From My Desk to Yours

From My Desk to Yours: Issue 2

ULS President’s Newsletter | Summer Term 2018-19

Volume I, Issue 2

Four Prayers

Prayers of an undergraduate professor of mine (at Concordia College), the late Dr. Olin Storvik, who passed away June 16, 2018, at the age of 92. He was a professor of classics and Latin. However, I was more associated with him as a colleague on the faculty at Concordia than as a student. 

We had chapel (which was pretty well-attended given that it was voluntary) five days a week on campus. I attended each and every one of these services for many years, as I was responsible for operating the sound system. Dr. Storvik spoke at chapel on many occasions.

Last week, a friend of mine wrote to inform us of the passing of Dr. Storvik. As a tribute, he highlighted some of his presentations during Dr. Storvik’s 60-year tenure at Concordia. While I enjoyed reading all his pieces, I especially appreciated one of his items entitled “Three Prayers .” I must have paid attention to some of those chapel talks of Dr. Storvik’s because I can still recall portions of these three prayers he referenced during his talks:

Prayer 1:

“In Jesus’ name, we go to the table to eat and drink, according to his word. To God the honor, to us the gain, so we have food. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

This prayer reminds us that “all we have is a gift from God” and that even though we may work very hard to gain our worldly goods, we must be accountable as good stewards of such gains and know we must use them in accordance with God’s will and purpose.

Prayer 2:

“Bless we pray thee, the schools of the church, universities, centers for research, seminaries, and all institutions entrusted with the teachings of and care for the souls therein.”

The whole church is praying for us as teachers/professionals/administrators in schools, colleges, and seminaries. Thus, we are called as teachers and staff to be competent well-prepared, and eager to teach and serve our students. We must expect a commitment from our students that they are eager to learn and to fully participate in the learning process. Students pay tuition. The origin of tuition in Latin is “tueri” which means “to look out for .” This requires mutual commitment in the learning arena of colleges, universities, and seminaries. 

Prayer 3

“Oh Lord, we render into our heartfelt thanks that thou has taught us what thou wouldest have us believe and do. Help us, O God, by thy Holy Spirit, for the sake of Jesus Christ, to keep thy word in pure hearts that we may thereby be strong-hearted in faith, protected in holiness and comforted in life and death. Amen.

This is a prayer of hope in God’s Kingdom.

Prayer 4

I have added a fourth prayer, taken from the Lutheran book of prayer, a copy of which was given to my wife in appreciation of her teaching and service to the church as director of Education for the ALC Division for Life and Mission.

(For colleges and seminaries):

“Lord God, Giver, Defender, and Redeemer: we confess that: our heritage of learning has not removed our fear of ourselves, our heritage of learning has not served man’s best welfare, and our heritage of learning has not glorified your creative work. We pray for our colleges and seminaries. Forgive students (and all of us) by your grace when in the midst of enlightenment that they (we) do not see Christ, the light, in the world of ideas they lose ideals in the school of learning (and vocation) they (we) are imprudent. Fill them (us) with the freedom of your Spirit in search for knowledge, in the quest for justice, in the stewardship of talents. Prepare them (us) for study (work) with gifts of honor mixed with the meekness of Christ, courage matched with trust in your love, energy sparked by the zeal of the Spirit. We ask that you give them (us) the courage to face all new learning with trust in Christ, our teacher. Amen.”

I treasure my days associated with Dr. Storvik and I am blessed to have witnessed his faith in God through attendance at his chapel talks. May God bless Dr. Storvik and all of us. Amen.