A Prayer for Graduates

Although this post is a bit behind the timing curve, it is something I very much want to share. Earlier this month, our son, Matthew, graduated from Wilmington Christian School. It was a glorious day. My wife and I are, like all parents, so grateful for the blessing he has been to our lives and the many great memories we share. We are thrilled at the bright future which lies before him as he embarks on the next phase of this adventure we call life. More than anything else, I am humbled to see the fine person he is, in spite of all the mistakes I’ve made as his father.

As the commencement exercises neared completion, I was beginning to get a bit misty-eyed as I thought of my second son heading off to college. The awards had been given. The diplomas, also, had been awarded. The Head of School, Bill Stevens, presented the Class of 2006. Parents took pictures and the soloist sang a beautifully. Then one of the senior parents, Bill Lockard, stepped to the microphone and offered a Prayer for the Class of 2006.

This is a prayer that I wished could be prayed at every graduation. I know this is not possible, though. We live in a time when a valedictorian’s speech is silenced just because she wants to mention the name of Jesus in her valedictory address. We live in a time in which prayer is banned in most public venues. But, it is not prohibited at our school. It is encouraged. So, with deep love in my heart for a son that has made me proud; with gratitude in my heart for a school that encourages prayer; and with respect for the parent who opened his heart and led us in prayer, I share with you here a prayer for the class of 2006…

Job 38:36-37 (ESV)… Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? [37] Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens…

Psalm 99:1-3 (ESV)… The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! [2] The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. [3] Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!

Father, as parents we once again find ourselves “dedicating” our sons and daughters to You; as we recognized 18 or 19 years ago, You created them each “fearfully and wonderfully” and we recognized that they actually and ultimately belong to You; that you placed them in our care to “raise them in the nurture and admonition of Jesus Christ”.

And we acknowledge this morning that WCS has been a significant part of the task. Father, we realize once again—as we did then—that this dedication, this “giving over” of our sons and daughters is not a one-time-event; it is a continual, day-by-day dedication.

We this day give them again to You; we dedicate them to you. For your good pleasure; for Your glory. Lord, we pray that our sons and daughters long for nothing but You, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Your will.

May they recognize that You have given me these desires, and You alone can give them the thing desired. May their souls long for communion with You.

Father, may they never seek in the creature what can only be found in the Creator. Father, we deeply and passionately love our sons and daughters today; You have blessed our lives with them; we are the richest of people because of them.

Let them learn by paradox—

That the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high; that the broken heart is the healed heart; that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit; that the repenting soul is the victorious soul; that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crow; that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

O Lord God, You have commanded them to believe in Jesus. We pray that they would flee to no other refuge, wash in no other fountain, build on no other foundation, receive from no other fullness, and rest in no other relief.

And we ask all of this in no other name but the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus and help others along the way.
This entry was posted in Children, Christian Living, Christianity, Church, Family, Graduation. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A Prayer for Graduates

  1. Greg England says:

    Bill: Congratulations on this event in your family life!! You blog is much better than mine (don’t take anything I wrote personal!), but I just had to vent some feelings after attending a couple of very undignified graduation ceremonies in the past couple of years.

  2. Pingback: The Rev’s Ramblings » Blog Archive » Graduation…

  3. Emily says:

    What a beautiful prayer that is…. Bill your humility as a parent and your love for your son truly shines in this post. I agree, it is a total shame that the majority of schools do not partake in any form of collective prayer anymore. Back about 10 years ago, my middle school used to have a prayer lead my our headteacher at the beginning or end of assemblies, and we used to sing many Christian songs – despite the school being secular! Unfortunately, now that tradition has passed away. But it is wonderful to hear of schools that encourage prayer. I hope your son’s school never ceases to do that.


  4. Keith Davis says:

    The more we sit back and not say anything about this kind of treatment of prayer and godly things in our society, the more it will be taken away from us. God help us to be more like the young girl in the article you shared with us.

    Bill, I too had a daughter graduate this year. It is an awesome experience. Though it is not a private Christian school, the ceremony took place in a church building. There was an invocation led by a young lady. Even during the ceremony there was a song performed the had spiritual meaning in God.

    I am thankful to live where I do when it comes to godly things. I pray that the ACLU folds and that they lose there grip on our society and that we can return once again to our nations Christian roots.

    Thanks for your prayer and my God bless your family!!

  5. Lucy says:

    I really like this pray for Graduates, All schools should be able to do pray, if they say we are a free nation then we would be able to act like we have freedom in our own country.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful prayer.

  6. donna-in-ny says:

    My site meter showed some-one visited my blog today from yours after they were reading this …how appropriate! as my daughter just called me all teary eyed….today was her final class, her final test…the relief and gratitude she is experiencing right now is a bit overwhelming to her…..she graduates next weekend with her bachelors degree and how I would love to share this prayer with her…

    pray all is well with you.

  7. sarah enriquez says:

    thankyou for giving us the true meaning of graduation.we seldom realize that graduation is time of dedication.as parents we focus to the things we did to give good education. we almost forgot that we are just an instrument of God`s wonderful plan for our chidren`s life thankyou once again and may this be the pray of all the parents to their children as they will have new pace of their lives.God bless!

  8. Rod Schaubroeck says:

    Hey. Thanks for an excellent dedication prayer. I have to give a dedication prayer next week, and I will use many of your ideas. Be blessed!

  9. dmacmom says:

    I have two graduates next month (high school and college) and I am truly thankful to God for watching over my two girls get through this milestone in their lives. I love the prayer and will recommend it to my HS daughter who is giving the commencement speech as class president. Thank you.

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