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May 18, 2015 / Whitworth University

Give Thanks

May 17-24

Scripture:
“O Give thanks to the Lord; for God is good: God’s steadfast love endures forever.“
Psalms 136:1

After concluding the academic year this past week, we pray for…

  • students’ successful transitions, as all of our graduates step into the next phase of their lives, and for our current students as they begin their summer responsibilities. May God’s Spirit lead each one in the way of loving God and others, as well, as following Christ in sacrificial service.
  • the Provost’s Breakfast, on Monday morning, as faculty gather at the end of the Commencement Weekend to recognize teaching-award winners as well as to hear final words from our retiring faculty. May all of our faculty members have a deep sense of gratitude for God’s steadfast love.
  • the end-of-the-year retiree celebration, on Monday afternoon, as our staff and faculty celebrate a year, and in some cases a career, of faithful service to our students. May each employee be filed with the joy of God’s grace.
  • student leaders who close the dorms and say goodbye to each other on Tuesday, after a year of faithful service in guiding their fellow students in the development of campus community. May they also know the presence of God in this time of transition.
  • the president’s cabinet’s retreat, Tuesday and Wednesday, as vice presidents and senior administrators review the academic year and begin planning for next year. May they be given God’s wisdom and courage to lead with strength and conviction.
  • the Community Engagement Institute, on Thursday, as many faculty and staff interact with other Spokane leaders about the best ways to serve others in the region. May participants be given new insight about how to do their work with vision, passion, and purpose.
  • the faculty training workshop, on Thursday, for faculty contracted as advisors to incoming students for fall 2015. May they be fully equipped to welcome all of the freshmen, transfers, and graduate students who will be coming to Whitworth.
  • Whitworth track and field student-athletes who are competing in the NCCA Division III championships this upcoming weekend. May they be strong in body and purpose as they compete, always reflecting the best of Whitworth’s values.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we thank you so much for the time we have spent with students who have now graduated and for students who are taking the next step at Whitworth. We thank you for all who have given of their energy and skill. We thank you for the teachers and staff, for their families and loved ones, who have made sacrifices for the sake of Whitworth’s Christian mission. We thank you for your steadfast love, everpresent with us during this academic year. With gratitude, we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Thank you for supporting Whitworth’s Christian mission throughout this academic year with your faithful prayers. We are most grateful for your spiritual support. This will be the last edition of “On Bended Knee” for the summer. Look for the renewal of this weekly prayer blog in mid-August.

May 11, 2015 / Whitworth University

Rejoice in the Lord

May 10-17

Scripture:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Philippians 4:4

This final week of the academic year we pray for…

  • our students as they prepare for and take final exams Tuesday-Friday. May the Lord’s presence generate calm and confidence as they complete their academic work for this semester.
  • our undergraduate and graduate degree candidates and their parents and families. May our graduates’ hearts be filled with joy as each celebrates his or her graduation. May the doors of opportunity open in the job market, and may the Lord grant them favor. And may their parents and families, who have sacrificed in many ways to support them through this long process of pursuing a degree, be joyful for their graduates’ accomplishments and grateful for God’s faithfulness.
  • retiring faculty and staff members. May they be filled with a sense of accomplishment for everything that they have done to support our students. May the Whitworth community honor each of these colleagues for their commitment to Whitworth’s Christian mission and for the sacrifices they have made in their service.
  • each of the many ceremonies during Commencement Weekend (ROTC Commissioning and Senior Commissioning on Friday, Graduate Commencement and Departmental Sendoffs for Graduating Seniors on Saturday, Baccalaureate and Undergraduate Commencement on Sunday). Ask that these gatherings will serve as final reminders that our graduates are now being sent out with a strong sense of mission “to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.” May the spirit of Whitworth’s mind-and-heart education sustain our graduates as they live out the university’s Christian mission.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious God, we are grateful to you for the success of our graduates, who worked so diligently to reach this week of celebration. Your faithfulness has sustained them and every one of us who support Whitworth’s Christian educational mission. We pray for moments of reflection this week, during which we can look back and see your faithfulness at work in each of our lives. We rejoice in your grace as our hearts are filled with gratitude for your faithfulness. May we trust in the peace of Christ as we continue our journeys accompanied by Your presence. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen!

May 4, 2015 / Whitworth University

Senior Reflections

May 3-10

Scripture:
“And you shall remember the entire way that the Lord your God has led you….”
Deuteronomy 8:2

In this is penultimate week of the spring semester, we pray for…

  • our students to feel God’s strength, wisdom and peace as they negotiate the next two weeks, which are packed with academic responsibilities. May our students learn well and be open to new insights inspired by God’s spirit as the spirit supports their diligent efforts in their studies.
  • for Whitworth staff and faculty, whose responsibilities mount at this time of year as they work to support our returning students in the completion of the academic year and to prepare graduating students for the end of their time at Whitworth. May they recognize the gifts God has given to all of us in the privilege of working here at Whitworth.
  • the members of our student music ensembles who will give their final performances this week. These groups include the Whitworth Symphony Orchestra, Jubilation Dance Ministry, and the Whitworth Choir and Whitworth Chamber Singers. As they express the gifts of music and dance, may each student be reminded of God’s faithfulness during their time here.
  • Tuesday chapel, where members of the Class of 2016 Rebekah Brown and Spencer Ansett reflect upon their journeys here at Whitworth and as the community prays for all of our graduating seniors.
  • Thursday’s Community Chapel, as we gather one last time around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. As we do this in remembrance of Jesus, may we also be reminded of God’s daily presence, which sustains us on the journey of Christian faith.
  • all retiring faculty and staff, as these faithful women and men mark their contributions to Whitworth measured in years – and, in some cases, in decades. May their hearts be filled with gratitude for all that God has done in and through each of them, and may the community express our deep appreciation for their service and devotion to Whitworth’s Christian mission.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we are so grateful for your faithfulness to every member of the Whitworth community – to those present here on campus and to our alums who are scattered across the world. Your presence has guided us along the way, as you have been our travelling companion on life’s journey. Help us to remember well, with grateful hearts. Open our eyes to see you at work, even in what seem to be the darkest moments. Thank you for restoring our strength and peace through the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

April 27, 2015 / Whitworth University

Be Doers, Not Just Hearers, of God’s Word

April 26-May 2

Scripture:
“Everyone, then, who hears these words of mine and does them will be like the wise person who built his house on a rock.”
Matthew 7:24

This week we pray for…

  • our students as they approach the end of spring semester. This is a time of increasing pressure academically, and it’s filled with all the transitional issues of moving out of dorms, finding summer work, and adjusting to life after college for our graduating seniors. May God give them wisdom in the decision-making process and may they feel a sense of peace during this time of change.
  • faculty members as they gather on Monday, Thursday, and Friday to hear from their peers about the importance of integrating their research with Christian faith. As they have the crucial responsibility to instruct our students, may our faculty members be guided by God’s spirit to teach and lead our community faithfully as we all seek to follow Christ.
  • Whitworth’s staff as they continue to serve faithfully in spite of the pressure that builds as we approach end-of-year activities. May God’s energy empower their work.
  • Monday evening’s celebration of former trustee and vice-chair of the board Carol Wendle, who will receive the university’s Distinguished Community Service Award for her multiple roles in serving the Spokane community. Carol has served on the boards of Spokane Public Schools, Chase Youth Commission, the Joint Center for Higher Education, and the Hutton Settlement, and she has previously been honored for her service by the YWCA and PTA. Her life is a model of Whitworth’s commitment to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity. May all of us learn from her the true meaning of Jesus’ call to serve others.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship Service as President Beck A. Taylor concludes our spring series from the Sermon on the Mount. Beck will preach from Matthew 7:24-29, in which Jesus tells a parable about the importance of heeding his teaching rather than just hearing his words. May all who hear this sermon be prompted to a more complete spiritual obedience.
  • Saturday’s Springfest, the annual celebration that heralds the wonders of spring and the end of the school year. This event raises money for service in the community. May all who attend be filled with the joy that spring prompts, and may they share generously of their resources.

Thanksgiving Prayer:
Gracious God, as we move toward the end of this academic term, there is so much for which to be grateful. We are thankful as we reflect on your daily faithfulness to us. We give our lives back to you as a sacred trust. May we listen well to your guidance in scripture and live in such a way that the love, grace, and truth of Jesus spring forth from our lives. Amen.

April 20, 2015 / Whitworth University

Faith Demonstrated in Action

April 19-26

Scripture:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 7:21

This week we pray for…

  • our graduating seniors, who will have multiple opportunities to prepare for the end of their time at Whitworth, including the graduation fair, mock interviews, senior recitals and other final performances in music and theatre. May these events remind the members of the Class of 2015 of God’s faithfulness to each of them throughout their time at the university.
  • members of our Pirate Athletics teams as they travel to compete in various sports and events.
  • Tuesday Community Worship as we continue the study of the Sermon on the Mount, with Campus Pastor Mindy Smith preaching from Matthew 7:21-23 regarding the importance of Christian faith being demonstrated in action. May the community listen with ears to hear so that our trust in Jesus will be expressed in the way we live.
  • this week’s events that will be devoted to the theme of Mental Health, with presentations, speakers, and movies addressing various topics. May this be a week of honest reflection and learning as we all seek to be whole in all of our lives as we explore together the God-created complex mystery of mind-body-spirit integration.
  • Friday’s “Why Whitworth” Day, as prospective students visit our campus to attend an admissions presentation, a tour, a class visit, a student panel, and a residence hall tour. In these last days before the May 1 deposit deadline for the upcoming school year, please give wisdom to every prospective student who is still in the process of deciding the best school to attend.
  • Saturday night’s 45th annual Hawaiian Luau, which will present the best of Hawai’ian culture as our students and their families host the community in a delicious meal and great entertainment. God’s diverse creation will be on display as we celebrate the myriad ways in which we have all been created so distinctly in God’s image.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious Lord, you are the God of integration – connecting everything in and through our Savior and Friend Jesus Christ. This is a week of connections through the university. Help each of us to see how your grace binds all things together. Give us eyes to see you at work in the actions of our Christian brothers and sisters. We want to be the reflection of the truth and love that Jesus incarnated in his own life. May he shine through us. Amen!

April 13, 2015 / Whitworth University

Bearing Fruit Which Reflects the Hope of Christ’s Resurrection

April 12-19

Scripture:
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit….Thus you will know them by their fruits.”
Matthew 7:18

This week we pray for…

  • the entire Whitworth community in anticipation of the Board of Trustees meeting, Wednesday-Friday, that all of us will join in prayer for God’s wisdom and grace as we seek together to “honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.” These devoted servants seek to guide the university with wisdom and truth, sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit as they interact with students, faculty and staff.
  • students’ strength — physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually — as we enter the final month of the spring semester
  • faculty and staff who support our students on a daily basis, that they will have the endurance to lead and love well and wisely as the challenges of spring semester grow
  • students who are performing in musical recitals and concerts during these next few weeks, that their gifts and talents will be displayed in a manner that honors God
  • Tuesday’s President’s Leadership Forum with Bryan Stevenson, who will speak as an incredibly courageous advocate for justice and equality. May the hundreds of members of the Spokane and Whitworth communities listen to Bryan with, “ears to hear,” concerning how his guidance can enable all of us to be contributors to the common good in the Spokane region, our nation, and the world.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship as new Dean of Spiritual Life Forrest Buckner preaches on the fruits of the Spirit from Matthew 7:15-20. May Forrest be empowered by God’s Spirit as he begins his leadership in our community.
  • Tuesday’s Student Wellness Fair, promoted by Whitworth’s Health & Counseling Center. Included in this event is the rollout of the “We Will” campaign, an initiative of the Green Dot bystander awareness training program, reminding every member of the community that we are responsible for the well-being of others, as we learn ways to intervene in order to protect the safety of all.
  • The Multicultural Visit Program, April 16-18, which will bring 80-100 prospective students and parents from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds to campus to explore the opportunities available to them at Whitworth.

Thanksgiving:
Lord we are so thankful for the opportunity to bring forth good fruit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, patience, even self-control. We are grateful for your Word being the seed planted in our hearts and flourishing throughout our lives daily so that others may see your goodness and mercy.

April 6, 2015 / Whitworth University

Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection

April 5-12

Scripture:
“But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.’”
Matthew 28:5-7

This week we pray…

  • that as the pressure of the semester mounts after Spring Break, every member of the Whitworth community knows the peace and power that come through the Christian hope of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
  • for the president’s cabinet and for staff members and all others who are working diligently to prepare for next week’s board of trustees meeting.
  • for Faculty Assembly, on Monday, as our teachers gather to discuss ways in which they can continue to lift up and extend the Christian educational mission of the university.
  • for Tuesday’s President’s Coffee with Beck Taylor, a time for staff to meet with the president, meet new employees, listen to updates on the university, and share in a devotional.
  • for Community Worship, on Tuesday, as Kent McDonald shares with us from Matthew 7:7-14 on the privilege of expectant prayer and trusting in our gracious God to meet our needs with divine presence and provision.
  • for Matthew V. Wells, Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky, who will speak Tuesday on “Aesthetics, Culture, and Empire after the Han.” Professor Wells will explore medieval China from exhilarating new angles in comparison with Western notions of the Middle Ages and will discuss whether China has actually had what we consider to be a medieval period.
  • for the Whitworth Choir as the group presents its Spokane spring concert at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, downtown. May these gifted students experience joy as they perform, using their God-given talents.

Thanksgiving:
Gracious God, we are so thankful that we can come to you and present our petitions. As we seek and find you, Lord, we appreciate the love that you have for us. During this Easter season, help us to know the hope of Christ’s Resurrection as we continue to rely upon you for our daily provision.

March 30, 2015 / Whitworth University

Holy Week: Receiving the Gift of God’s Forgiveness in Jesus Christ

March 29-April 5

Scripture:
“Do not judge, or you will be judged.”
Matthew 7:1.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34

This week we pray for…

  • the entire community as, during this Holy Week, we remember the sacred events of Jesus’ Last Supper, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection.
  • our “Why Whitworth” admissions events on Monday and Wednesday, as prospective students and their parents visit our campus for an admissions presentation, lunch, a campus tour, a class visit, a parent seminar, a student panel and a residence hall tour. May each prospective student be guided to the right school for her/his college studies.
  • the grand opening, on Monday, of the Dornsife Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement, as the university celebrates this gracious gift to sustain our ongoing efforts to connect with the local community in order to promote the common good of the Spokane region.
  • Stephaine Nobles-Beans and those who convene to hear her Tuesday at Community Worship. Stephaine will speak from The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:1-6, regarding the great gift of God’s grace in Christ and how that grace can flow through us to others who feel cut off from God.
  • Tuesday‘s Women and Gender Studies Program guest Andi Ziesler, who will lecture on the topic, “Don’t Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism, Activism, and Social Justice.”
  • Tuesday’s presentation by Jess Walter, Whitworth’s writer-in-residence for spring 2015. Jess’s works has been on the New York Times bestsellers list, and he has been a finalist for the National Book Award. As a part of our 125th-anniversary celebration, Jess’s presence provides a model for diligently exploring the gift of writing.
  • Maundy Thursday’s Community Worship, where we’ll remember Jesus’ final meal with his disciples, as he gathered with them around the table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, forgive us for the times we have failed to show mercy to others, even as we have been the recipients of extravagant mercy ourselves. We are sorry, because we know that you have so much more to be disappointed about in us than we do in others. Please remove any bitter or critical spirit that infects our character. Through your Holy Spirit, form in your people the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that show your presence and your transforming presence in our lives. May the fruit of the Spirit be developed in our lives during this Holy Week. We pray in Jesus’ Name.

Lord You gave us an example to imitate. We celebrate the gift of the love of Jesus, given to us for our nourishment, given to us as an example of self-less love. This Maundy Thursday proves to us that your love is unconditional, your body broken for us, your blood shed for us. We are so grateful help us to remain faithful and to love others in the same way that we have been loved by you. Where charity and love are found, there is God.

March 16, 2015 / Whitworth University

Do Not Worry

March 15-22

Scripture:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
Matthew 6:25

During this seventh week of the semester we pray for…

  • students, as they complete midterm exams, assignments, and papers before spring break; we ask that that they will have discipline in their studies and wisdom in their learning.
  • Tuesday’s community worship as Campus Pastor Mindy Smith preaches from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:25-34, on the importance of trusting God in all circumstances.
  • the university’s Wednesday Endowed Poetry Reading, with Tod Marshall, professor of English at Gonzaga University. Marshall will read from his recently published third book, Bugle. May the Whitworth community grow in appreciation for the beauty of the written and spoken word through this presentation.
  • Associate Professor of History Patrick Van Inwegen’s Nonviolent Defense and Conflict Resolution class will open its public display on global military spending and alternative ways to use military funding. This presentation, open through April 2, will aid the Whitworth community in reflecting on the use of human and financial resources as tools for faithful stewardship.
  • Thursday’s Women’s History Month panel on significant women in the history of Whitworth will be presented as a part of the university’s 125th-anniversary celebration. May the community listen with open minds and receptive hearts as we honor those leaders who have contributed to the development of Whitworth’s mind-and-heart Christian mission.
  • Friday’s “Why Whitworth” Day, as more prospective students and their families visit the university. As the May 1 decision deadline draws near for final decisions about enrollment, we ask for each applicant to have clear discernment as s/he chooses the best school for him or her. May God guide them all.
  • the Whitworth University Choir as they travel along the West Coast all next week, March 21-28, on their spring concert tour. May they experience travelling safety, deepening community, and deep joy as they perform.
  • Spring Break travel safety for all the members of the Whitworth community as we journey in service to others and to seek renewal for our minds, bodies and spirits.

Note: There will be no On Bended Knee during Spring Break, March 21-28. Please look for the next posting on Monday, March 30. Thank you for your continued prayer for the Whitworth community.

Thanksgiving:
Lord, we are so thankful that we can bring our worries to you. We are grateful that your promises are trustworthy and that you provide everything we need. Help us to trust you fully to take care of us, and let us never doubt that you are our loving Provider.

March 9, 2015 / Whitworth University

‘Treasures In Heaven’

March 8-15

Scripture:
“Store up for yourself treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:20-21

In this sixth week of the semester we pray for…

  • our students as they develop the skills of discussing the gospel, and the grace and truth of Jesus for the world, with great compassion for others and sensitivity to the leading of God’s spirit in those conversations.
  • faculty and staff who support and lead our students each day; we ask that their lives will communicate that same grace and truth of Jesus, especially for those who feel deeply burdened and alienated from God’s love.
  • Tuesday’s Community Worship as Stephaine Nobles-Beans preaches from Matthew 6:16-21 regarding the transformation of our hearts to value our relationship with God above all other human pursuits or temptations.
  • James R. Edwards, Whitworth’s Bruner-Welch Professor of Theology, as he presents his final lecture, on Wednesday, as occupant of the chair. Jim will explore both the changes and the continuities of the the first 75 years of Christian history as the early church moved from its roots in rural Jewish Galilee to the Greek-speaking urban world of the Roman Empire.
  • Thursday’s Faculty Scholarship Forum, as Associate Professor of History Tony Clark speaks about the ministry of the Franciscan order in China during the 19th Century.
  • Mabel Elsom, the anti-human-trafficking coordinator at Spokane’s Lutheran Community Services as she speaks Thursday on “Human Trafficking in the 21st Century,”
  • the Catholic Student Fellowship, which, on Friday, will lead the community in the Stations of the Cross, the traditional Catholic prayer service to commemorate Jesus’ journey to the cross.
  • prospective students and admissions representatives, as numerous student-recruitment events take place on campus Saturday and Sunday. Whitworth will host potential applicants for the M.A. in Theology Program as well as a large group of prospective undergrads who will be here for this academic year’s final Honors Colloquium.
  • the family, friends, colleagues and former students of Hugh Johnston, who died last week at age 95. Hugh was a longtime chemistry professor at Whitworth (1957-81) who was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary, a member of the Boppell family who also taught at Whitworth (1941-61). During his retirement, right up until a few weeks before his death, Hugh volunteered in the library, helping out each week in the archives. A memorial service for Hugh will be held in Seeley Mudd Chapel at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Bill Robinson will officiate and Brent Edstrom will provide music.

Lenten Prayer:
During this Lenten season, we are deeply aware that our hearts are wayward, often distracted and too easily satisfied with “treasures” that, in the end, are as worthless as idols. We are so thankful that your spirit can and does mold our hearts to be attuned to your will. Teach us to seek not the treasures of the world but those things that are eternal, for true treasure lies within them. We make our prayer in the name of the One who loved us so much that he gave his life for our salvation, our Lord Jesus. Amen.

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