We hosted our final Wednesday night bible study of the academic year last night: our traditional commission ceremony to celebrate our graduating 3Ls. I gave each of the 3Ls a gift that I hope they will keep on their desk to remind them of their time at Pepperdine and encourage them to live a life marked by forgiveness (of strangers, friends and family, and most importantly, themselves). Current and former faculty and staff spoke words of life into each of the 3Ls. My wife Courtney closed the evening by praying over the 3Ls:
Lord, thank you for this group of 3L students who have enriched our lives here at Pepperdine over the past three years. It seems like yesterday when we welcomed these students into our Pepperdine family as newly admitted 1L students. Little did we know then what was in store for them here — a fire that interrupted their studies and preparation for their first semester exams, followed by a global pandemic that has meant that nearly half their time here has been spent in online classes physically removed from the campus and their classmates. Despite all of these challenges, this group of very special, resilient students has remained faithful to You and to each other, finding ways to remain hopeful and connected to and engaged with our community. We have been blessed by each one of them, and will miss them dearly next year.
We pray that despite all the challenges of the past three years each of our 3Ls being commissioned tonight will look back on their time here as a gift, not only in terms of the strong friendships and connections that have been forged, but also because their experience here has equipped them with the educational and emotional and spiritual foundation for successful and fulfilling careers and lives in service to You.
Most immediately, we pray that You provide these students with the stamina, discipline, and discernment necessary to finish strong here at Pepperdine and on the bar exam. We also pray that You continue to shepherd, guide, encourage, and protect them after they leave here, guiding their thoughts and actions as they navigate the inevitable challenges and the highs and lows of living in this world.
We ask specifically for your divine hand of wisdom and clear direction over their lives, that You would be a lamp to their feet and a light to their path directing their steps and decisions; that You protect them from evil; and that Your Spirit remain in them so their lives may continue to glorify You by reflecting Your fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We pray that each of the graduating 3Ls will always know and remember they are loved by their family here at Pepperdine and, most importantly, by You. We ask for your peace to cover them. We ask for laughter and joy to fill their days. We pray that you would give them boldness and courage to face life’s challenges with the confidence and peace that can only come from You.