This is the third post in a series about our school’s name and mission, and it considers the third word, “Christian.” (The series begins with “What’s in a Name?”, available here.)
I receive a lot of emails–some important, much more junk. Today I opened an email from Covenant College, an alma mater of mine, and a few minutes later, I was staring at a prayer calendar for the College’s alumni. My eyes were riveted to the header:
As I consider what makes Dominion a Christian school, a number of characteristics make the list. We are committed to putting Christ at the center of our school–He is the Source of our life, of all we can know, and of our understanding of what it means to be human. We look for the Word of God, the Bible, to shape us and our ideas, rather than conforming it to our ideas. We seek not just to know more and better information, but to find wisdom, knowing that its beginning is in the fear of the Lord.
But there is one thing above all that I want for our school community–families, students, faculty, staff: to be praying people. We have a faithful (but small) prayer team that meets to lift up our school and its needs. But with all the work we have to do, prayer can slide into the background. On one hand, that might be a good thing, as the practice of prayer works its way into all the corners of our lives. On the other, we may avoid a conscious surrender of our ambition to God’s Kingdom. We need to pray without ceasing, and to pray consciously.
To that end, with thanks to Covenant’s Alumni office, I put together a Gryphons Prayer Calendar for our school community (and beyond). It includes a monthly focus, timed to some significant needs for that time of year. It also includes a weekly plan, with virtues of our mission statement as a focus. Of course, you may pray for any of these things at any time, but this calendar may give you a starting point.
Hudson Taylor, the pioneering missionary to China, once wrote “I have seen many men work without praying, though I have never seen any good come out of it; but I have never seen a man pray without working.” He might have been paraphrasing the Latin motto of the Benedictine order: Ora et labora, “pray and work.” Keep us in prayer, and encourage us to pray, because we have too much work to do not to pray.