We interrupt this series providing songwriting tips from some of the best songwriters of the 20th century to offer a prayer for educators at the dawn of a new–and highly unusual–academic year. In a weekly e-mail of encouragement Judson University’s Demoss Center for Worship in the Performing Arts sends to our friends and community members, I recently (only somewhat in jest) referred to this year as one big HELP (Higher Education in Light of a Pandemic), so it’s fitting, then, to begin said year in prayer. In grad school, I became enamored of the prayer form known as the collect (pronounced CAH-lect, as opposed to cuh-LECT), so I use this organizational structure as I offer this prayer.
Just so you don’t have to look it up in the event your day is as busy as mine this week, typical collects feature five parts: 1) the address, 2) the acknowledgment, 3) the petition, 4) the aspiration, and 5) the pleading. In the spirit of the common prayer structure ACTS–adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication–collects help us resist the urge to unload on the Almighty our various laundry lists of requests before we give credit where credit is due, entering “his gates with thanksgiving his courts with praise” prior to asking for that which we feel we need and want. I would be blessed if you would pray this prayer with me as you read, keeping in mind any educators you know personally and the countless you don’t know who are working hard as God gives them strength (whether they choose to acknowledge the Source of their strength or not) to equip the young, the tweens, the post-adolescents, and young-at-heart adult students for future service.
A Prayer for Educators at the Dawn of a New Academic Year
Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen, You have commanded us to love You, the Lord our God, with all of our minds, so we ask You today to strengthen students, staff, faculty, and administrations in the educational institutions of Your world for the various tasks associated with being good stewards of the gifts and resources You have given us, so that we can be equipped for Your Kingdom’s work in a world in desperate need of wisdom for the tasks set before us in these confusing times. We pray this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Lord be with you!