This summer, we’re sharing prayers for and by Christian scholars in our network. We hope this is a chance for readers to connect with each other and with God, to be encouraged, and to pray together. May this series remind us of how the church is connected across time and space in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Today we welcome back IVP and ESN author Ken Litwak. You may enjoy browsing his other work for Emerging Scholars Network, or you can explore Ken’s InterVarsity Press book (coauthored with Paul Copan), The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas.
O Lord, you have brought us through the spring term to the summer break. This is our chance to recover from stressful course work, teaching, and engaging with students, faculty, and staff involved in the tasks of the semester or quarter. We have time now to rest our minds, hearts, and bodies from the rigors of academic life. It’s mid-July and we can now spend more time with family and friends, attend to things we could not do during the spring term, relax, and read things that feed our souls and not only our minds. We come to you today in prayer to ask for your help in finding refreshment and renewal in the midst of summer.
For undergraduates, we pray that what they have learned during this last academic year may help them grow intellectually and that you would use it to transform them to be more like Jesus. May they be able to relax and recharge during the summer but also make time for important things, especially their relationship with you, even while they may have no schedule to follow. For any working summer jobs, please bless them in these roles. Help them in renewing and strengthening relationships with family and friends. Help them be brighter lights for you on campus in the fall.
For graduate students, we pray that you would grant them rest between regular courses. May your grace be upon both those working on graduate degrees that require only course work and upon those whose degrees include both course work and thesis writing. Please give strength and wisdom to those preparing for comprehensive exams. For those working through dissertations, give them the energy to climb what often seems like a very steep mountain. Help them to not grow weary or burn out even as the summer plods on. May they also know your strength as they prepare for teaching courses, performing research assistance to faculty, and other tasks and roles on campus. May all the graduate students, especially those with a relatively short summer break like those in med school, also find time to exhale, breath in your peace, and make time for rest. We pray for those who are married and those with children that you would please enable the students to spend more time connecting with these important people in their lives and that they would find joy in doing more than graduate work. May all these find you in their work and be able to continue their studies as unto you, Jesus.
For those who are faculty, may they also find rest during the summer regardless of whatever research, prepping for courses in the fall, and academic duties that they may have. Grant these faculty members wisdom and strength and help them likewise renew and deepen relationships with family and friends. May those who are seeking to become faculty experience your grace and find favor in the eyes of search committees as they apply for positions and prepare for possible interviews in the fall.
For those with recent PhDs, help them as they go through activities to build up their CVs such as participating in post-doc projects, writing articles for publications, preparing papers to read at conferences, networking, prepping to teach as adjuncts in the fall, and more, that they would have the energy for these projects after all the work required to earn a doctorate. May each of these steps bear fruit for their careers and for your kingdom.
For those who are staff who support the learning process, whether also students or not, who may not get a summer break at all, let them be strengthened in their hearts by you and have grace and wisdom in doing their work as unto you, O Lord.
For all those facing hostility or challenges to their devotion to you to be strengthened and become more equipped to speak winsomely of your truth when they return to campus in the fall.
May all these emerging scholars experience your grace and strength to persevere in their studies while keeping their eyes fixed upon Jesus. In his name we pray, Amen.
About the author:
Kenneth D. Litwak has a Ph.D. In New Testament studies. He teaches as an online adjunct for Asbury Theological Seminary, a computer programmer, and continues trying to find a full-time teaching position in biblical studies.