Dr. Ron White serves as president of Emmanuel College. He assumed that role October 4, 2014, when Emmanuel was in an acute financial crisis. Dr. White made the decision to lead Emmanuel on his knees.
I was in dialogue with Dr. White regarding his comments about my treatment of Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17 in JESUS SON OF GOD, Book Three, A Study of Passion Week. The book is scheduled for release in the late spring. I shared some personal thoughts with him about how Chapter 17 came to be written. When he wrote me back, I excerpted the following out of his e-mail and gave it a title. I also asked his permission to share it with my readers.
By Ron White, Ed.D., President of Emmanuel College
“John Chapter 17 is special to me because, as you know, prayer and intercession have been the key to navigating the financial challenges we face at Emmanuel. Prayer works. Right now on campus, we are focusing on the idea of praying first – before taking action, before making decisions, before debate and discussion – pray first. We created a logo with the words “Pray First” and have placed it on posters in every classroom and in public places in our buildings. We even created “Pray First” banners that hang on the light poles surrounding the Quad here at Emmanuel.
“Jesus gave his example. Before he selected his disciples, he prayed first on the mountain. Before releasing his disciples to the challenges of his betrayal and crucifixion as Passion Week came to an end, he prayed first with His High Priestly prayer. Before enduring the crucifixion, he prayed first in the Garden. Contrast that with how we often pray last, after the decisions are made, after the discussion and debate, praying for God to bless our plan. This is better than not praying at all, but not nearly as good as praying first and asking him to guide our discussing, debating, and planning.
“I guess I’m preaching now, but in the crucible where I live, prayer is what sustains me, both my prayers and the intercession of others for me and for Emmanuel College. Without these prayers, there would have been a tragic ending to the College. With these prayers, we have been sustained and guided by the Lord to survive, and, I believe, to thrive in the very near future.
“Hope to see you and Lu at General Conference.”
Dr. White has a daily prayer blog and invites you to join him at PrayForEmmanuel.blogspot.com