A Prayer for Those Studying the Humanities, Fall 2019

stained glass photoOh Lord,

We ask that You would gift those studying the humanities this fall with Your wisdom, Your courage, and Your joy.

We ask Your wisdom, oh Holy Spirit! Many students and scholars explore the humanities with the hope of gaining wisdom for their lives and for the good of those around them. Fulfill those hopes this year, and when we are tempted to be hopeless, let us find renewed faith in Your goodness, for and in itself, and also as it is expressed through the imperfect but earnest efforts of human research and imagination. Let us dwell with the wisdom of many times and places and cultures and grow deeper, more imaginative, and more generous because of it.

We ask Your courage, oh Savior! It is not easy to ask the big questions about You, our world, and ourselves. Yet that is one of the tasks study of the humanities offers to us, and we are thankful for the chance to explore them. It is not easy to face the challenges of a difficult job market or to make space in our lives for deep reflection as we balance our many responsibilities. Yet that too is often part of our vocation in the humanities. We ask for the courage to face the challenges of our fields, intrinsic and extrinsic, and to find the exhilaration that comes with encountering new ideas and incorporating them into our thought and lives. You modelled courage for us when You took on flesh and entered into our experience, with all its vulnerabilities and difficulties. Let us follow You in our embrace of the broken things in our lives and experience, and even more in our embrace of Your resurrection power that transforms and heals and brings new life.

We ask Your joy, oh generous Father! You created our imaginations and our intellects for Your pleasure as well as ours, and we feel delight as we honor You in our creativity and our cultivation of the minds You have given us. Let our joy be shared with all around us, with friends and family and students and colleagues.

Lord, You make Your rain to fall on the just and the unjust, blessing humanity and the earth through Your common grace to all. We pray that You would bless all who study the many rich texts and experiences included in the humanities this year, and that we would be faithful givers and receivers of Your grace and generosity, pointing always beyond ourselves to You, the Father of lights and the great Giver of all good things. Amen.

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Hannah Eagleson

Hannah Eagleson is Interim Associate Director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). She launched and still edits ESN's collaboratively written devotional for academics, Scholar's Compass. Hannah also crafts other community-building events and materials for ESN. She holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Delaware, and an MA from St. John's College in Annapolis, MD. she’s working on a novel about a dragon who gave up fending off knights to become a tea importer in eighteenth-century England.

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