Do They Pray in Your Child's School?
by Roy W. Lowrie, Jr., Ed.D. (1974)
This morning, I overheard Phil DeVries, a senior high school music teacher, talking about my son. Parents do not have many opportunities like this, so I listened carefully, wishing that a tape recorder were at hand. Although I have this experience several times a year, each time my heart moves, and I am thankful.
I was touched because Phil was talking about my son-to God. He prayed that God would help this freshman boy to increase in wisdom and knowledge. He asked that Roy’s heart would be right with God continually. In conclusion, he prayed that the abilities of my son would always be used to honor God. Incidentally, Roy is not in trouble, so this prayer did not arise from that stimulus.
Each day before school opens, Phil and the other teachers meet to study the Word of God and to pray. They pray for those who have particular needs, and they pray regularly for each student from kindergarten through twelfth grade. To keep from overlooking anyone, each child’s name is on an individual prayer card. When a student graduates, his card is put in the alumni pack, and the teachers continue to pray regularly for him.
In the Christian school, the teachers pray with their students during the opening exercises each day. They are free to pray during Bible class or during any class. They pray before practices and before special events in music and drama. Coaches pray in a similar way in the athletic training of both girls and boys. Prayer is a part of the worship during chapel. Prayer is included when discipline is exercised.
Students pray openly and with the teachers at the times mentioned above. In addition, they pray during school retreats, at small group Bible studies, and at social activities.
School parents who serve on the P.T.A. pray at the outset of their planning sessions and during the public meetings. Prayer is part of their special events such as annual banquets, picnics, and open house. Each month, there are scheduled prayer meetings on behalf of the school, sometimes for mothers, sometimes for fathers, frequently for both.
Board members begin each meeting with a portion of Scripture and a time of prayer. They ask God for the wisdom which is from above. As the meeting proceeds, they may pause to pray for a difficult problem. Board retreats, special meetings, and meetings of the board’s subcommittees always open with prayer.
The broad world of education does not believe in prayer, and does not pray in the ways previously mentioned. In addition, severe legal restrictions have been placed upon prayer in tax-supported schools, making the practice of prayer very difficult, if not illegal. This has been a stifling effect, for every legal decision has been against praying.
In contrast, Christian school educators know God, and realize that He says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Expressed another way, the prayers of a righteous person have a powerful effect.
The relationship between the education of a child and prayer is demonstrable. Parents frequently tell me of the way their children and young people have changed after being in the Christian school. This is the influence of a total educational experience in which prayer is practiced.
When talking about the school it is not unusual for a parent to express regret that he did not send his child to the school sooner. As you think of your own children, think about the testimony of these parents. Your children need an education in which prayer is present, not absent. Thank you for your serious consideration of these matters.