By Carmen Joy Imes

An End of Semester Prayer

Just like that, it’s over — the frenzy, the stacks of assignments, end-of-year parties, exams, graduation robes, and faculty meetings. Busy sidewalks empty of students and the hallways no longer echo with their voices. Whether you’re joyful about the change of pace or too exhausted to care, here is a prayer to usher in a season of replenishing and retooling.

Lord, here I stand at the end of another term.

I have poured into my students — ideas, questions, caring, comments, time.

Now I entrust them to you.

Take what I have taught them and separate wheat from chaff. Blow away what I said that was empty or worthless. Help them to treasure the truth. May it nourish them in days ahead as they move into new contexts.

Take what I have modeled for them. Help them to discern the value of what they have seen in my life. May my godly example live on in them and may my selfishness and worldliness be seen for what it is and left aside.

Help my students thrive. May they humbly put into practice what they’ve learned and make the world a better place.

As I read course evaluations and think about how to pursue excellence as a teacher, keep my soul steady. Thank you that my worth does not depend on what others say but rather on what you say. Grant me the humility to accept the kernel of criticism I need to hear and release the rest as chaff to the wind.

I entrust these coming days to you. Help me to prioritize the assignments you have given me and find joy in them. Give me the discipline to leave aside distractions and engage what I am called to accomplish.

Give me the strength to pursue excellence on behalf of my institution as I have pursued excellence in the classroom. For committee meetings and assessments and curriculum revisions and accreditation tasks, grant the grace of focus and clarity.

As I pursue the other aspects of my academic calling – research, writing, speaking, planning – let me do so under the inspiration of your Spirit and with the one aim of bringing honor to your name.

Teach me to worship you with my free time as I worship you with my work. Let me embrace your rest without guilt or fear. Restore my creativity, vision, and passion so that I can serve wholeheartedly the next group of students you bring me.

Thank you for the privilege of teaching. May I be found faithful.




About the Author

Carmen is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Biola University. Her husband Daniel gave up his job in mission finance to focus on their three kids and keep the household running smoothly so that Carmen can teach, speak, and write. Carmen and Daniel have been blazing new trails together since 1998, with twelve (er... make that thirteen!) address changes to prove it. They enjoy camping and playing pickleball as a family.

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