Backpacks and notebooks line store shelves. Yellow school buses pepper the highways. And you have a strange craving for rectangle-shaped pizza and a carton of chocolate milk. This can only mean one thing: School is back in session.
Whether the new school year is a time of dread or excitement for you, it also means that thousands of Christian teachers and administrators return to their classrooms to make a profound impact on children’s lives. They have an immense responsibility and privilege — and Christian teachers need your prayers.
Please consider praying for the following:
1. Pray for Christian teachers’ sanity.
Teachers carry the world on their shoulders. A normal week involves stress headaches, broken hearts, anxiety, sleepless nights, empty bank accounts and tear-stained cheeks. This is particularly true for teachers who view their job as a calling, not just a means to a paycheck.
Pray for Christian teachers’ sanity. Pray that they would remember that their work is in vain if God is not in it (Psalm 127:1-2). Pray that they would trust Christ and allow their hearts to rest. Pray that they would be sensitive to discern which tasks deserve their time in the chaotic day-to-day. And pray that God would show you how to ease the burden for a teacher in the trenches of their mission field.
2. Pray for Christian teachers’ prayer lives.
I often hear people talk about wanting prayer back in schools. But if you asked Christian educators, they’d tell you it never left. Teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, front office staff, volunteers and resource officers — people whose hearts are burdened for students and their parents — pour out silent prayers every day.
So pray for teachers’ prayer lives. Pray that school personnel would recognize opportunities to pray for their coworkers, administrators, students and families. You can even ask them for specific prayer requests and lift up these requests alongside them.
3. Pray for Christian teachers’ wisdom.
Teachers live in a constant state of crisis. In any given day, teachers have to deal with:
- A rude email from a disgruntled parent.
- One child who claims he was bullied on the school bus.
- Suspicions that a certain child might not return to a a safe home.
- A new student who arrives the day before a big standardized test.
- The girl with special needs who requires unique accommodations.
- A boy bouncing off the walls because he forgot to take his medication.
- A girl who came to school sick because her parents can’t get off work.
In addition to managing each crisis, they also have to do the actual teaching their job description requires them to do!
Pray that teachers would be wise as they navigate each crisis. Pray that they would treat each situation with strength and grace. Ask God to give them godly co-workers to lean on — and godly friends and family to encourage them when they return home from the scholastic battlefield.
4. Pray for Christian teachers’ safety.
Far too often, it seems, we open our social media feeds to learn about another horrifying school shooting. The pain and anguish we experience as we read the accounts is overwhelming. Teachers now have to endure these fears — in addition to everything else on their plate.
Pray for the safety of everyone at your local schools. In particular, pray for teachers to be safe as they take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of their students.
5. Pray for Christian teachers’ character and boldness.
Teachers can’t openly share the gospel in front of the class. But they can show love to children from broken homes, a love that flows from the heart of Christ.
Teachers can give wisdom to a child who needs direction, a wisdom forged in hours of quiet study of God’s word. And teachers can model integrity to a student who has never seen it before, integrity developed over decades of faithfully following Christ.
Put simply, teachers can live gospel-changed lives in full view of their coworkers and students. That’s no small feat.
So pray for teachers’ character — that they would live Christ-like lives in a Christ-starved world. Pray for their boldness — that they would build relationships and find favor with their students’ families, co-workers and community leaders so they can share the gospel openly in other contexts.
How would you recommend we pray for Christian teachers?