The dawn of a new school year is often a time for complaining. Parents complain about the early start to the school year, the local school system or the fact that their child got that teacher. In turn, teachers complain about education policy, increased responsibilities (without increased pay) or the fact that they got that child in their class.
Yet a new school year 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 teachers need your prayers.
Please consider praying for the following:
1. Pray for teachers’ sanity.
Teachers carry the world on their shoulders. School systems, politicians, parents and society in general place great responsibility (and blame) on teachers. As a result, a teacher’s 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.
So pray for teachers’ sanity. Pray that teachers 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 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 teachers’ wisdom.
A teacher lives in a constant state of crisis. In any given day, teachers have to deal with:
- A child who bullied another.
- The girl who came to school sick because her parents have to work.
- A boy bouncing off the walls because he forgot to take his medicine.
- A nasty letter from a disgruntled parent (regarding a situation that the teacher was never informed about).
- The girl with special needs who requires unique accommodations.
- A new student who showed up on the day before the big standardized test.
- Suspicions that a certain child might not have a safe home to return to at night.
In addition to managing each crisis, they also have to do their stated job — such as teach multiplication to children who are just as distracted by each crisis as the teacher is.
Pray for teachers’ wisdom as they navigate these crises. Pray that they would treat each situation with strength and grace. Ask God to give them godly co-workers to lean on, and godly loved ones to encourage them when they come home from the scholastic battlefield.
4. Pray for teachers’ character and boldness.
Teachers can’t openly share the gospel in front of the class. It’s against the law. (And understandably so. Would you want an unbelieving educator to teach your kids the Bible?)
But teachers can show love to children from broken homes, a love that flows from the heart of Christ. They can give wisdom to a child who needs direction, a wisdom forged in hours of quiet study of God’s word. And they 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?