Prayer for the Graduate


My son, my firstborn graduated high school yesterday. The awareness of letting go spent all our tears – probably a necessary catharsis. Yes, the little feisty boy who scaled every doorway and then pounced on us like a ninja is gone. Yes, I miss holding him on my lap and for a moment believing I was everything he needed.

But I profoundly treasure the friend he now is to us, steady, wise, and with an empathy I wish his younger mother would have had. But rather than replaying regrets, I marvel at the miracle of a man he became. As I am loosening my grip, I am releasing a healing gift to our broken world.

We are sending him out like an arrow aimed at eternity. Free from our limitations, we trust his Father to carry him as an extension of His rescuing hands, as a refreshing taste of God’s Kingdom wherever he goes – and that when people meet him, they meet the most fascinating Person in the universe – Who lives inside him.

Our ambitions for him are painful. A fellow mother confided that this prayer scared her, as it does me. But the alternative scares me more. Anything glorious involves suffering; as a seed must die to bear much fruit, so God’s molding a soul into His image requires what this prayer by Kendall Payne expresses:

“May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strength all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head May they all fall, come crashing down around your feet
May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater every stride
May your company be of humble insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride
What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the One who made us
And see Him smile when life is through
May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they’d be And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see
May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you’d learn to trust the plan He has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true”

“The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place. ’” (Deuteronomy 1:30-31)


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