Prayer from a Former Life

My return from leave includes the task of finally unpacking boxes that have been earmarked for my office. Some of these boxes have been waiting since I packed up my teacher’s desk over a year ago. (I didn’t have room for much during my year-long residency position because I just had a cubicle.)

In one box, I found the prayer I wrote for the beginning of the school year, 2004-2005. I was honored to give it, and happy to be at a school that started the year with a prayer. My “year” is starting a bit late because of my maternity leave. There are parts of this prayer that I need right now:

Holy Lord, God of new beginnings, this is your day and your year and we are thankful for them. Hear our prayers as we start this school year.

Father God, we thank you for your continual care for your people. Watch us through this year. Be with students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators, in all our tasks. Help us to hear your call in our everyday lives.

We praise you, Creator God, for the wonders of your world: for rocks and trees; for insects and sunrises; for birds in the morning, and the moon at night; for human community, art, and ingenuity. Help us to see yout handiwork in every class. May we meet you in biology, poetry, music, and geometry.

Lord Jesus Christ, unite us to you. Give us your patience and strength, kindness and honesty. Fill us with God’s grace and truth. Give us open hearts for the people around us–students, parents, teachers. Help us to love others even when they disaapoint us, and to love ourselves even if we fail to meet our own expectations.

Spirit of wisdom and comfort, fill us with understanding and knowledge. Sustain us through the year. Be present when we are joyful and satisfied, and when we can barely see our way through another week. Quiet the fears and worries of everyone of us.

These prayers and all other, Lord, we place in the strong hands of Jesus, confident that you hear every word.