Monday, August 06, 2007

Prayers for Teachers and School Staff 2007

I attended a luncheon recently at our local high school. Invitations were sent from the school staff to churches within the community. Anyone (pastors, staff, and laity) in the church, who wanted to come, was welcome.

Prayer cards were given out with 6-8 names of staff members on each. The people attending were encouraged to take the cards back to their church and to pray for them.

Everyone took a card… I wonder how many prayed for them. I stopped by the office and got a list of ALL the names…

How do you pray for your “prayer list”? Do you have a prayer list? How do you pray?

Oh Father… when Jesus taught us to pray, He started us out with “Our Father…” So, no matter “how” we come to the throne room - whether we come dragging ourselves as someone “dying of thirst” might drag themselves across the desert; or whether we come “peeping around the corner to see if the coast is clear”; or whether we come leaping and laughing and dancing - happy just to be in Your presence - we come as Your children - and that in itself is comforting…

But immediately after that He added “Who art in heaven…” and “hallowed be Thy Name…” so we can’t forget the majesty of who You are. You, and You alone, are GOD!

And so we struggle with the conflicting emotions of familiarity verses magnificence. We want to bow at Your feet, and yet at the same time, we want to climb up on Your lap, snuggle in, and rest ourselves in Your loving embrace…

And with You God, we can do all these things…

We bring You our praise, and our concerns. We bring You every tear and every giggle and everything else in between.

We bring You, sometimes, as now, just a list of names. For some we do, but for many we don’t know their needs, their concerns, or their joys - but You do. And so, we just bring the names.

This time it’s people who touch our children’s lives - who teach them and reach them in ways that we can’t. We pray for the “all”, in the “each” of them.

We pray for the “them” that sits down to pay the bills each month, and wonders how to make it “stretch.”

We pray for the “them” that goes to doctors’ appointments after school or on days’ off.

We pray for the “them” that worries or fears or bears a burden.

We pray for the “them” that cares for home, or children, or parents, or more likely, all at the same time, and we pray for the “them” that they bring to school - the part of them that they partition off and try not to let the other “thems” overwhelm.

I know, Lord. I’ve worn many hats, and been many things to many people. Sometimes (as You well remember) there were so many “hats” that I even lost “me” for a while…So, I pray for them, Lord - for all of each of them, that they keep a private part of themselves continually in Your presence, so that all that they are, can serve You.

“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do - do all unto the Lord…”

We lift up teachers, administrative staff, support staff, office staff, guidance staff, athletic staff, lunchroom staff, and maintenance staff - every single person who has the opportunity to smile at a child - we pray for the heart and the home life behind that smile…

In Jesus’ Name - Amen.



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