Monday, August 23, 2010

A Teacher's Prayer For a New School Year

God in heaven,

I pray for this new school year.

First, I pray for our students. They are the walking heart and soul of their parents. They are cherished, adored, and understood. Give teachers the eyes to see each one as You do, and to see them as their parents do. We can never replicate a parent's love, but we can remember that each child is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Father, give our students the courage to fail. For in failing they will stretch, and in stretching, learn. Give us strong arms to catch them. Let them not fear falling, nor doubt that we will rally around to hoist them up again.

Father, give our students charity and compassion for one another. Let every child who wanders the playground alone, kicking stones under his feet, find playmates and friends. Give each of our students the heart to see loneliness, the eyes to see need, and the will to right wrongs.

God in heaven, give our students a zest for learning. Not for schoolwork, or tests, or homework, perhaps--but for learning. Give them curiosity, a drive to understand, energy to create, and bravery to ask questions--hard questions that adults can't answer, but that lead us to wonder. Lord, we love to wonder at the mysteries of Your world.

Father God, please protect and provide for teachers: those who hold that title, and those who teach by driving a bus, serving a meal, pushing a broom. Let all adults who serve in schools cherish children first. Give us abundant love every day.

God, please grant us wise words, for words can shatter or enrich the life of a child. Teachers utter many words in a day, one after another. When our words are thoughtless, stop them up. When we will unintentionally say the wrong thing, stay our tongues. When we are tired, impatient, in pain, frustrated, sad, or exasperated, please give us strength to endure so that we may not inflict a moment's harm on a child with our words.

Instead, Father, guide our minds and thoughts toward need. Point our attention to the students who come to us hungry for love, sustenance, knowledge. Guide us to each child's struggle. Grant us the ability to ease it.

Father, I come before You to ask for joy. Father, give our school music and laughter, dancing and mirth. Give us moments when we share a joke and laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Help us know when we need to work harder and when we need to savor the surprising, joyful moments and spin them into happy memories.

Most importantly, Father, never let us cause a child to stumble.

May we view teaching as a sacred trust.

May we remember never to take the privilege for granted.

Yours is the glory forever. Amen.


  1. As a mom who's sending her kids to public school for kindergarten and first-grade, thank you. (after homeschooling) I needed to hear a teacher pray for my kids even if its not their teacher.

  2. Aww, that got me all teary-eyed. Thank you, Gwen. Like Lisa, I homeschooled for a time and now send my kids to public school. But, every year I pray over which teachers my children will be assigned to. Then each morning we pray that the children will be "salt and light" and a blessing to their teachers and to the other students around them.

    One year, I volunteered in the middle school library and tried to use that time to intercede for all the students and teachers (although I admit I often got distracted by the marvel of books :)

    Of course, school doesn't start here for another two weeks. It's crazy how this varies across the US.

  3. What a gorgeous prayer, Gwen. Thank you so much. I just got back from dropping my kids off for their first days of school -- one of whom is starting jr high -- and I needed to read this.

    Our kids are so precious, and the difficulties teachers and administrators face are huge. They all need prayer. Thanks for the timely reminder.

  4. Amen.

    Awh, Gwen. This is such a reassurance. And, it's a testament to a teacher's love and understanding of the awesome responsibility they're charged with.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Anita Mae.

  5. How beautiful, Gwen. Thank you for the inspiration.

  6. Bless you, Gwen. What wonderful words of wisdom and strength and hope.

  7. Fabulous, Gwen! My son goes back to school on Monday. He's starting his senior year in high school, so there are soooo many things to pray for this year!


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