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May 19, 2014 / Whitworth University

Give Thanks

May 19-25

Scripture:
Give thanks to the LORD, for God is good.
God’s covenant love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods
God’s covenant love endures forever
Give thanks to the LORD of lords
God’s covenant love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-3

This week we pray for…

  • all students who graduated this weekend, that they will know God’s presence in this time of enormous transition. Pray especially for provision for housing, employment and community to nurture them in Christian faith.
  • Monday evening when we celebrate our employees, especially those who mark incremental five years of service to the university, as well as those who are leaving Whitworth to pursue other employment, and those who are retiring. The university’s Christian mission is only as strong as those who serve here, and we are so grateful for the way God has provided wonderful, faithful employees who serve Whitworth as an expression of their Christian vocation.
  • faculty who now bear the responsibility of finishing the academic year with a heavy load of grading papers and final exams in the next few days. May they have strength to endure, and wisdom to grade, students’ work in a manner which will continue to enhance the learning process.
  • every summer brings many transitions to the university, as we say goodbye to some colleagues and begin to welcome others. Please pray for every search committee across the staff and faculty who continue to pursue candidates to come and serve at Whitworth. May these committees have insightful discernment and the patience to “wait upon the Lord” for God’s guidance and timing.
  • our facilities services staff members, who begin the process of major projects across the campus to upgrade our buildings and grounds. Pray for the “Big Dig” as new electrical and heating lines are run across the campus. We are especially mindful of our employees’ safety, and we ask for prayer for their protection as they labor throughout the summer.

At Whitworth we are most grateful for your prayer support throughout this year. Thanks for praying with us and for us. Look for the beginning of next academic year’s “On Bended Knee” postings in late August. Have a great, safe, and blessed summer. May the Peace of Christ rule in your lives and hearts.

Thanksgiving:
Lord we thank you so much for being our strength and our shield during this school year. We know we can trust you, and we are assured that you will be there always in our time of need. We are thankful, and our hearts rejoice in you, because You are our Rock, our Fortress, our Salvation. Amen!

May 12, 2014 / Whitworth University

Commencement Week

May 12-18

Scripture:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord; “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

This is graduation week, marking the end of the academic year. We pray for…

  • all of our students, that the Lord’s presence will generate confidence as they prepare for and take their final exams Tuesday-Friday. Pray for calm hearts and focused minds free from distractions.
  • Friday night’s Senior Communion & Commissioning Service and Sunday morning’s Baccalaureate Service, that graduates will experience a powerful sense of God’s presence as they leave Whitworth and enter into the world in Christ’s service.
  • graduate students completing their master’s degrees on Saturday. Pray that doors of opportunity will open in this competitive job market, and that the Lord will grant them favor.
  • undergraduate students completing their degrees on Sunday. Ask that they will find hope to override fear, knowing that they can trust in the Lord, the Author and Finisher of their faith, to watch over their future.
  • students as the residence halls close on May 19, for traveling mercies as they move home or to other parts of the world to begin new journeys.
  • student leaders who have carried well the responsibility of developing and sustaining the “Whitworth culture” throughout the year; ask that this summer might provide for them an opportunity to experience rest and renewal.
  • the Whitworth community as we seek to carry out Initiative 1 of the Whitworth 2021 Courage at the Crossroads vision and strategic plan: “Advance Whitworth’s distinctive approach to integrating Christian faith and learning.” May this foundational commitment to a Christian education rooted in the Reformed, evangelical, and ecumenical traditions bear fruit throughout the lives of our graduates.

Thanksgiving:
Lord we pray for all those who have met the challenge and kept the faith to the finish their studies. We thank you for the success of their journey. We thank you for granting them focus and direction and strength and endurance. You created the knowledge and understanding they have mastered. You have created the curiosity and capacity for them to learn with passion and insight. All these good things came from you. We are most thankful for our graduating students, as we are for the incoming Class of 2018 and for our current juniors, sophomores and freshmen, who will return in the fall. We are grateful to you Lord, for You know the plans that You have for us.

May 5, 2014 / Whitworth University

Jesus Prays for All Believers

May 5-11

Scripture:
“I ask …that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.”
John 17:20-21

This week we pray for…

  • all of our students, during this last week of regular classes; we ask that they will have diligence to pursue their responsibilities with enthusiasm and discipline to finish this academic year well.
  • Whitworth students and faculty who have been involved in study-abroad programs and will soon return to Spokane. We ask God to bless each one as they re-enter familiar cultural and relational spaces after experiencing life in very different cultural contexts.
  • those students who face uncertainty about summer jobs and internships. We ask that they may find opportunities to use their talents and earn money to enable them to continue to pursue education here at Whitworth.
  • members of the Class of 2014, now in the last two weeks of their time here. We pray that they will have opportunities to reflect upon all that God has done in them and through them during their Whitworth careers. May their hearts be filled with gratitude for God’s faithfulness.
  • God’s provenance and guidance as the university seeks replacements for key faculty, staff, and administration positions.
  • faculty and staff members who have lost family members in the past few weeks; may they be filled with a deep sense of God’s presence and peace in the midst of their grief.
  • faculty members, who, through their teaching, grading, and mentoring responsibilities, serve our students so diligently.
  • us to be mindful of God’s faithfulness to Whitworth throughout this year as we gather for…
    • Tuesday’s Community Worship, where Terry McGonigal will share the final message from John 13-17, in which Jesus prays for the unity of all God’s people as a witness to the truth of the gospel.
    • Tuesday’s Hosanna and Wednesday’s Awake, student-led ministries coordinated for the past two years by Graduate Assistants Aly Quartier and Austin Rovazzini, as they create a space for students to experience their last authentic, casual worship service of the 2013-14 academic year.
    • Thursday’s Community Worship, as we gather around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • the entire community as we seek to implement Initiative 1:2 of Whitworth’s Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan: “Advance Whitworth’s distinctive approach to integrating Christian faith and learning to deepen the capacity of students and faculty to integrate faith and learning, ensuring that 100 percent of Whitworth’s academic departments assess student-learning outcomes in faith-learning integration.”

Thanksgiving:
Gracious God, in Jesus Christ you poured out your extravagant love upon our broken world, and you have redeemed in and through that love. Now you ask us to do the same for each other, loving our sisters and brothers in Christ as a sign to to the world that you did, indeed, send Jesus for the reconciliation of the world. May we live into your love, and may your gospel of love in Jesus’ name go forth to all the world through us. Amen.

April 28, 2014 / Whitworth University

Sanctified for Mission, Just as Jesus Was

April 28-May 4

Scripture:
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
John 17:17-18

This week we pray for…

  • Why Whitworth? events throughout this week , as prospective students and parents visit campus. Thursday, May 1, is the deposit deadline for the incoming Class of 2018. May God grant wisdom to each student making his or her final decision about where to go to college and may God give each one a deep sense of peace as s/he seeks direction in that search.
  • students who are wrapping up spring semester. Ask that they continue to pursue excellence in their studies while making their plans for summer, which include decisions about housing and employment. Please pray especially for seniors as they prepare to make the transition from the Whitworth community into “the real world.”
  • Monday’s Faculty Scholarship Forum, as Assistant Professor of Theology Jonathan Moo presents his scholarship on the integration of biblical studies with the theological imperative for creation care. Please pray that Whitworth’s faculty members will be inspired to integrate their knowledge of scripture with the passion to act in obedience to God’s stewardship ordinances.
  • The people of Haiti, whose trials are documented in the film Water Everlasting?, produced by alumna Julienne Marie Gage. Gage, who will screen the movie on Monday, works at the Inter-American Development Bank, in Washington, D.C. Her film focuses on decades of humanitarian efforts and the aftermath of the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti, as that country pursues the perpetual search for clean water. May our hearts be stirred to action on behalf of those who are in great need.
  • Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor as he hosts the final President’s Coffee of the 2013-14 academic year. Please pray also for the Whitworth community as Beck welcomes new employees, offers updates on the university, and leads a devotional. May we all be inspired to work diligently as we complete the academic year firm in our convictions to honor God, follow Christ, and serve our students.
  • our community to be sustained by our worship rhythms this week: Ben Brody will lead morning prayers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7;30; at Tuesday morning’s Community Chapel, Mindy Smith will preach on John 17:5-19, Jesus’ prayer for his disciples; Hosanna, on Tuesday night, and Awake, on Wednesday night, will minister to students; Wednesday, Whitworth hosts the 30th anniversary dinner for The Fig Tree, a Spokane nonprofit newspaper dedicated to interfaith dialogue and cooperation; Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry’s Visiting Professor of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Michael Kinnamon will speak. May all who attend be reminded that the gospel of Jesus calls all people, having been created in Christ’s image, to a spirit of oneness in honor of our common humanity.
  • the Whitworth community – and those whom it seeks to serve – as students, faculty, staff and friends of the university attempt to pack 1,000,000 meals in 24 hours in order to address food insecurity in our region. In the Spokane area, 20 percent of the populace does not know where the next day’s meals will come from. This year’s annual end-of-the-year celebration for Whitworth and the community will team up with Generation Alive. May God give all who participate a great joy in the process as we obey Jesus’ command to care for the least of these.
  • Initiative 1.1 of Whitworth’s Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan Initiative 1.1, as we work to advance Whitworth’s distinctive approach to integrating Christian faith and learning by positioning Whitworth as a valued resource to the church and society (especially as the university launches the new Lilly Endowment-funded Office of Church Engagement in the next few months).

Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Lord, in this season after celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection, we thank you for letting us know that we are not alone on life’s journey. You are there with us, and we are assured by Your Word that you will never leave us or forsake us; it is left to us only to be transformed by Jesus’ Resurrection life. Thank you for drawing us into the community of God’s people, where we are sustained on the way as together we seek to live out the way of Jesus.

April 21, 2014 / Whitworth University

The Gift of Eternal Life

April 21-27

Scripture:
And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
John 17:3

This week we pray for…

  • after celebrating the historical reality of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday, we ask that the experiential reality of the hope which comes from Jesus’ resurrection will be known throughout the Whitworth community and the world, especially for those for whom the flame of hope has long ago been extinguished by overwhelming circumstances.
  • students who do not yet know the reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection on their behalf, that during this last month of spring semester they will come to experience the joy of relationship with Jesus through the influence of other students, faculty and staff on campus.
  • students as they decide on roommates and room locations during this very hectic week of the housing lottery, that they may have wisdom and peace throughout this multi-night process.
  • Tuesday’s Community Chapel, as theology professor Karin Heller preaches on John 17:1-5, the first portion of Jesus’ final prayer, that we would all be encouraged to live in ways which bring glory to God through his Son Jesus.
  • throughout the next few weeks many students in our distinguished music programs will be performing in recitals, ensembles, concerts and final senior performances. May God give each of them a deep sense of joy as they use their gifts in order to bless our community with the gift of music.
  • Wednesday’s President’s Colloquy on Whitworth’s Ecumenical Theological Identity, as psychology professor Adrian Teo provides the main address from his perspective as a devout Catholic.
  • Thursday’s Spring Leadership Retreat, as student life directors welcome next year’s student leaders and begin the training process for on-campus positions.
  • Saturday many of our students, along with students from the other area universities and colleges, will give major research presentations in the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Competition. This event culminates a long process of research in their fields. May their presentations be an expression of Whitworth’s commitment to provide an “education of mind and heart.”
  • Saturday also provides opportunity for African-American students in each area university and college to gather for the African-American graduation ceremony. This event highlights the achievements of all these students in one venue so that the entire Spokane community can celebrate with them. May there be a deep sense of gratitude among all who attend for God’s grace in each of these students’ lives in bringing them to this milestone achievement.

Thanksgiving:
During this week after Easter, we give You our deepest thanks for the priceless gift of Your Son, who died and rose again on our behalf to secure our eternal salvation. “Love so amazing, so divine, demands our soul, our life, our all.” And so we give to you our very selves as the ultimate expression of our desire to live as Your faithful disciples. Praise be to You, O God, for your great love in Jesus.

April 14, 2014 / Whitworth University

From Grief to Joy!

April 14-20

Scripture:
“I tell you the truth: You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy…In me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
John 16:20, 33

This is Holy Week, and as we remember all the events of the last week of Jesus’ life, we pray for…

  • every member of the Whitworth community to be drawn to the life-giving grace of Jesus that he extends to all through his death and resurrection.
  • the Class of 2014. As they make plans for the future — including finding employment, housing, and financial resources for the summer and beyond – we ask that they will know God’s provision for all their needs.
  • students who’ll return this fall. We ask that as they register for classes, make housing decisions for next year, and pursue summer employment, they will know the leading of God’s Spirit in their lives and will be at peace.
  • faculty and staff who support our students. May God bless our work and strengthen us as we near the end of the academic year.
  • Tuesday morning’s President’s Leadership Forum, as Whitworth welcomes Mark J. Sullivan, director of the U.S. Secret Service from 2006-13. Sullivan, who served in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, will speak on issues related to global and national security. May we listen carefully to God’s word about how divine peace can settle the troubles we impose upon each other across the globe.
  • people from Whitworth and the Spokane community as they gather Wednesday to share their stories of hunger as part of the Million Meals campaign. The campaign will culminate with the packing of 1,000,000 meals the first weekend in May. Hunger is a huge issue in Spokane, with 20 percent of the population living without food security. May we listen to these personal stories so that our hearts will be prompted to take specific action to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in our region.
  • our Community Worship Service on Maundy Thursday, as we remember the last night of Jesus’ life and gather at the his table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • Whitworth’s efforts to expand support for faculty scholarship and engagement with academic disciplines in order to enrich teaching, to model intellectual engagement for students, and to elevate further Whitworth’s academic profile. Each of these goals is an element of Whitworth’s Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan, Initiative 2.4.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise, make us one in mind and heart. We know there will be times of mourning, and we ask that you help us to remove the things that hinder us from receiving the true joy that you have promised. Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.

April 7, 2014 / Whitworth University

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

April 7-13

Scripture:
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.”
John 15: 26-27

This week we pray for…

  • the Whitworth community to be attentive to the work of God’s Holy Spirit among us during this latter part of Lent. Pray that we’ll be willing to speak of what we’ve experienced of Christ’s gracious and truth-filled salvation. And may we do this in a way that reflects the love of Christ, which gives us hope in times of pressure, tension, and distress.
  • the Whitworth Choir, as, on Sunday, the group presents its annual spring concert at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
  • Director of Campus Worship Ben Brody, who will be leading a simple Lenten prayer service that includes song, silence and scripture, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Professor of French Jennifer Brown, who will lecture Monday on “Medieval Visions, and Modern Myth. The making of the Medieval in WWII Literature.”
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship Service on “The Work of the Holy Spirit,” (John. 15:26-16:15); Tuesday evening’s Hosanna, as students gather in song, praise, worship and sharing the Word of God with others; and Awake, on Wednesday, as students come together sharing the gospel and fellowship.
  • the Whitworth University Board of Trustees as they gather on campus Wednesday-Friday for their bi-annual meeting. May the trustees sense God’s leading as they deliberate about the university’s mission to provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart, grounded in our Christian commitments to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.
  • Thursday’s Summer Job & Internship Fair, as students look for internships, work-study, and ministry positions for the summer. May God guide every student who needs to find any type of employment for the warmer months. Ask that each opportunity available will match students’ sense of vocational calling.
  • the members of the Hawaiian Club as they present their annual lu’au. May the Whitworth community experience the joy of God’s good creation as we celebrate the beauty and richness of the Hawaiian culture.
  • those who seek to promote compelling opportunities for advanced collaborative learning, creative expression, research, cross-cultural engagement, leadership development and other enriching learning activities to attract and retain high-achieving students, per Initiative 2.3 our Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan.

Thanksgiving:
We are grateful for the Holy Spirit, who is here with us in every circumstance of life. We take comfort and find assurance in Jesus’ promise “I am with you always.” God, Your Spirit assures us of Your ongoing commitment to be in covenant with us through Jesus, our Savior. We are so thankful for this reassurance. Amen!

March 31, 2014 / Whitworth University

Following in the Way of Jesus

March 31-April 6

Scripture:
“Remember the word that I spoke to you: ‘Servants are not greater than their masters.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.”
John 15:18

This week we pray for…

  • the search committee that is entering the final phase of the selection process for the new dean of spiritual life. As a result of a gracious grant from the Lilly Endowment, current Dean of Spiritual Life Terry McGonigal will become the director of church engagement. The search committee needs great wisdom to match the current spiritual needs of the community with the right candidate to address those needs in the name of Christ’s gospel. Please ask that God will give the committee members and the candidates great sensitivity to the direction of God’s Spirit.
  • the spiritual renewal of the Whitworth community during this Lenten season through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with us in unity of the Holy Spirit.
  • our students of faith. Ask that they will draw near to our Lord in prayer and witness.
  • President Beck Taylor as he shares John 15:18-25, “The World Hates Disciples,” with us in Tuesday’s Community Worship. Please pray, too, for Hosanna, as students gather in song, praise, worship, and sharing the Word of God with others.
  • Thursday Community Worship, as we gather around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and as we offer our lives to God through diverse worship styles.
  • Director of Campus Worship Ben Brody, who will lead a service of morning prayer each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Lent at 7:30 a.m. May God meet everyone who attends through scripture, prayer, hymns, and silence.
  • those who present lectures this week that challenge and stimulate the community intellectually: Author and poet Kevin Goodan will join us Tuesday, and on Thursday we’ll hear an address on the U.S.’s foreign policy with China. May God use all our public presentations to stimulate the life of the mind in the service of Christ in the world.
  • Head Women’s Basketball Coach Helen Higgs as the community gathers Wednesday to honor her for an incredible accomplishment: her 300th victory here at Whitworth. May God grant Helen a deep sense of gratitude for all that has happened here at Whitworth during her long, productive career, and may the community be deeply grateful for faithful leaders like Helen who work so enthusiastically to bless the lives of our students in every possible way.
  • Initiative 2.2 of the Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan as we seek to develop and implement a vision for 21st-century teaching and learning that enhances academic rigor and educational outcomes.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, our world is so full of evil and resistance to your will and your ways; we are so grateful that your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for the whole world, proved that love can overcome hate. Help us to love those who hate us, help us to truly let the love of your Son be displayed in our lives each and every day. We know that through your Son’s crucifixion and resurrection, hate has been destroyed. In you we find the power and the hope to overcome evil in your way, through love. Amen.

March 24, 2014 / Whitworth University

Spring Break

March 24-30

Scripture:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

This week we pray for…

  • students, staff and faculty who have been under pressure the last few weeks. Each member of the community has felt the demands of work or difficult decisions or personal crisis and challenge. This next week is the time for reflection, renewal and refreshment. May God grant to each member of the community the specific grace needed to return to Whitworth next week ready for the second half of the semester, filled with Your joy and grace and love.
  • student-athletes who are competing this week. May God grant them courage, strength and safety as they travel and compete.
  • members and leaders of the Whitworth Wind Symphony as they tour California during Spring Break. May their music provide a sense of spiritual encouragement and aesthetic pleasure for all who attend their concerts, as well as a sense of worship for the student musicians as they perform.
  • Initiative 2.1 of the Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan I, as we seek to “Strengthen student-faculty interaction and the rich learning that occur within the community and relationships, by achieving and maintaining a 13-to-1 student-faculty ratio.”

Thanksgiving:
Lord, there are times in our lives when even the most simple of means of grace and spiritual renewal are beyond us. At times we may be confused or distressed. Sometimes we are exhausted, and we know that we need rest. We are so thankful that in the trials of life, being in your presence brings peace. This is the time for the prayer of rest, in which you say, “Come to me, all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give us rest.” We are thankful, Lord, for the Sabbath rest that you give to your people. May You come to us now during this week of Spring Break. Amen!

March 17, 2014 / Whitworth University

“I Am the Vine”

March 17-23

Scripture:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me, and I in them, bear much fruit: because apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5

This week we pray for…

  • our students during this week before Spring Break, as they complete all the midterm requirements for their courses. May they experience a deep sense of God’s peace and presence during this pressure-packed week.
  • student-life directors who are in the midst of selecting all of next year’s student leaders, the 120 students who set the tone for a welcoming, Christ-centered culture on campus. May God give each director the ability to make wise decisions in selecting leaders who will meet the many crucial needs of our students.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship, as Karin Heller (Theology) shares with us from the Gospel of John, in which Jesus tells us that He is the vine, and we are the branches.
  • Tuesday night’s Hosanna, as students gather in praise, worship and reflection. Please pray also for the Awake Service, on Wednesday, as Whitworth’s student-athletes and others gather to share the gospel, worship and fellowship. All are invited. And don’t forget our Thursday Community Worship Service, as the Whitworth on-campus community gathers around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • the continuing college-selection process of all prospective students, many of whom have already visited our campus; others will be coming soon. Ask that God’s leading will be clear and that each student will have a sense of divine direction as final decisions loom.
  • Goal 2 of the Courage at the Crossroads 2011-21 Vision and Strategic Plan. Ask that we will be successful in our efforts to strengthen Whitworth’s intellectual vitality across all contexts of teaching and learning, equipping our students to be discerning thinkers who address effectively the complex issues they face in the world.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious God, revealed in Jesus, we thank you for being the constant source of our physical, relational and spiritual lives. As the branches must abide in the vine in order to live, may we remain related to Jesus, without whom our lives would wither and die, by your Holy Spirit. May we be inspired by your Spirit to embody the kind of maturity that will draw people closer to Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

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