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I was asked to offer the “Senior Prayer” at Hargrave Military Academy’s 103rd commencement ceremony today. In the past few years I found that writing my prayer for a public event helps me focus my thoughts more clearly.  Here’s the prayer I prayed today for the Hargrave Military Academy Class of 2012.

Hargrave Military Academy Graduation — Senior Prayer

Let us pray.

Almighty God, our Father,

We are gathered here today in this sacred hall to celebrate a milestone in the lives of these seniors. They have come to this hour as the result of their dedication, perseverance, and accomplishment. But they are also gathered here today as a result of your grace, and the guidance of your unseen hand in their lives. For both their effort and your guidance, we are grateful.

Assembled here today with these cadets are their families. Their mothers and fathers, their grandparents, and others who have prayed for them, and who have sacrificed to make this moment possible. They now stand behind their sons and grandsons in silent gratitude, just as they have stood behind them in support for the past four years. Bless these families, and confirm today their hopes for the futures of their sons.

Today as these young men cross the threshold from adolescence into adulthood, may your peace go with them, and may your wisdom guide them now and in the future.

In this world, where your children are more often divided than united, may these graduates become peacemakers. When they face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, may they seek solutions that lift up, rather than tear down; that reach out, rather than reject; that redeem, rather than condemn.

Just as you have guided their lives in past years, our prayer today is that you will guide their lives beyond this campus, and in the future. Reward their study, encourage their curiosity, and expand their horizons.

And, in the days to come, may they look back with appreciation on the years they invested at Hargrave Military Academy  — years which shaped their character, sharpened their minds, and strengthened their bodies.

Send them from this place that has been their home, out into a world filled with possibility — to make it a better place, to be your ambassadors of hope and healing in a world which needs both.

This is our prayer today, and we pray it in the name of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.