Essay / Education

Prayer for the Class of 2008

Father in heaven,

We bring these graduating seniors of the Torrey Honors Institute before you today with thankfulness, joy, and relief. We present them to you with their Torrey educations completed. And in this sweet moment of successful accomplishment, we admit to you that we do not completely understand the meaning of what we have done.

We think we have helped them learn to read deeply, think clearly, and speak eloquently. We think we have pointed them to your word as the source and norm of all truth. They think they have finished a course of study that equips and empowers them to face what comes next in their lives. Their parents think they have launched these young people into responsible and independent adulthood.

We think this is what we have done. We’re pretty sure of it. We think we know, but we also think we know that we might lose the next argument; or that if we follow the next line of thought, everything might turn out to be different than we thought it was; or that we might have everything taken out of our hands by one more turn of the dialectic.

We know that all our accomplishments are highly dubious. We know that every human undertaking is open to your inspection. We think we know what we’re doing, and we’re ready to defend it before anybody. But not before you, O God: before you we are defenseless, and up against your educational standards we are not confident. Who can pass your final exam? Who can commence with your commencement?

What is it that we, as students, parents, and faculty have done? What is the significance of these educations? Lord, we won’t know with full assurance until we see how it turns out. It all depends on how these young lives continue. Nothing is definite until it’s over, and you declare its eternal meaning.

And so we come to you in a posture not only of gratitude and celebration, but also of desperate need. Deliver them, Lord, from a life that is one interminable Torrey session.

For you, O Lord, are not subject to revision, open to renegotiation, or in danger of turning out different than your own immutable faithfulness dictates. Lord, let your faithfulness fill our lives. Give us yourself to be our stability. Be our rock, our fortress, our surety so that, anchored in Jehovah, we shall not be moved.

We don’t know everything. We don’t even know what we don’t know. But we know who we have believed in, and we are persuaded that you are able to keep what we have committed unto you until the day of Christ.

We commit these graduates to you: Enlighten their minds, heal their heavy hearts, and strengthen their hands. Confirm them in goodness, truth, and beauty. This we ask in joyful gratitude and desperate need, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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