The goals, content, and approach of modern-day education have changed dramatically from the schooling children received when our nation was first conceived. Formal, public education was just taking shape at that time as the newly formed government took responsibility for helping parents with this aspect of their children’s upbringing. With the 1635 founding of America’s first public school, the Boston Latin School, biblical faith was unapologetically woven into classroom teaching. Many teachers were local pastors, and a reverence for the Almighty and His precepts was viewed as an integral part of true knowledge.
Today’s schools are a far cry from those early classrooms. The influence of postmodern thought has left its mark on twenty-first century education, introducing concepts such as pluralism, “tolerance,” and the rejection of absolute truth. While the textbooks used in colonial days promoted a faith-based worldview, today’s curricula are replete with materials that accept – and, in some cases, even condone – immoral activities and lifestyles. Meanwhile, revisionist teachings about our country’s founding remove any reference to the Christian underpinnings that have long set our nation apart and helped it thrive.
With this type of atmosphere pervading our classrooms, it is especially critical that we pray for our nation’s public schoolteachers, administrators, and students. Ask the Lord to raise up a new generation of dedicated educators who will commit themselves not only to an honest, accurate presentation of all subject matter, but who will also serve as positive role models for their students. In addition, let’s not forget to uphold our local school boards in prayer as they make decisions about the various curricula that are used across the country.
“Our entire student body and faculty joined together in prayer over the 7×7. This entire event was pivotal because it was used as a teaching tool to stress the importance of intercession for not only our friends and school, but for the state, nation and government. Students were truly blessed by the structured time of prayer and look forward to it next year.” – Sally
Pray for safety, morally sound instruction and wholesome environments.
- Deuteronomy 11:18-19
- Psalm 34:7
- Matthew 19:14
- Psalm 90:16-17
Pray for Education – Day 1
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7
In 1836, Noah Webster, often called “The Father of American Education,” stated, “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed…No truth is more evident…than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” Unfortunately, in time, John Dewey, known as “The Architect of Modern Education,” said, “There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion.” Those props are now gone, and the loss of moral standards has opened the door to untold numbers of unwanted teen pregnancies, abortions, drug abuse, alcoholism, violence, and suicide. It is especially critical that we pray for our nation’s education system for a restoration of godly teaching and morality.
Father in heaven, I thank You that so many of the Founding Fathers of our nation were so strong about the role of religion and morality in the shaping of our education foundations. But we have moved so far away from that foundation today that school prayer and Bible reading in classes and even the posting of the Ten Commandments in a school classroom have been ruled unconstitutional. And we’re paying the price for the loss of morality in our young people’s lives. Bring a revival of godliness and a movement of the Holy Spirit among those who can influence and change these harmful policies. We ask You for a miracle. Amen.
Pray for Education – Day 2
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
It has been estimated that there are well over 500,000 Christian teachers in public schools. Many of them have felt intimidated by court rulings against religious expression and at ties have been silenced by our culture’s ambivalence toward moral absolutes. However, limitations don’t change the fact that the Spirit of God resides within them and is working through them – through caring interactions with students and living out their faith day by day; through effective teaching that enables students to develop their unique, God-given gifts; through teaching commonly accepted values, such as honesty, respect, and caring for others; and through teaching about religion within the curriculum. Pray that Christian teachers will have a tremendous impact on the lives of their students and positively influence the cultures, values, and spiritual environments of their schools.
Lord, I ask You to inspire all Christians in education to be Your shining light in schools by being role models and mentors for the younger generations. I pray for teachers to have the wisdom, knowledge, and skills to teach students and make their classrooms places where students learn not only knowledge, but also morality and integrity. I pray that teachers and school administrative leaders would fear You and understand that they have a great responsibility as they train our nation’s future leaders. Holy Spirit, fill the lives of the teachers with Your presence, and by their shining examples, I ask You to draw young people to follow Jesus. Amen.
Pray for Education – Day 3
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3
Many people are surprised when they hear that most of America’s oldest universities were started by preachers and churches – Harvard, William and Mary, Yale, Princeton, King’s College, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth. Harvard University, for example, was founded in 1636 and adopted the “Rules and Precepts” of the university that stated: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” By way of contrast, today’s universities and colleges are citadels of moral relativism in which the notion of absolute right and wrong is nonexistent, and where research shows that 70 percent of students from “Christian” homes deny their faith before graduation.
Father, I pray that our colleges and universities might become centers for revival rather than for the tearing down of the faith. I ask You to work through the many Christian groups and churches on the campuses to bring thousands of young men and women to faith and discipleship. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use Christian professors and faculty members as a might force for good and that a new standard might be raised up. I pray that Christian students will stand strong for their faith and grow in profound ways. And I pray that You will equip churches and homes across the land to give their young people the training for a biblical worldview that will cause them to thrive in their faith through their entire college experience. Amen.
Pray for Education – Day 4
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
In Paula J. Fox’s book The Heart of a Teacher, she says to her fellow teachers: “A child’s heart is fragile…don’t break it. A child’s mind is open…don’t close it. A child’s soul is tender…don’t harden it. A child’s spirit is joyful…don’t crush it.” It reminds us of the importance of praying for teachers as well as parents. Every child bears an originality that is evidence of the image of God in his or her life. How else do you explain a child’s creativity and spontaneity and imagination? Who but the Creator could build in such a spirit of adventure and a curiosity to discover? God has filled every child with a magnificent potential that is distinct from any other person. And He has placed parents and teachers to nurture and provide opportunities for children to discover and help develop their interests and talents.
Father, there is so much to pray for our children as they grow up, and my prayer is that You will help parents and educators to provide them with the special nurture and loving atmosphere that will help them discover their gifts and talents and develop them for Your glory. I pray that You will surround our children with so much encouragement that no feelings of inadequacy, fear, or uncertainty will keep them from becoming the joyful, creative people You desire them to be. I pray that You will make classrooms into places where there is a delight in learning instead of drudgery or dread. I pray for wisdom and discernment to reign in the hearts of both parents and teachers to safeguard the hearts and minds of our children. Amen.