A Prayer for a New School Year

AquinasThis week marks the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year at Southeastern Seminary. The Lord has blessed us with a fresh crop of new students and several wonderful new faculty colleagues such as Stephen Eccher (church history), Chuck Quarles (New Testament), and Walter Strickland (systematic theology). We are all excited to see what God has in store for us this year as, with a nod to our mission statement, “Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”

In honor of the new school year, I offer the following prayer for scholars. It is attributed to Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the greatest theologian of the Medieval era. According to tradition, Thomas prayed this prayer before he would sit down to study. It is a fitting prayer for seminarians and the professors who serve them.

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.