Every once in awhile someone will pull me aside or send me an e-mail to say something to this effect: “Can you believe they’ve taken prayer out of the schools?” Or, “Can you believe they want to get rid of the 10 Commandments?” Or, “Can you believe they’re teaching evolution and not creation science?”
And here’s my response . . .
I believe that we as followers of Jesus are living in an unprecedented time to have spiritual impact in the lives of students, teachers and the school system as a whole. I have been blown away by the opportunities that Jesus-followers have to live out the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Here’s what I mean:
1. Pray with your children. Pray with them before they go to sleep at night. Pray with them before they depart for school in the morning. I frequently pray a simple prayer with my fifth grade daughter, Tabitha: “God, please let Tabs have a great day at school today. I pray she will be a good friend to others. Please keep her safe and remind her how much you love her.”
Praying with our children has a profound impact in their lives.
2. Make a commitment to pray for your child’s teachers every school day by name. If you have the opportunity, let the teacher(s) know that you are praying for them. I’ve even asked the teachers HOW I can best pray for them. I want the teachers to know that I am their advocate.
3. When you’re behind a school bus (if you’re like me, griping because of the frequent stops), pray for the bus driver and the students on the bus. When you see children waiting for the school bus, pray for them.
4. Be a blessing to children in need. Ask someone at the school if you can supply a backpack filled with school supplies for a child in need. Very quickly the school will be contacting you with its needs. The community of believers that I’m part of supplied 350 filled backpacks this year!!!
5. Invite an administrator or teacher from the school system to your community of believers so that you can pray for them. No agenda but God’s blessing. We recently prayed for the Superintendents of three major school systems in our community. THEY came to OUR prayer gathering!!!
The risk is high for children these days but our God is a powerful God who loves them even more than we do. The question is–will we care enough to get involved with our prayers, our time our financial resources?
The risks are very high now for kids and my prayer is one of thankfulness that God does love them more than us, that He is more powerful than any thing that seems "bad". I also thank God for those that do care and do pray and do anything, big or small in His name to help kids teachers, administrators, bus drivers, staff and families.
I pray that our kids can look back someday with nostalgia and a smile on the time they had in school-just as so many of us do.
Mostly right now I just pray that people do care- especially myself.
No excuses, no perfection, or all or nothing mindset, just for a willingness to listen and follow Jesus in this area.
Thanks for the practical example of what that looks like in your life.
Also don't forget that literally anyone can pray in school, it just can't be staff/faculty led corporate prayer.
When I was teaching in the classroom – just a few years ago before I decided to stay home with my kids, I was amazed to see students leading Bible studies after school and students organizing prayer during lunch or before, during or after games or meets. These students had parents who had spent their time instilling in them the power of prayer instead of being consumed with what "couldn't be done." Their faith was genuine and I watched it intrigue their peers.
Teachers would be blessed to know that the parents of their students pray for them. It's a high responsibility and one that comes without too many kudos along the way. I vividly remember one mom, Mrs. Bradley, who told me she prayed for me. She has NO idea how much encouragement that gave me.
Thanks for bringing those suggestions to light. Now that my kids are in preschool, I'm going to put them into practice.
Well Greg, I did it. Last week I was driving to work thru Barberton and noticed a woman and her 2 boys crossing the street to go to school. The one thing that caught my eye is that they were carrying their folders…no backpacks. I went to work, somber and couldn't quite get them off my mind. I looked for them the next morning but didn't see them. I prayed about it…and this morning I saw them again waiting for school to open. I turned that car around, pulled up to the curb and asked the woman if I could ask her a question…did her kids have backpacks? She said she was waiting for her child support check and was going to get them when she got it. I said 'Don't worry about it. I will have backpacks for them tomorrow morning. She said I didn't have to but I told her I wanted to. I asked her what they liked…she said Spiderman…so I'm on a quest for Spiderman backpacks today with a heart full of love for God's children. She said she didn't need school suppplies but I'll throw some in because I am blessed. People always tell me I have a big heart and many times I thought it a curse rather than a blessing…but today it is a blessing…I just need to follow what God is telling that big heart to do…
I have been to many choir sponsored events held at JHS. Although there is no prayer, there are songs of praise. Before we eat, there is a "song" of praise sung by the choir. It is beautiful and so appropriate.