A few underclass band students softly played “Pomp and Circumstance” as I joined the crowd of nervous parents and beaming grandparents filling the bleachers. The high school graduation planning committee spent countless painstaking hours putting together a lovely slideshow for us to enjoy until our young-adult children filed in to grace the matrix of folding chairs blanketed across the gymnasium floor.
One by one, four hounded slides showcased each member of the Class of 2022 in alphabetical order, each slide featuring a baby picture beside their senior picture, along with the student’s college plans. I watched closely as the presentation marched through the alphabet: Ra. .. Re. .. Ri. .. until finally Riese! My heart melted at the picture of my little girl nestled in a wintery den at the end of the driveway, wearing a mismatched pink and blue snowsuit complimented by her red cheeks and toothy smile. This precious memory was accompanied by the senior photo of the bright and beautiful young woman she is today.
And Then It Happened…
Suddenly, the woman in front of me reached out and shook an elongated finger toward the jumbo projector screen, as if to scold the unsuspecting messenger. “She’s going to the tech school?” the woman squealed. “That girl graduated near the top of her class. She could go anywhere!”
I restrained my inner mama bear; this wasn’t the time or place to get into a debate. It’s true, my daughter could have gone just about anywhere. She graduated with honors. She was recruited by prestigious universities. My husband and I started saving for her college education as soon as we learned we were expecting. There are several reasons why my daughter chose the local technical college, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.
5 Prayers For Graduates
But her comments still haunt me, so today I cut the noose of bitterness with gratitude and prayer. I offer five prayers for graduates who feel pressured or lesser-than for choosing their own path, as well as those who shake a finger at another person’s future.
Thank You for Your Workmanship
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10 ESV
You designed each of us long before our parents were even born. Thank you for your divine workmanship in every one of Your children, and for finding a place for each of us in Your amazing plan. We can’t begin to comprehend the complexity and beauty of Your design, Lord. Thank you for loving each of your children the same, and for giving us each good works to do.
Thank You for Setting Us Each Apart
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Thank you for your workmanship that sets each of us apart with unique gifts appointed for different work. This world would be so boring if everyone was the same. And even though each of us is different, You are the same God how empowers the gifts in all of us. Thank you for being the same God we love and trust yesterday, today, and forever.
Thank You for Community
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.1 Peter 4:10
How amazing You are! You created each of us for different work and yet all for the same purpose: to serve one another in love, as Your Son taught us. Please help each of us to use our gifts to serve cheerfully, and in love to You and each other, so everyone will know we are Yours.
A Prayer for Repentance
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.Romans 12:3 ESV
I can’t even breathe without your knowledge and blessing. Lord, please forgive my pride. Please help me be humble and always remember my skills are a gift from You, and not of my doing. Please convict me when think highly of myself and help me see others as You do, and to treat them with the same love You treat me.
Closing Prayer For All God’s Servants
Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
I have failed to love You and others with an unfailing love You’ve shown me. Please forgive me. I repent and give my failure to Your Son, Jesus. Thank you for sending Jesus to teach me about everlasting. Please continue to draw me to You so I can share Your love with others. In Jesus’ name I pray,
Join the Conversation About Prayers for Graduates
Do you have any graduates in your life? We’d love to know how you are praying for them right now. Join the conversation in the comments below and share your own prayers for graduates.