Today, we’re excited to launch our new series of prayers for academics in specific field areas. Our hope is that each prayer will encourage those in a particular subject area in the specificity of their daily work, while also giving those in other fields a glimpse into how their colleagues are glorifying God in different areas of inquiry. We’re delighted to start this new series with a prayer for business scholars from ESN member A. Lynn Matthews. One consistent need we notice at ESN is a lack of readily available devotional and spiritual formation material addressed to the academic life. One of the best ways we’ve found to fill that need is to invite our talented members to write material and share it with each other. If you’re inspired by the series and want to contribute a prayer, you can submit a prayer for those in your field area and a short bio here.
Thank you for creating us in Your image, child-creators who can proclaim Your good and creative nature through the works of our minds and our hands. Thank You for the privilege of being able to add value to the good creation that You have given us to steward. Thank You for the privilege of enriching others’ lives through the goods and services that we provide.
Father, we pray that You will bless those who are studying and teaching in the academic fields of business. Help them to fully integrate their identity in Christ into the work they do, that they may be a blessing to their students, to their coauthors, and to the practitioners who will use their work. Help them to affirm with joy what is good in business theory and practice. Help them to navigate with wisdom the ways that they teach and research gray areas in their field that are legal, effective, and profitable, but that do not add value to the lives of consumers. Help them to conscientiously invest their talents in ways that will allow them to reap the dividends of righteousness.
For graduate students, we pray that You would guide their minds to think Your own thoughts after You, that their research may contribute significantly to theory, practice, and to the building of Your kingdom. For those who are returning to school after years in business, we also pray that You would help them adjust quickly and well to the theoretical and research-oriented world of the academy, a world that is so different from their work as practitioners.
Please encourage and strengthen all those who are in the throes of coursework, who are seeking a dissertation topic, who are collecting data, who are writing, and who are on the job market. Help them to reject the lie prevalent in the academy that states that their value is dependent on the temporal outcomes that they achieve. Remind them of Your truth: that their value is wholly based on Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. Make real to them the truth that their work as a student is an act of worship that You have called them to, not out of fear of their advisors orfuture job prospects, but out of gratitude and joy for Your love and acceptance.
Father, we pray that as we study and teach those who are rich in this present age or who seek that end, that you would help us to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share our knowledge, and to point others to You and the riches that you offer all in Christ. May we store up for ourselves treasures in heaven through our work on earth, and glorify you in all things.
In Jesus’ name,
About the author:
A. Lynn Matthews is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Wichita State University. She earned her PhD in Marketing from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, as well as an MS in Survey Research and Methodology from the same institution. She also holds a BA in Sociology from Grove City College, where she first learned to study marketing from a Christian perspective and joined the Emerging Scholars Network as an undergraduate student. Her research now focuses on branding strategy for individuals and small businesses, with an emphasis on the importance of authenticity. She also loves teaching Marketing Research, where she helps her students learn how to ask and answer managerially relevant questions. Lynn lives in Wichita, KS with her husband, a pediatrician.