When Carmen shared this prayer with us, she wrote, "The other day I was prayerfully thinking about the dissertation writing process and decided to compose a prayer that I can use to start my day. I thought other readers of The Well might appreciate it, too." We agreed and think this prayer would be appropriate for all of us who are scholars to use to begin the day and to begin the school year.
Lord, as a new day dawns, I offer thanks for the privilege of learning — For the time, the mental acuity, and the resources at my disposal. Thank you for the delight of discovery. These are precious gifts.
Quicken my mind that I may discern what is right and understand more fully the complexities of the subject that is before me today.
As I interact with others — in person or in print — help me to appreciate their strengths and see clearly where they have erred. As I ponder the voices of the academy, let me never mistake eloquence for accuracy Or monotony for irrelevance. Let my disagreements be marked by charity and my approval never fueled by flattery or posturing.
Give me sober judgment, sound reasoning, and clarity of expression. Let me love the truth more than I love what I have thought or said or written. Grant me the courage to confront falsehood, even in myself, to defend an unpopular position, or to surrender a cherished opinion found wanting.
Grant me diligence to stay on task and ignore distraction. At the end of this day may I be able to stand before you unashamed of the work I have done and left undone.
Above all, may my work bring you glory. May it inspire others to worship the God who is the source of all goodness and beauty and perfection.
Carmen Imes holds a PhD in Biblical Theology (Old Testament concentration) from Wheaton College. She is currently teaching Bible classes at both George Fox University and Multnomah University. She and her husband, Danny, have been missionaries with SIM since 2002. They've been married 18 years and moved 12 times in their first 16 years of marriage. Their three kids keep life full and interesting. To keep sane, Carmen blogs at carmenjoyimes.blogspot.com.
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