Let it not be said that prayer has been taken out of our schools. Prayer has been legally mandated by our government to be formally removed from the public school forum and the results have been tragic. God, on the other hand, has called His people to pray in all places and circumstances…against such prayer there is no law (as with the fruit of the Spirit—Galatians 5:22-23)
September is Back to School Night month. I was always pleased to be in my child’s classroom and meet their teacher and the parents of their friends. This was especially true in the elementary and middle school years. As my daughter and son entered high school the dynamic changed. Suddenly, I was keenly aware of the competition and stress they faced in their school environment. The questions asked revealed that every parent in the room wanted to know how their child could succeed over my own. On these school observation days prayer was brought into each classroom as this mom earnestly asked God to intervene in the lives of all the students represented.
I exhort you to take prayer into your local schools—for the sake of the next generation. I offer the following guidelines for your own School House Prayer...
+ Thank God for the gift of our minds and our children’s capacity to learn.
+ Pray for those in authority over your children that they would respect your children and treat them with dignity.
+ Ask God to bless their Teachers with a desire to honor each child regardless of their giftedness, race or religious background.
+ Ask God to intervene in the hearts of children who come to school from broken homes, fragmented families, and overwhelming circumstances.
+ Pray that God will influence and inspire your student to flourish within their school’s framework.
+ Beg God to rid the halls of public learning of foolish philosophies and wayward ideas.
+ Beseech God to provide protection and peace for all who are within the school house walls.
One year short of a decade ago, a young man shot 11 females with a 9 millimeter hand gun. Five of them died. The tragedy happened at the West Nickel Mines School in Lancaster County, PA. I am a frequent visitor to that lush and blessed region of our state. Over the years my mind has recorded many pictures of Amish children walking through the fields to school. Within seven days of the incident I went to the area to pray for the families of Nickel Mines…including the family of the shooter. When I drove down White Oak Road I was stunned to find that there was not a trace of the school or the outbuildings, play yard and fence. Only the sprayed green grass seed over the plot alerted me to the site of the slaughter and maiming of innocent girls. All outward signs of the Nickel Mines School may be gone, but we know that the pain of Nickel Mines continues.
As far as it depends on you and I, may it be said that prayer has not been removed from the halls of public education. Let us join together to build a wall of prayer around our schools. If not us, then who will pray the School House Prayer?
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice:
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
OPP (opportunity for action): Let’s compile a list of the schools represented in our communities. Reply with the name of the schools your “next generation” attend. Together, let’s put prayer back in our public schools!