A student body often joins together to celebrate excellence and achievement – in sports or in academics – at a pep rally.

But when it comes to the life of faith, you don’t have to achieve great things to be celebrated.

God has created you and called you – and that’s something to celebrate!

So we pray:

God of Life, breathe into me the truth of your word.

Redeemer of Love, nurture my faith by the promises of your word.

Spirit of Peace, anchor my soul with your wisdom of your word.

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This is my prayer: that your love might become even more and more rich with knowledge and all kinds of insight. I pray this so that you will be able to decide what really matters and so you will be sincere and blameless on the day of Christ. I pray that you will then be filled with the fruit of righteousness, which comes from Jesus Christ, in order to give glory and praise to God.

Philippians 1:9-11

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I think we have something to learn from Paul’s prayer for his dear friends in Philippi. His prayer for them focuses on a love that will grow with knowledge and insight for the purpose of being able to decide what really matters in life. Wow – how specific and excellent! Paul wants his friends to know what really matters in life.

I wonder if we live by that principle, too.

We know that truth over deceit matters, but how easy is it to cut corners on homework assignments because everyone else is doing it? We know that loyalty matters, but how many times have we talked behind the backs of one of our friends? We know that courage over cowardice matters, but how often do we choose to tell a white lie so as to avoid dealing with the situation and facing consequences?

We know these things; we aren’t dumb. But we still make mistakes, because we are all students of faith.

This school year, let’s pray like Paul prayed. Let’s pray for insight and together bear the “fruit of righteousness” in discerning what really matters.

Aram Bae

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Help me to recognize what really matters in life, Lord. And give me the courage to follow what I know to be true. The process won’t always be easy, but the fruit will be good. Remind me of that truth. Amen.

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May God our Creator bless us and keep us.

May God the Redeemer smile upon us and be gracious towards us.

And may the Spirit of Truth lead us in the path of wisdom and peace.

And all of God’s people said: Amen.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA and teaches classes on faith development and religious identity. In addition to her passion for ministry with youth and families, she’s considering a new hobby — road biking. Help, Lord Jesus, help.

I Surrender All

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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