A Prayer for All Graduates
By Debbie McDaniel
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
The season of Graduation and new beginnings can bring a mixed bag of emotions to many of us. Though it’s a time of celebration and fresh starts, the letting go process can bring some pain too. Yet parenting is often just about that – the letting go. And whether it’s letting go as they head to Kindergarten, or letting go as they head to college, or straight off into their first job, it can be difficult.
But there’s hope to remember.
Our children – are His. No matter where they go, or how old they are, they are in His care. They are in His hands. And He has great purpose for them in this life – and that’s the very best place we can let them go. We’re entrusting them, again, straight into the safe care of a powerful and loving God. And that’s the safest place they can be.
His hands are big. To carry. To hold. To protect. To cover. To lead. And He loves each one of them more than we could ever imagine.
So here’s to great year ahead of God’s favor and blessing.
Prayer for Graduates:
We pray for our graduates today and lift them before you. We thank you so much for these we love and for the work you are continuing to do in their lives. They are a gift to us and to many others. And during this season of new beginnings, we ask that you would make their way clear. We ask that you would keep their footsteps firm and remind them that you are with them, always. May they sense the freshness of your Spirit over their lives in amazing ways, may they be strengthened, instilled with hope, for the new roads you have in store.
And today, again, we release our children straight into your tender care. Because we know that’s the best place they could ever be. We thank you in advance for all you have in store, for this day, for this year, for their lives.
We pray for protection, for your covering, that you would surround their lives as with a shield. Protect their coming and going. We ask that you would help them to live aware in a dark world and keep harm or evil intent far away. We ask that you would hide them in the safety of your powerful presence.
We ask for your wisdom and clear direction over their lives, that you would give them understanding beyond their years. Thank you that your timing is perfect. We pray that you would direct their steps, that your plans for them would prosper; that every place you have determined for them to walk would be paved clear. We ask for you to open doors that need to be opened and close every one that should be shut tight. Allow every gift and treasure you have placed inside their lives to grow, develop, and flourish, to bring you glory.
We ask that you would remind them every day how very much you love them, that they would find security and confidence fully in you, knowing that you are trustworthy and true.
We ask that you would teach them your ways and fill them with an unquenchable desire to learn your word. Give them a compassionate spirit, and the wisdom to look beyond outward appearances to the heart within. We pray that you would surround them with friends and leaders who would challenge them to press closer to you.
We ask for your peace to cover them. We ask for laughter and joy to fill their days. We pray that you would give them boldness and courage to face challenges set before them, with the confidence and peace that can only come from your spirit.
We ask that you would raise up greatness in their lives, greatness in this generation, willing to stand strong and true, passionate for you, believing that you have designed them for purpose and good works, which you have planned and prepared in advance for them to do.
Be a lamp for their feet, and a light to their path. Shine over them. Fill them with your spirit. Bless them with your favor and peace.
In Jesus’ Name,
“The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Find more by Debbie at www.debbiemcdaniel.com, Facebook, or Twitter.
Related: 20 Graduation Inspiring Graduation Gifts for Your Special Graduate
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Congratulations! You have much to celebrate as you mark the end of your time in college. We here at Busted Halo hope this prayer gives you the opportunity for a few moments of spiritual reflection as you take part in graduation festivities.
This is a time of great joy, transition, and maybe even some nervousness about the future. God goes with you — and God celebrates with you. We do too.
God of joy and hope, we thank you for this time of graduation.
Your spirit of wisdom has empowered our hard work and discipline in such a way that our hunger for learning has been nourished with knowledge, discovery, creativity, and determination.
As we prepare to walk across the stage to receive our diplomas, let us walk in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings that have made this moment real and filled with great potential.
In gratitude, we pray for our families and the many who have sacrificed and worked to see us to this hopeful moment.
In gratitude, we pray for the professors and administrators who have challenged, cared, and crafted us along this academic journey.
In gratitude, we pray for fellow students who have taught us more about friendship, collaboration, and sharing.
God, even as we have faced challenges and accomplished much, we understand that our lives move into a new chapter where there will be more challenges to face and more will be demanded of us in order to accomplish good things. May your grace cover our anxieties and fears so that we may stay encouraged about the future.
Give us patience and hope to energize our search for work that is just and makes proper use of our gifts.
Give us courage to face the challenges of carving out a place in society where we might live in peace, service, and gratitude.
Give us strength to resist the temptations of greed, laziness, pride, and envy as we strive to do and be our best.
May your spirit guide us as we unfold the next chapters of our lives. Help us to enliven hope in the world and bring good things to Your Kingdom. And, may this celebration be a reflection of the blessings that we find in knowing and loving you. For this is the day that the Lord has made. We are glad and rejoice in it! Amen.
RELATED: Pope Francis’ Advice for College Students
A coalition of “student leaders, students and former students” at Northeast State Community College in Blountsville, Tennessee has succeeded in having prayers eliminated from the college’s graduation ceremonies.
The Kingsport Times-News reports that the coalition—consisting of Student Government Association representatives, alumni and at least one College Democrat, among others—managed to “ an agreement in writing with the school” ensuring that prayers will no longer form part of Northeast State’s commencement exercises. In lieu of a prayer, a “moment of silence” will take place.
As a result, the coalition signaled to the college that the students are “dropping any plans to protest or in any way disrupt the proceedings of tomorrow’s graduation events.”
From the story:
General Counsel Mary Moody, in a Friday statement through Director of Communications Rick Locker, said the TBR has no graduation prayer policy but cited a 1997 federal court ruling on a lawsuit against Tennessee State University “concluded that if a prayer or moment of silence is non-sectarian, with minimal involvement of the institution, it does not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” Locker said Cleveland State had a moment of silence Saturday and Chattanooga State held a prayer Monday. Walters State Community College had invocation and benediction prayers on Saturday. ETSU had no graduation prayers Saturday, but a speaker mentioned Bible verses in her remarks. On Friday, Northeast referred prayer inquires to Locker.
“For the past few years, they have been doing a prayer and it has been pretty overtly Christian,” Manning, who will graduate Tuesday, said Friday. “This has been an ongoing thing,” he said, adding that Gilliam “sneaked” in a prayer last year at the end of the ceremony. The letter also says, “In a secular country, as is the United States, and in a publicly funded institution such as Northeast State, there is no need or place for the president of the institution or any other leading figure at school to promote one religion over another. This is also, in our view, unethical.”
The coalition made its demands “out of respect for the diversity and inclusion of all students and faculty.”
Read the whole story.
MORE: Man praying at Clemson U. stopped by campus official: ‘Not a designated free speech area’
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