12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:1-8, New International Version)
Throughout my years in ministry, about this time of year, sometimes earlier, but rarely later, at least some of my prayer life shifts to praying for teachers, administrators, and students. The last two years, I have become even more committed to prayer in the days before school starts (I know, for some of your, kids have been back at school for a couple of weeks now. Students here in Nacogdoches won’t start back for another week and a half, beginning August 31).
I have always felt like teachers work and work hard. I am not someone who says, “Ah, teachers only work until 3:00,” or “Teachers have all those days off.” Until I taught for one school year, I truly didn’t know. Between lesson plans, grading, experimenting for things like effectiveness I truly had no idea. Most days I would leave home by six and get back home around six, eat, and then work on things (usually for the next day) until midnight or later and then get up and do it all over again. Do not kid yourself. It is a tough job. And, I had no kids at home.
Also during my years in ministry at most of the churches I have served we did something special for those working in the school system. It would be for everyone from the custodians, cafeteria workers, and those that mowed the grass all the way to the principal and in some areas the superintendent.
I want to encourage you to make teachers, students and school staffs a regular part of your prayer life. Even if your schools have started, it is never too late to pray, or in this case, to start a prayer ministry. Our schools have always needed prayer. This year they need it more than ever.
Let me share with you some of the prayer activities we are doing at Perritte Memorial UMC.
Nacogdoches is a fairly good size school district. A church our size can’t take on the whole district. So, we focus on one elementary school and often partner with the school for various projects. Our prayer work will focus primarily on Nettie Marshall Elementary School.
This Sunday, following worship, we are going to go to the school and surround the building with prayer.
I have a list of the faculty and staff for the school. We are planning to have educators of the week. The biggest part of that will be prayers.
Each teacher and staff member will have a prayer partner from the congregation that will pray for them through all the school district.
We are asking our members to send notes of encouragement to these educators to let them know that we care and are praying for them.
During the course of the school year will likely do even more.
The list below is a list of things that teachers might consider holding in prayer.
1. May my students know that they are important to me and to God.
2. May my classroom be a place of peace for my students where their minds and hearts can grow into all they were created to be.
3. May my classroom be a place of safety for students, free from discouragement, teasing and ridicule, so the are not afraid to take risks to be themselves, grow and learn.
4. May my students minds be receptive to learning and hearing God’s voice in every situation.
5. May their hearts feel encouraged to remain pure and connected to others, so they could learn to live from their heart.
6. May they be respectful of others and learn how to make friends that build each other up.
7. May they know that how God made them is not like anyone else, but they are all amazing and have the potential to change the world.
8. May they know what they focus their minds on is important and nothing is impossible for them.
9. May they experience every blessing Jesus wants to give them in abundance.
10. May they know having a relationship with Jesus is easy, fun, and desirable. Jesus knows them fully and loves them completely.
11. May I believe in each student until they each believe in themselves.
12. May I choose to love each by faith until it becomes a natural overflow of who I am. And, may my love constantly increase for each student.
The first 10 came from prayer-coach.com. The remaining two I really liked but didn’t write the URL down and then couldn’t find them.
One of the things I like most about this list is, it could be easily adapted as a list for students to pray for teachers or the rest of us to pray for either. Here is one example:
5. May my teacher’s hearts feel encouraged to show me God’s way to live and how to connect with others, so I might learn to live from my heart.
From Members of the Community
5. May the hearts of teachers in our schools feel encouraged to remain true and connected to others, so students can learn to live from their heart.
The possibilities are endless. Think about the difference it could make if those who are available to do so spent an hour in prayer during the school day. What if a prayer clock was available and a local church kept prayer going throughout the school day so when our kids are in class, someone is praying for them
Be creative or be plain and use straight ahead prayer possibilities. The how is isn’t what is really important. What is important is to pray for our kids, their teachers and the schools. If you are praying, you are making a difference
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved