Several dear friends graduated from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary this evening. I was blessed to give the prayer of invocation. This is my prayer:
Father in heaven, we praise you for the love you constantly show us in Jesus. We thank you for your goodness to us, for your constant presence with us by your Spirit, and on this evening of celebration, we thank you especially for your faithfulness and for the good gifts we have all received from your hand.
You have been faithful in calling us to yourself, making us your children, rescuing us from darkness and firmly establishing us in the Kingdom of your beloved Son. You have called us into various ministries and have been faithful to equip us and to carry us through times of discouragement and fatigue, weariness of soul—those times when we have doubted ourselves and our calling.
We are inconsistent and often lose confidence, but you are faithful and true, always loving us, always empowering us, always upholding us, always longing to do us good.
And you’ve given us good gifts–loving family who have supported us, good friends who have prayed for us, others who have seen you at work in our lives and encouraged us with affirmations of our call to ministry.
Thank you, Father, for the seemingly insignificant things that were actually crucial in the stories of our lives–the encouraging word spoken when we were despondent; the note we received, just a few sentences long, but it gave us hope when we needed a lifeline; the word of rebuke or challenge that reminded us of our high calling and our commission to walk worthy of the gospel.
In all these things, Father, we are reminded of your faithfulness and the good gifts that await us each day.
We are confident that as we now seek to serve and minister on your behalf, you will prove yourself faithful, again and again. You will continue to give us good gifts.
This evening, we celebrate your faithfulness and your goodness, and we look to the future with hope. You have called us, you have equipped us, and you have carried us, and we celebrate by giving you thanks, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Lord of the church, and the King of all creation. Amen.