Monday, August 4, 2008

A PRAYER FOR THE BEGINNING OF A NEW SCHOOL YEAR
Dr. Wes Tracy crafted this prayer and passed it along; let it be lifted up

SCHOOL AND PRAYER. Wes Tracy, one of my at-a-distance, across-the-years mentors and to-Phoenix-retired seminary teacher and writer, crafted the following prayer and passed it along. With his permission, I present it on bikehiker in hopes that it can be used by many. All of us who are conscious not only of the start of a new school year that's just around the corner (our kids start on August 11!), but of the challenge of educating young people, will appreciate its content. Wes attached the following note to the prayer, which puts it in context:

TRACY'S NOTE FOR CONTEXT. "My granddaughter asked for a prayer. She teaches in Central Phoenix Charter school, a last-chance high school. Many of her students are drug dealers, gang members and/or mothers at 15. She is starting a prayer group with several Christian teachers. I'm proud of her for teaching where she teaches BY CHOICE. She tells me she works in a mission field and she does... The prayer follows classical Christian structure: Praise, Thanksgiving, Intercession, Petition, Benediction. Note that distinctive Christian prayer is also Trinitarian, that is, each Person of the Holy trinity is named in the prayer. This prayer could be offered in parts with a different person reading each section. The prayer is brief and general, as group prayers usually are."

PRAISE: Oh God, our Father, we praise you for your majesty, glory, and power. Oh Creator God, we praise you for your Holiness, Love, and Mercy.

THANKSGIVING: We thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ who embodied the love of God and extended redeeming grace to us. We thank you for the life of God in the soul of human beings, for the image of God that we sense within our hearts.

INTERCESSION: We pray, oh Lord, for our community -- the broken heart of Phoenix-- where there is too much violence, too much crime, too many broken families, and too many crushed hopes. May the ministry of the Holy Spirit redeem our community, our school, and our students.

PETITION: Give to each of us teachers and staff members a deep sense of loyalty and love for each other. Help us to help each other, Lord. Give us the grace and strength and insight to light the way for our students through the gift of teaching that you have given to us. Help us to encourage within our students a love for learning, and a sense of hope. Make us lights for God and good.

BENEDICTION: May your will be done in us as it is in heaven. May we serve you acceptably today. This we pray in Jesus name. Amen


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flickr photo by cafemama (Sarah Gilbert)

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