Wednesday, May 3, was our country’s National Day of Prayer. It was a day where millions of Americans gathered at various venues in various communities petitioning God for his forgiveness, protection and providence.
My profession is education. I am an academician. My career has been entirely dedicated to the ivory tower and its ideals. I currently serve as a university president, a position I have held for 16 years. It is in this context that I offer the following. It comes from the conviction that my profession has failed our culture and its children.
My hope is that at least a handful of pedagogues in the halls of academe will set aside their confidence (dare I say intellectual hubris), perhaps just for a day, and join me as we seek God’s forgiveness and repent of what we have done to our kids and our culture.
This is my prayer.
God, you have told us that if your people will humble themselves and seek your face and repent that you will hear us and heal us. You have also told us that if we confess our sins that you are faithful and just and that you will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God, we bow before you today. We are humble. We repent. Please hear our prayer. Please, forgive us.
Forgive us for what we have taught our children.
Forgive us for teaching them that evil is good and good is evil, that darkness is light and light is darkness, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Forgive us for teaching them that left is right and right is wrong, that truth is false and falsehood is true.
Forgive us for teaching them that a career is more important than character, money is more important than morality, and information is more important than integrity.
Forgive us, Holy God, for teaching sexual promiscuity in our schools more effectively than we have taught sexual restraint to our students. Forgive us for teaching self-esteem better than we have taught science and civics. Forgive us for teaching values clarification more than virtuous behavior. Forgive us for diminishing the value of marital fidelity and leaving our kids clueless as to how to defend the definition of marriage.
Forgive us for teaching the generation that follows us to believe it has the authority to define life for the generation that follows it. Forgive us for teaching them that “choice” gives them the power to take away the right of the weakest to choose.
Forgive us for our narcissism: For proclaiming we are “as God”; that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for and that we are the change we seek.”
Forgive us for making justice unjust and injustice just. Forgive us for celebrating lies rather than pursuing truth. Forgive us for our self-refuting duplicity of pedantically preaching that the tolerant do not have to tolerate those they find intolerable.
Forgive us for the hypocrisy of hating those we find hateful.
Forgive us for diminishing human dignity and for dumbing down the definition of the imago Dei to the imago dog; for pretending our identity is little more than the sum total of our sexual inclinations, appetites, proclivities, passions, feelings and desires.
Forgive us for pretending that women should not be subjected to the power and passions of men but then electing men who subject women to their every delusional fantasy and dysphoric passion.
Forgive us, God, for teaching young men to view young women as nothing but objects of recreation. Forgive us for teaching our young women to accept this insult to their dignity.
Forgive us for boasting of freedom while yet living in bondage to our own deception.
Forgive us for separating head from heart and fact from faith.
Forgive us for severing belief from behavior and religion from reason.
Forgive us for “removing the organ and demanding the function” — for creating “men without chests” — for the foolishness of “gelding the stallion and bidding him be fruitful.”
Forgive us for confusing liberty with license and freedom with fascism.
Forgive us for teaching our children to worship government more than God and to trust in Caesar more than Christ.
God, we ask you to forgive us for what we have taught our children. We ask that you rescue them from the ugly hell of our own making. We humbly petition you to grant a reprieve of your judgment. We ask that you rescue on sons and daughters from the bondage of our arrogance and pride.
Please save our kids, oh Lord, from our lies and grant them freedom in your Truth.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, we pray: Please forgive us for what we have taught our children.
God, with broken hearts and a contrite spirit we pray: Please forgive us.
This prayer is an excerpt taken from Everett Piper’s book “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth.”
• Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is the author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).
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