Governor Martin O’Malley recently asked me to participate in the “National Day of Prayer.” I was asked to write a prayer for education. Here is the prayer I wrote and delivered on May 7, 2009.
We gather together today to pray for our nation and our community, for the well-being of the citizens and people of this great state.
We pray for guidance.
We ask that You accompany us and walk with us on our quest to find solutions to that which ails our society.
Help us find the answers to overcome the afflictions and challenges we face and to dispel the darkness of ignorance that can so easily engulf and overwhelm us.
Strengthen the will and resolve of those who teach.
Make them worthy instruments, conveyors and conduits of Your wisdom —
Help us to appreciate the generosity of their spirit and the importance of their work.
May we see and recognize the long hours and effort they expend to disseminate knowledge and how they thereby uplift and enrich and improve the lot of all.
Grant blessing to the students and disciples, as well: to all who study, to all who engage in research and the pursuit of knowledge.
For Education is the key to unlocking the potential inside each and every one of God’s creatures.
Education is the key to enlightenment, to ameliorating suffering and to eradicating poverty, ignorance and prejudice.
Education opens new vistas, expands our horizons and gives birth to new worlds and endless possibilities and opportunities.
The Talmud asks: Who is wise?
And then answers its own question: One who learns from every human being.
So we pray:
May we be wise.
May we wise enough to learn from anyone and from everyone.
May the words of wisdom be sweet in our mouths and in the mouths of all your children so that all who engage in study shall find grace and fulfillment.
In the words of the ancient, yet contemporary Amidah prayer recited three times every day by Jews around the world:
Atah honen leadam da’at, You graciously endow mortals with intelligence, wisdom and understanding. Grant us knowledge, insights and discernment.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Praised are You, Lord, honen haDa’at, who graciously grants the gift of intelligence, knowledge and wisdom to all.