreciated than any physical gift you could give to someone.
I’ll share 5 prayers for a going away party to get you started and feel free to customize them to fit your specific situation.
A Short Prayer for a Going Away Party
God, in your goodness and Divine Providence you brought (person’s name) to us. He loyally served our company and glorified you as he worked each day. He is a man of great faith and we know it is this faith in You that has led him to his next adventure.
We send him off with the words of the Old Testament: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
A Prayer for Planning a Going Away Party
Lord, we come before you humbly and ask for your guidance as we prepare to plan a going away party for (name). We do none of this for our own glory. Everything about this event is to glorify you and honor (name) for the way she impacted our lives.
Help us to find the right venue for this event to take place. We have a limited budget and want to find a place that is beautiful despite our lack of funds. Place the right people in our path to help us find what we are looking for.
Help us to find the right caterer for this event. We are grateful for the service of (name) and want to provide a lovely meal to show her how much we appreciate her. Bless those who will prepare the food we will serve.
Bless those who will attend the party. We know (name) has impacted so many people. We hope the mustard seeds (name) has planted in so many will bloom for years to come.
Most of all, we pray that this party will be an opportunity to glorify You. Please give us the opportunity to talk about You, Your mercy, and the ultimate joy you bring to our lives. Give us the words we need when this opportunity arises.
Thank you God for allowing us to know (name). She is an absolute joy who has worked her whole life to bring Your love and peace wherever she goes. We hope this party is very special for her! In Your name we pray. Amen.
An Opening Prayer for a Going Away Party
Dear God, thank you for making this party come together. It would not be possible without Your guiding hand through it all. We are grateful to gather together to celebrate (name). We are sad to see him go, but are excited for his next good steps.
Bless those who planned this party. From the venue, the guest list, to the food, the small details do not go unnoticed. You gave them the gifts needed to organize this event. Help us to follow their example of using the gifts You give us for the benefit of others.
Bless those who prepared this food to nourish our bodies. You nourish our soul, Lord. You are the gift of finest wheat, but we need the food of this world to sustain us while we are this side of Heaven. This meal is a gift and we thank you for the resources you provided for us to obtain this food.
Bless those who work at this venue. They have prepared a comfortable and safe place for us, the perfect space to celebrate (name).
Bless all who are in attendance today. They were all impacted by (name) in some way. Thank you for the influence of each person here.
We pray this party becomes a space that glorifies you. That our thoughts, words, and actions today will be oriented toward you. May we continue to build up your Kingdom. In your name we pray. Amen.
Prayer for a Retirement Party
Lord, we thank you for (name). He has been a vital part of our team for many years. He used the gifts that you gave him to help this company thrive. We are grateful for your Divine timing in bringing him to our company when you did. We also know that it is your Divine timing that he is leaving now.
Thank you for the Christian example (person’s name) showed each day. He didn’t always talk about God, but he exemplified your Son daily. We ask Lord that as he embarks on his next adventure that people may continue to see You in Him.
We trust in your mission for (person’s name)’s life. Help him to always choose You. All the glory to you our great and holy God. In Your name we pray. Amen.
Prayer for a Graduation Party
Good and gracious God, we thank you for the gift of (name). She is treasured beyond measure. You knew her before she was born and all along you knew the path she would take. You knew that after 18 years she would choose to go to college.
We pray for her education, and that her teachers will inspire her to become all that she was created to be. We pray that she will be diligent in her studies. We know that education is a privilege so we hope she will take her education seriously and study to the best of her ability.
We pray for her new friends and roommate. We do not know who she will meet in college, but we pray that they are Christians and if they are not that her example will lead them closer to you. We hope she finds a supportive Christian community that will help her to grow in her faith. Lord, there are a lot of temptations in college so we ask that you give her the strength to resist temptation. May she always choose You over everything.
Most of all, Lord, we pray that (name) will be attentive to your voice, that she may stay close to you, and frequently talk to you. In Your name we pray. Amen.
It can be difficult to choose the path less traveled. Jesus never told the apostles, or us, that following Him would be easy. However, He knows what’s best for us so even when decisions are difficult you will have the most joy and peace by following Him. Sometimes choosing God’s call for your life brings big changes.
Sometimes you must leave behind a school, a job, or a town you loved. You may see them again at a reunion in the future, but that’s not guaranteed.
Maybe you’ll have to say goodbye to someone who is following God’s call elsewhere. If someone you know is graduating, moving, or retiring, consider writing them a going away party prayer. Drop their name in the comments section and any other prayer requests you have!