I was asked to give a prayer for this year's Hamilton County National Day of Prayer Event on behalf of Cincinnati Christian University. My topic was education. Below is what I prayed. O God:
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached that the true goal of education is to teach students to think intensively and to think critically, to instill in students both intelligence and character.
So Lord, for the hundreds of institutions throughout the Greater Cincinnati area that devote themselves to guiding students through their studies, we ask that you guide them students to think intensively. We today are the beneficiaries of the generations of Cincinnatians who invested in institutions of education that were created to increase the knowledge of our youth. Those places of learning transcend brick and mortal but serve as bastions of hope for the future of our society and we pray their devotion to the greater good be met through our young people.
We ask your blessing on our schools
And for the thousands of educators in our region that serve tirelessly to ensure that the next generation have access to the opportunities of tomorrow, we ask that you work through them to move our students to think critically. An ever-evolving world demands a diverse minds yet our differences and strong opinions often keep us from considering the perspectives of others. Be with our teachers who must traverse these lines so that our children may be truly analytical. And we acknowledge, Lord, those not at the front of the classroom who also make the difference. For without staff administrators, bus drivers, crossing guards, lunchroom staff, janitors, and many others, our kids would not have this opportunity.
We ask your blessing on our educators
For the thousands of students who, even now as we pray, are in their desks learning, we ask that they may grow in intelligence. For them, O God, we pray mightily as children are precious in your sight. We ask forgiveness for our failures in not helping them all that we should. Despite well-intentioned efforts there are far too many children in our city who live in poverty, whose learning is relegated in exchange for their mere survival. The obstacles that many of these kids have to overcome seem insurmountable, but we ask that you work through our societal intellect so that theirs may be nurtured.
We ask your blessing on our students
And for all those previously mentioned as well as all of us who remain that play a part in education: parents, guardians, family members, volunteers, clergy, community organizers, and taxpayers—we ask that you increase our character. Inspire us to invest in who our children will become, acknowledging that even though they might never share our personal ideology, they will still grow to become our brothers and sisters. Allow us to set-aside our differences: differences of denominations, differences of religion, and even differences from those of us with no religion, to recognize that wisdom is not just ours alone.
We ask your blessing on us all. Amen.