A Prayer for Graduates



Our Father in Heaven, it’s an honor to join you in affirming and celebrating the creative, athletic, and academic accomplishments of those who are graduating and moving on to the next chapter of their lives. Thank you for the season that you have entrusted them to our care. And now, Father, as they move out into the world, now more than ever, we entrust them into your care.

You have created these men and women in your image. You have created them to live inside a big story, not a small one—your story—the story in which your glory and honor and truth and beauty and grace and love are at the center—the story in which your mission to love people, places, and things to life—to leave the world better than they found it—is the central mission.

Father, we pray that our graduates’ campuses and dormitories, as well as their future homes, neighborhoods, and places of work, play, and worship, would be better places, more life-giving places, because they are in those places as the aroma of Christ. Where they see hurt, give them healing hands and healing words. Where they sense confusion, give them wisdom. Where there perceive beauty, give them a sense of thankfulness and wonder. Where they encounter scarcity, give them a heart and a passion to contribute and serve.

For those pursuing higher education, grant them the knowledge that they will need in their chosen fields and the wisdom to apply that knowledge to every facet of life.

For those going directly into the workforce, grant a sense of what is right and good and honoring and beautiful—especially in the confusing and complex issues they will face.

For those going into military service, may they draw courage and strength from you. May they serve the cause of truth and freedom, and the welfare of all of humanity, with integrity and honor.

For all of today’s graduates and their families, more than anything may their measure of success be bound up not in making money or in making a name for themselves, but in trusting in your mercies which are new every morning, and in bringing fame and honor to your name by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with their God. Wherever the next chapter takes them, give them character that exceeds their gifts and humility that exceeds their influence. Give them Jesus.

Finally, may this prayer from St. Patrick be their prayer, and their foremost pursuit, in the days and years ahead of them: Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. Amen.

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