A prayer from Jack Haye, President of Patrick Henry College.
Gracious LORD, we come before you today with thankful hearts that we live in a country where we are allowed to gather and pray.
That we have the freedom to learn and explore. To expand our minds. To discover the intricacies of the universe that you have created and, in those discoveries, to marvel at how much we have yet to learn.
We confess, however, that we have often misused that freedom by seeking to elevate ourselves and by seeking to diminish You.
Your Word teaches us that “The fear (awe) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
We know intuitively that knowledge, wisdom, and understanding are needed for us to live well both individually and in community with others.
Yet, we confess that often we seek to start that journey from a different fountainhead—one that puts us in the center of the universe, instead of acknowledging that it is You who stands at the “beginning of wisdom."
Forgive us, we pray.
In our pride and in our arrogance, we often seek to diminish Your Glory, thinking that in doing so we will enhance the luster of our own accomplishments.
But, Heavenly Father, we see all too clearly where this can lead. For when we believe that there is no God, or at least no god other than ourselves, then we place ourselves at the center of the universe, and as such, we declare that we will be the arbiters of what is right or wrong, we will determine what is ethical and what is unethical. We will say what is allowable and what is forbidden, we will determine what is sacred and what is profane.
Help us to see our solemn responsibility as educators to point our students toward:
Truth that resides outside of their immediate wants and desires
Truth that supersedes our plans and ambitions
Truth that teaches us to care for others and to move beyond things that so easily divide us to discover the things that unite us all as image bearers of God.
And as we teach the next generation to engage with facts and figures, help us not to forget to teach them the importance of engaging with their souls—that deepest, most foundational part of who we are as human beings created in Your image.
We ask that you equip us with deeper understanding and broader insights into what really matters so that as educators we can faithfully transmit those truths to those who have been placed in our charge. That we may faithfully do our part to help them develop “well-furnished minds."
Give us grace to love our students as You love us; to see them as You see us, flawed but with great potential for good; to call them up to their potential and to not just settle for a brokered peace.
We ask that you protect our schools from unrest and harm. That You thwart the efforts of those who would cause that harm and who sow seeds of fear. Please confound their plans and bring them to a deep conviction of their need for You.
And finally, Father, we thank you for those who labor faithfully in our schools. Grant us the wisdom that we need to see beyond the external, so that we can faithfully help our students discover the good, the true, and the beautiful—and in that discovery, to point them to the Source of all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
We acknowledge You as the Foundation of our heritage, the Sustainer of our present, and the Source of Hope for our future. And it is in your Holy Name that we pray. Amen.
Jack Haye became the third President of Patrick Henry College in 2015 after thirty years in the banking world. From 2012-2015, Mr. Haye served as Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church of McKinney, a 5000-member church located near Dallas, Texas. At PHC, President Haye is the chief executive officer overseeing the internal and external affairs of the college while maintaining an education program consistent with the Mission of the college.
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