Person to Person
"For what we know not, teach us; for what we have not, give us; for what we are not, make us." Dr. Martin Alphonse
As we marked the beginning of another academic school year, Dr. Martin Alphonse, Professor of Intercultural Studies at Multnomah, initiated our time together in opening this year’s Convocation Chapel with the most profound, and yet simple and thought provoking prayer:
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have gathered together this morning in this beautiful chapel hour to seek your presence.
For what we know not — teach us: We realize that there are a number of things we need to know, but we don’t… Things about You; things in Your Word, the Bible; things about the community in which we have been called to serve; things about the world we have been commissioned to reach with the gospel, and even things about our own individual selves. Teach us all that we need to know, but don’t know as of yet.
Father, what we have not — give us: We realize that there is so much we need to have in order to be effective workers in your vineyard — in your kingdom, but we don’t have them. Some of us don’t have enough vision for the expansion of your kingdom on earth. Some of us don’t have enough compassion towards the poor, the needy and the suffering humanity (both here where we live, and all around the world). Some of us don’t have the energy and the strength to carry on the tasks and the responsibilities You have given us. Some of us don’t have the courage to stand up and speak up for truth and justice. Some of us don’t even have love for one another in our own churches and our communities. Father, forgive us for all these deficiencies and failures on our part and grant us all that we need to have.
Father, what we are not — make us: We understand it is your desire that all of your children must become Christ like in character, but we have quite a long ways to get there. Make us humble that we may learn from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, how to become servant leaders. Make us simple in lifestyle so that we may share our resources with those who are in need of them. Make us holy so that we may be conformed to the image and likeness of your beloved Son Jesus Christ; and make us one in spirit, mind and purpose so that together we can become productive in your ministry.
And Father, as our journey continues on, may your presence go with us, and your grace be sufficient to us in every step of the way and each moment of the day. All this we pray in Jesus name, Amen.
My prayer for each us would be the same: “For the work we know not, He would teach us; for what we have not, He would give us; for what we are not, He would make us.” As you seek to be shining lights within your communities, serving in the capacity to which He has called you to, may He grant you all these things.
For His glory,
Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah Bible College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary