Sunday, August 07, 2005

A prayer for teachers at the beginning of a new school year

Father, as I stop in this moment to pray, I wonder, how would You have me pray for these teachers? How would You have me lift them up?

What are their concerns? What are their fears? What are their apprehensions? Do they feel the same “butterflies” that the students feel? Are we ever really as sure of ourselves as we would have the world believe?

As they “start back to school”, indeed, many of them have never left. They’ve been there all summer, off and on. One would almost say, “Without the kids” but there have also been students there as well - summer school, plus the various “camps” that take place all summer. So for some teachers and staff, it’s a year-round thing.

But in the mindset of “starting back to school” it’s a “new year” a new beginning, a “clean sheet of paper.” And so I pray for them.

I pray for the struggles and “life” that they take into this new year with them. I pray that You will give them strength to “compartmentalize” their lives enough to be able to leave “home” at home and give these fresh minds their whole attention.

As they look into the new eyes, give them the ability to look at the “clean sheet of paper” and not carry over smudges from previous years’ experiences, or even the smudges of siblings. They know in their hearts that isn’t fair, but they are only human - and need Your grace to do that. After all, they know You look at “clean sheets of paper” without looking for smudges and erasure marks. Christ wiped it all clean and it’s gone. Help them to do the same for these dear charges whom You have placed in their hands for the next school year.

And I pray, not for teachers only, but for every staff member who interacts with a student. We all remember special secretaries, “lunchroom ladies” and custodians who played a huge role in our growing up. I believe, Lord, that everyone who touches a child touches God. And how would we touch You, Father?

We pray specifically now Lord, for those teachers who only have a “job.” Those who don’t see Your calling in their work. We pray that their eyes would be opened and their hearts touched by Your love. I pray for every teacher who knows You, that their example will lead those who don’t.

And I lift up administrators; those who are experienced, those who are new, and those who are tired. They may be out of the classroom, but their calling now is to “lead leaders.” Give them grace, give them wisdom, and give them patience.

Then the counselors, Lord. What an impact they have on young lives - those who depend on their counsel. Help them to see into the souls of the students - help them to ferret out dreams and discover the hidden talents and abilities. And give them wisdom and faith to direct Your next generation.

And finally, Lord, I pray for everything that they do, that has nothing to do with teaching. There’s so much of it now, Lord. The things that our society has thrust upon us, is piled doubly on schools, I think. And so I pray for clearness of mind, steadiness of nerves, and purity of heart in their endeavor this year. And may it be a “good year” for Your honor and glory.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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