My friend Jodi posted a prayer request this morning. She’s not ill, nor has she lost a loved one. She desires prayer for herself, her students, and co-workers as she launches her twenty-fifth year of teaching. Each of us can influence the lives of others in three ways by praying and showing support for the schools in our community.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.I Timothy 2:1 ESV
Students and Staff Members in Schools Near You Need You.
Instead of complaining and shaking our heads about the woes of our country’s schools, let’s lift the needs of educators and learners in each building to God.Instead of complaining and shaking our heads about the woes of our country’s schools, let’s lift the needs of educators and learners in each building to God. Click To Tweet
After a trying 2020-2021 year, students and teachers need peace, productivity, and joy in learning. Last year the joy of teaching and learning, as well as academic progress, were masked by pandemic fear and the inability to attend school. Teachers cried, administrators worried, parents missed work, and children suffered.
Children need joy and laughter along with academics and the discipline of hard work. I’m praying that joy and academic excellence will be restored in schools this year.
Memories of Joyful School Days
I remember with fondness the happiness in my own children’s hearts when they started to school.
From the moment our son played on the school playground and noticed the bright yellow doors, he was ready to start school. Chocolate brown eyes danced with excitement as he entered Mrs. Tippett’s kindergarten class.
Memories of his second-grade homework assignment make me smile. Not understanding that his teacher meant essay, he wrote a summary of his summer activities and titled the paper “My S. A.” (I didn’t say a word knowing it would give his teacher a smile.) During his college years, he earned an award for one of his essays.
Our daughter—never one for the ordinary—chose sparkly silver pencils and those with a Strawberry Shortcake motif for her school debut. Ponytail bouncing, she skipped in daily with enthusiasm.
My favorite school memory of her is the day she insisted on “taking” her brother for Show-and-Tell. (He obliged her and she beamed proudly.) Another proud and joy-filled moment was when she read her first book independently and shouted, “I can read by myself!”
New school years for me as a teacher involved long days of planning before the official start date, numerous hours of creating an attractive classroom filled with plants and color, and several sleepless nights. I loved the blessing of working as an educator, but only God’s strength and grace yielded success. He filled my heart with joy and the hope of serving Him better each year. Here’s a verse to encourage our educator friends:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 ESV
Let’s pray for restoration of joy in learning and academic excellence. We can influence the lives of children and teachers in public, private, church, and home schools by our prayer and support.We can influence the lives of children and teachers in public, private, church, and home schools by our prayer and support. Click To Tweet
Consider the suggestions below:
Three Ways YOU Can Influence the Lives of Others: Effective Prayer Support for Schools in Your Community
1. Ask God to burden your heart for the school staffs and students in your community and pray regularly for them.
- Pray as you drive past area schools or when you see school zone signs.
- Search for the school names in your city and pray for a few each day.
- Ask God to encourage Christian teachers and pray for the salvation of those who don’t know Christ as Savior.
- Reach out to educators you know and assure them of prayer support. Ask about specific needs.
- Talk with students and parents you know and note their concerns in a prayer notebook.
2. Pray for specific groups in public, private, church, and home schools.
Hopes and dreams, and a few tummy butterflies, dance in minds and hearts as a new year begins . . . for children AND educators.
- new teachers overwhelmed by class sizes, demands, and unmotivated students
- little ones who are afraid to leave Mama for the first time
- bus drivers who must concentrate on road safety with a busload of restless riders
- legislators who pass education laws
- students with disabilities
- students whose native language is other than English
- students who couldn’t or wouldn’t access technology when schools were closed. (The further behind students become in academics, the more likely they will drop-out of school.)
- those who need school supplies and adequate clothing to feel comfortable with peers (This one breaks my heart.)
- parents who need to support their children and their children’s teachers
- teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, counselors, clerical staff, custodians, cafeteria workers, substitute teachers, board members, volunteers and others. All these adults impact the school environment as they interact with students. (I’ve known some Christian custodians and volunteers who encouraged students and teachers daily.)
3. Put feet on your prayers—show you care.
Already in her seventies, my mom welcomed the opening of a new school down the road from her country home. Southern lady that she was, she planned to bake cookies for the teachers and attach a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” card.
Putting feet on our prayers can result in blessings to others. Here are some suggestions:
- Volunteer to read to a class, check in library books, or tutor students. (Most districts require a background check for volunteers who work with children.)
- A simple card written to administrators and teachers pledging to pray for them the first few weeks or regularly throughout the year will be a blessing. (Hint: A tray of cookies or a fruit basket to accompany the card will add an energy boost and a smile.) Trust this retired educator. It will mean a lot.
- Adopt a teacher or grade level to support—pray and send notes.
- For teachers in your church or neighborhood, provide a restaurant gift card or home-cooked meal or basket of fruit and snacks for a quick breakfast or after school refreshments.
- Check with nearby schools to ask if you can provide supplies, a backpack, or school clothing for children who cannot afford these items.
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.Proverbs 14:21 ESV
Join me in praying for a joy-filled, productive year for educators and students, won’t you?
Please share your prayer commitment and your ideas in the Comments section.
Click the link for a former post about blessing teachers with gifts, acts of kindness, and volunteer efforts.