By Carmen Joy Imes

A Scholar’s Prayer

Photos credit: Dieterich

A Scholar's Prayer

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.

For the glory of your Name,


About the Author

Carmen Joy Imes (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of Old Testament at Biola University. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, she is the author of Bearing YHWH's Name at Sinai, Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters, Being God's Image: Why Creation Still Matters, and the editor of Praying the Psalms with Augustine and Friends.

Imes has written for a variety of websites, including Christianity Today, The Well, and the Politics of Scripture blog. She is a fellow of Every Voice, a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. Imes and her husband, Daniel, have followed God's call around the globe together for over 25 years.

Read Carmen's article on being God's image as a woman in the academy and the church.

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