Lord Jesus, Lamb of God, King of All, namesake of Redeemer University,
We are grateful for this time to be together as a Redeemer community, early in this new academic year. We are even more grateful that, whether we are here together in the auditorium, watching elsewhere at Redeemer or further afield through the gift of technology, we know that you are with us and that you encourage us to fix our eyes on you. How fitting this reminder is as we start this year and get going with so many different activities: classes, meetings, hang-outs, sporting and artistic events, dorm devotions, morning and evening commutes, and so much more. While these are all good things, help us to order our days, so that we may, in all things, maintain our focus on you and your leading in our lives.
I pray for students, finding and negotiating the new routines for this term, encountering new ideas in classes, discovering greater depth to the world our Father has created for us to explore and live in. We pray for relationships: new dormmates, new classmates, new instructors, new locations; all present opportunities to create new connections, encounter more people who have been created in the image of God, and tend the world we connect with. I pray that we all — students, staff and faculty — may see each other as one of God’s children and a fellow image-bearer of Christ — and ensure our love and respect for one another is in line with that awesome fact.
I pray, Jesus, for staff and faculty as well. Much work goes into running this institution, and while some of it is behind the scenes and some of it is clearly visible each day, we give thanks for all who have been called to work here and who are vital to its running. Strengthen all of us, staff, faculty and students, for the days to come. Some days may be hard: plans may go astray, assignments and projects may seem impossible, we may be discouraged and there may even be those days when we do not easily feel your presence and our eyes find it difficult, if not impossible, to see you in any place we are in or people we see. Provide hope and commitment, first of all to you, and then to the work that you have called us to, knowing that you are the source of our strength.
Finally, I thank you for the gift of joy. Give us eyes to see your wonder and beauty and the wonder and beauty of this world you have called us to steward. May we joyfully attend our classes, spend time with friends and colleagues, and seek to serve you in the big and the small ways that you are calling us to today, as well as into the future.
We pray this, Jesus, Lord and Redeemer, in your name. Amen