Four Prayers for My Students
Updated: Feb 23, 2020
It's that time of year again! School is back in session. Kids are trading in their swim towels for backpacks, teachers are busy preparing lesson plans, and parents are filling up their calendars with fall activities. No matter what role you play, you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed. The month of August is usually met with mixed emotions by teachers, parents, and students alike. As summer was winding down, I started thinking of ways I could specifically pray for my students at Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy throughout the year. Here's what God has laid on my heart for 2019-2020 school year.
1. I pray they will work diligently to honor Christ in all subject areas.
Chances are, no matter your age, you can recall your favorite class from when you were in school. For some, its literature, for other's its science. My favorite class in school was always history; I didn't dread papers on the Great Depression or detest studying for a test on the Roman Empire. What I loathed was math homework. Regardless if it was Algebra, Geometry, or Calculus, my heart sunk every time I entered the classroom. Because mathematics was (and still is) so difficult for me, I allowed myself to become pessimistic and resigned in class. I never had a right attitude or felt motivated to study more because I told myself, "You're never going to understand this." I failed to understand 1 Corinthians 10:31 when it says, "…whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God." I was unable to see how numbers brought glory to Christ.
God is a God of order, and mathematics is one of the many ways God displays how he has ordered the world. Romans 1:19-20 tells us that the way we learn about the world is to obtain knowledge of the character of God. If we are teaching our students biblically, we should be pointing them to the Creator and leading them to give him glory and honor in all things. Regardless if it's in the biology lab or music classroom, I pray our students would seek to honor Christ in all subjects.
2. I pray their speech will be life-giving, not life-taking.
Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Our words have the power to breathe life into the people around us or to set ablaze everything in our path. With our snide comments and cutting responses, we can wield our words as weapons. This is evident in the classroom, online on Instagram, or at after school dance practice. If you have worked with students in any capacity, you have likely consoled a child or attempted to restore a broken relationship due to thoughtless and foolish speech. If our students grasped the importance of taming the tongue in James 3, our classrooms would look radically different. I pray that this year as opportunities arise, we will remind them the truth from Proverbs 16:24 that says, "Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." I pray they will be slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to criticize, and quick to encourage their fellow classmates.
3. I pray their identity will be found in Christ.
In the world of AP classes and dual enrollment, it's hard for our kids not to get their identities wrapped up in their achievements. I remember being mortified every time the topic of ACT scores came up with my classmates during our senior year. I was afraid people would base my intelligence and worth off of that small, meniscal number. Even as adults, we know how hard it is not to base our worth off of our job performance or our children's behavior. We need to remind our students (and ourselves) that all people are created as image-bearers of our Creator (Genesis 1:27). And if our students are believers, they are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), with citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20) where they will be fellow coheirs with Christ for eternity (Romans 8:17). This biblical framework will help our students work diligently for the glory of God while remaining secure of their identity in Christ.
4. I pray for the salvation of my students.
While I pray fervently for points one through three, number four is what I pray for the most. Our students can try to do better, work harder, speak kinder, and complain less, but if they aren't found in Christ, they won't bear good, Gospel fruit (John 15:4-6). Any work they do will be in vain because they will be relying on their own strength.
This year, I pray my students' hearts will be gripped by the good news of the gospel that Paul speaks of in Romans 5: 6-10 – " For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."
May we as parents, educators, and fellow believers in Christ encourage our students to not only love the gift of learning, but to love the God of all truth and knowledge.
Have a blessed 2019-2020 school year!
Here are some related articles and resources:
5 Things to Pray for Your Kids - Melissa Kruger
Watch Your Mouth - TGC article
The King of Every Subject - Desiring God article