A prayer before lecturing

A prayer before lecturing

“Lord, here comes that bundle of feelings again; I suddenly feel nervous and tired, but fired up and looking forward to being in front of students again – all at the same time.

This subject area has been such a part of my life for so long, Lord, keep me and the material truly alive; help the students to catch my enthusiasm and my love of it and develop their own happy relationship with the ideas and the scholars.

I need your help, Lord in my attitudes, so that I will be carefully truthful and appropriately deep but clear, with confident judgment but humble. Remind me that I may have read more books than the students but some may well be closer to you. Rather than being defensive or dismissive, may I seek and value their contribution in class so we will enjoy each other’s company on the way to understanding.

Lord, I want to relax and be my honest self before the students. I will be an actor on a stage before them and I recognise in me the desire to be admired. Instead, help me to serve them, to be useful – not only in a narrow range of studies and the passing of their exams or essays, but that I may help them towards achieving their great objective (and mine) of loving the Lord their God with all their heart, soul mind and strength and their neighbour as themselves.

Help me to do this job in your presence, before you and for you. May the attention of all of us in the classroom be on you, understanding you, pleasing you. It is an awesome thought that I will be speaking about you in your presence and that we teachers, according to James, will be judged with greater strictness. Yet you have called me to this and so I am bound to teach.

But I need you. I and my students need from you the necessary wisdom to understand spiritual things, strength to persevere with and be successful in the academic task, and all necessary help to fulfil what we set out together, lecturer and students, to achieve. Lord, in the words of that prayer of Anselm, “By your powerful kindness, complete what in my powerless weakness I attempt”.

And to keep me from despondency, may a few students come up afterwards and thank me for the lecture. Amen”

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One Comment on “A prayer before lecturing”

  1. pcookey Says:

    I say, Amen! I often pray that God will help my students and I use our God-given minds and intellects to worship and serve Him responsibly. For I often admit that we have abused God’s gift by not using it to honestly represent Him. How often we are lazy to think and even be open to God’s truth because of our idolatrous loyalty to man-made traditions and dogmas. We often serve ourselves and our systems and pay Christ lip service. Only true humility in the Holy Spirit can your pray be fulfilled in our lives. Shalom!

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