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Winter Edition
Volume 96, Number 4

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Prayers for the president

A prayer offered by David Vader at the Community of Educator’s celebration reception held on January 10 to honor President Kim S. Phipps. Professor Vader is an associate professor of engineering and the director of Messiah College ’s Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.

It is our privilege and joy today to pray for President Kim Phipps. Please join me in prayer.

Holy and loving God, we thank you for hearing our prayers of thanksgiving and petition on this day of celebration. We remember, Lord, that you are the sovereign creator of the universe, the author of all wisdom and knowledge, and that we are your fallen but redeemed creatures. Even so, you determined to make us in your image, and with grace and mercy have made a way for the work of our minds and hands to matter in your eternal Kingdom. We give thanks for the calling that is ours at Messiah College , for the opportunity we have to grow the hearts and minds of young women and men that they might know and serve you better. Thank you for providing everything that we need to be faithful in this task, and today our hearts are filled with gratitude to you for providing us with a new president, Kim Phipps.

Thank you, Lord, for sending a president who knows us; one who for many years has walked among us and sacrificed much on behalf of this community. We pray first for Kim’s family, for Kelly and Brooke, and for all of those apart from Messiah College who depend on Kim’s love. Help Kim to organize her life and time so that she may remain faithful to her family, church, and community. May we encourage and be encouraged by Kim’s faithfulness and help her to remember that even the president’s responsibilities are finite. We give special thanks for Kelly and Brooke, for the love they give to Kim, and for all they do to enable and support her ministry among us.

We ask you to provide Kim, as president of Messiah College , with wisdom, courage, and the ability to love and serve you in all of her responsibilities. Thank you for the gift of Kim’s faith in you, and for the testimony of her words and of her life. Help her, Lord, to provide spiritual leadership to this campus community. Give her a longing to deepen her knowledge of you and her understanding of your will, to manifest your presence in every interaction, and to seek your council in every decision. We thank you for providing a collaborative leader—one gifted in listening, learning, and compassion—who can make informed judgments.

Increase Kim’s vision for the College, Lord. Help her to sharpen the ideals of our mission and identity, and to move us ever closer to realizing those ideals. Enable her to nurture vision in this community and to inspire, persuade, and invite us to action. Help her to name strategic priorities and be skilled in stewardship over our resources, that we all may live and serve well. We ask you, Lord, to provide the means of achieving the vision that you are giving us. Help Kim to build relationships with individuals and organizations apart from this community, to share our story with passion and conviction, and develop new and fruitful partnerships.

When there is pressure to conform to the pattern of this world, help Kim to stand firm for your name’s sake. Encourage her and grant an abundant provision of grace whenever there is confusion, stress, or conflict. Finally, Lord, may Kim know that no matter how full her days may be, there is always time to seek you and to receive the courage and humility to go with you. Help Kim to remember that your perfect and completed work stands over and above hers, and to receive your gift of Sabbath rest in all that she does.

Kim Phipps is our president, Lord. Help us to honor and encourage her; to uphold her in prayer, to quickly forgive any shortcomings; and to remember that you are always at work in Kim’s life. Help us to attend to her vision and actively respond to her leadership, that we might receive your blessing. Hear our prayers of thanksgiving and petition, Lord. In your son’s name we pray, Amen.

Evie Telfer, associate college pastor, offered this prayer at the January 11 celebration chapel for President Kim Phipps.

Lord, we thank you for this new beginning for our college. We thank you so much for your provision of a new president, Dr. Kim Phipps, whom we love and trust already. Lord, we thank you for the way that you have prepared the way, that you have prepared her, that you have provided mentorship in her life through Dr. Rodney Sawatsky and others.

Lord, thank you for the relationships that so many of us have had the opportunity to build with her. Thank you for your work in her life. Lord, we thank you also for the gifts that she brings: wisdom, sensitivity, listening, collaboration, and a commitment to excellence and bridge–building. Lord, thank you for the gift that she has for recognizing and nurturing the gifts of others and the humility that she brings to each encounter.

Lord, we ask you for your special grace on Dr. Phipps’ life as she takes on this role. Lord, give her discernment for the myriad decisions that are ahead. We ask you for courage when the right path is unpopular or personally costly or difficult. Lord, we ask that you give her wisdom to effectively balance competing goods and to know your still, small voice. Lord, we ask that you would give her vision that comes from your heart. Lord, we pray, too, that you would give her friends to support her and to nurture her soul on the sometimes lonely path of leadership. And give her prayer warriors to stand with her as she does your work.

Lord, we pray, too, for time; that you would give Dr. Phipps time to be and to dream and to listen to you, and in particular, time to be with her family. Lord, we thank you so much that they are a role model of a committed family. Thank you for her husband, Kelly Phipps, and his courage and wisdom in being the role model of a godly man in supporting his family and their dreams. Thank you also for their daughter, Brooke, and her courage to step out into young adulthood. We ask that you would strengthen them and support them and bless their family. Lord, we ask too that you would give all of them a peace that surpasses all understanding.

And for us, Lord, we ask for courage, that you would give us courage to follow in new paths and join in new challenges, grace to listen and support, faithfulness to pray, and openness to share our perspectives with graciousness, and to participate fully as partners in the work of your kingdom here at Messiah. Thank you, Lord, for this new beginning. Thank you for this opportunity.

Lord, as we close this prayer we say, “Eternal One, Silence from whom our words come, Questioner from whom our questions arise, Lover of whom all our loves are hints, Disturber in whom alone we find our rest, Mystery in whose depths we find healing and ourselves, enfold us now in your presence, restore us in your peace, renew us through your power, and ground us in your grace for this adventure.”* In Jesus’ name, Amen.

* This portion of the prayer is from Guerrillas of Grace by Ted Loder.
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