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Thursday
Aug152019

Praying Through Our School Problems

Julie Sanders, a teacher, cares about students. In this Prayer UPGRADE, she calls us to pray for our students, especially as they struggle in school or face tough circumstances in their education.

"It doesn’t take long into a new school year before problems emerge," Julie says. "No education format is exempt from trouble to sort out, so how do we find school solutions in spiritual ways?"

I (Dawn) know Julie is right. Whether our children are in public school, private school, or even homeschool, when problems arise, we need to know the best way to move forward.

Julie continues . . .

When the first sign of a school problem appears, with speed unique to moms and grandmas of students, we can assess an issue, create a list of options, and find the school office number.

In the moment when our learner faces a fear, challenge, obstacle or conflict, it’s easy to forget about being quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19).

Education questions today raise issues related to curriculum, requirements, pacing, classmates, special needs, transportation, and cultural exposure, to name just a few. Parents face challenges to ensure students receive academic opportunities they need, while shaping their spiritual perspective and relational patterns.

Keeping the school formula at home has its benefits and challenges, while traditional classrooms, Christian or private, invite their own opportunities and obstacles.

Thankfully, God doesn’t call us to bow to problems, but to bow to Him.

Rather than being a fearful woman, I can be a prayerful woman.

In The ABCs of Praying for Students, I wrote, “What our learners need more than anything is our prayers—prayers fueled by your genuine love and a heart full of hope for the student on your mind.”

In Paul’s explanation to his learners about the essence of his prayers for them, we find guidance for how to pray for students on our hearts and minds.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).

We want children:

  • to learn according to their ability,
  • to respect their teacher,
  • to develop healthy peer friendships,
  • to make wise choices, and
  • to have a friend at lunch.

Those things matter, and God cares about every element in our child’s education.

But most of all, we want our learners to intimately know the love of Christ, so deep and wide that no vocabulary describes or defines it.

Back-to-school problems have a powerful ability to turn our thoughts toward things we can touch, people we can email, supplies we can get, and assignments we can review. Earthly things (Colossians 3:2).

But in God’s greater curriculum, these things come under a bigger plan to help learners know the love of Christ. This truth applies from cradle to college and career.

Whether you school in a traditional classroom, a co-op, homeschool, or a one room schoolhouse like my mom, God wants to use the experience of education to teach our child the truths that matter most.

May our kids and grandkids know we pray for their concerns, but most of all we pray for them to know the concern and love of God toward them. There is no greater lesson to learn.

The most powerful thing we can do for our students will never be found on a school supply list. 

Engage what your child’s education needs most: the great power of your prayers at work.

As the learners we love start a new school year and problems emerge, what is your default action? Resist the urge to whip up a list and type an email. Instead, stop and pray for God to use hard things to lead to holy things.

Julie Sanders has been teaching students of all ages for thirty years. She loves Back-to-School season and how learning leads grown-ups and children to God’s deep and wide love. Julie is the author of The ABCs of Praying for Students, available at Christen Price Studio. Learn more about Julie at her blog.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Open Clipart / Vectors at Pixabay.

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