It was one of those statements in a sermon that sticks with you forever.
About nine years ago, one of our pastors said, “If when you pray for me all you ask is, ‘God, please bless my pastor,’ then don’t worry about praying for me.”
Not pray for him? Who, after all, would reject a blessing prayer?
But really, he didn’t mean to reject prayers, just to emphasize the importance of specific prayers for others.
It’s true for husbands, for children, for pastors and other ministry leaders, and for our schools. If my idea of praying for them is, “God please bless these people today,” then I’m really not requesting much, not petitioning God much on their behalf.
I want to be specific, be particular, praying in faith that God knows best, but laying my requests all out there before His throne. Not just a “pray-and-run” kind of petition, shooting out a list of people or places to bless in one minute and then rushing on with my day.
I want to get knee-deep involved in intercession like the Levites who prayed for the refugees returning home to Israel to rebuild the Jerusalem walls in the book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9).
How to pray then? What to ask God for? You might have ideas, too, but here’s a prayer tool to get us started as we begin this school year:
5 Prayers for our Schools
Mondays: Safety and presence of God: God, we pray for Your presence in our schools, public, private and home-school settings. We ask for peace to reign in the hallways, the classrooms, and playgrounds. Please protect our children and school staff and prevent evil from infiltrating the school grounds.
Tuesday: School administrators and office staff: Lord, we thank You for the administrators and office staff who keep our schools running smoothly and who are responsible for making decisions both about our children’s education and their safety. We ask that You give them strength and wisdom and help them establish a positive learning environment. Help them balance the pressures of standardized testing with the goal of encouraging a love of learning. We pray that they can foster an atmosphere of creativity, passion, and joy among all the educational staff.
Wednesday: Teachers and assistants: Lord, we pray for the teachers and assistants who are putting long hours in during the early days in the school year. There is so much to get set up, students to assess, routines to establish. Please give them the energy they need and strength for each new day. Help them to know You are with them. Give them wisdom as they get to know each student—reveal strengths and needs, highlight situations that need intervention, show teachers where students deserve encouragement and praise!
Thursday: School nurses and counselors: Lord, we ask that you bless the school nurses as they run their clinics and the counselors working with our kids. Our nurses not only manage the intricate schedule of medications for our students, but they are also a source of compassion and love every day. Our counselors need to rightly discern students who need help and intervention and fight against bullying and other problems in our schools. Give them wisdom, gentleness, and compassion. Fill them up daily with Your love as they pour so much of themselves out for others.
Friday: Staff (Cafeteria, janitorial, bus drivers and more): God, there are so many men and women who work in our schools, providing food, transportation and more for our kids. They are often the ones responsible for keeping our schools healthy and our children safe. Please give them joy in their work, bless their hands as they serve each day. Help them know how much we appreciate their efforts on behalf of our kids.
How do you pray for our schools and their staff?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King