We are at the end of a very busy but exciting few weeks for our Year 12 students. We have had the last of the Valedictory events, and the students now begin their transition to the next phase of their lives. Many of our students will have very mixed feelings – ranging from elation to a combination of excitement and sadness that they are moving on from this phase of their life at Peter Moyes ACS. Some will be excited to move forward into a carefully considered future path. Others may face uncertainty, as they have not yet decided which direction they will take from here. 

Before any of them can truly move on, however, they face the hurdle of their examinations. Our Year 11 and Year 12 students will be completing examinations over the coming weeks.  Some will become quite stressed and agitated, and even mentally exhausted as they prepare for the examinations.  In our Valedictory Chapel service, one of the bible readings was from Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Chapter four of this book contains these verses:
6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I often tell our students that this peace is accessible to them at any time – including when preparing for and writing examinations. This simple attitude of prayer and thanksgiving that St Paul suggested the Philippians embrace, can bring the same peace of mind and spirit for our Year 11 and 12 students as they face their examinations.  

What is prayer?  Prayer is not something that only ‘religious’ people can do.  Prayer is simply talking to God - something everyone can do.  Some people may not know what to pray.  In these instances, prayer could be a simple longing of the soul; a situation where we know that we want to pray but do not have the words.  This too, is prayer.  It is an awareness of the presence of God and a desire to communicate with Him.  

Praying can bring us closer to God and make us feel stronger and more relaxed.  Praying before a study session can calm the mind and help us to focus better on what is being studied.  Because we are calmer, it may follow that our minds are more receptive to the learning process, and it may be easier to remember the material being studied.  My suggestion to our students therefore, is to begin every study session with a few minutes of thoughtful meditation and spiritual reflection, and yes, even prayer.   

Here is a simple prayer that can be said when preparing for examinations:
Grant me peace, Lord, as I open my books and notes. Open my mind to the things that I am studying.  Help me to understand the work, as I offer you my best effort in studying for the examinations.  I offer this time and this prayer in Your Holy Name. Amen.

This is a prayer that can be prayed when going into the examination:
Lord God, I pray that my mind might be inspired for the exam I am about to write.  Grant me peace so that I can do the best that I possibly can.  May I be able to give a true record of what I have learnt. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I found these prayers on the following website.  It has other prayers that may be useful. 

I end with a quote which says that we should:
 "Pray as if everything depended on God, but work as if everything depended on you."

Wise words indeed. Every blessing to those writing exams! 

God bless

Reverend Dave