God has given us an amazing privilege—he invites us to speak to him at any time about anything! He assures us that, because of Jesus, he will listen to us and he understands our needs. (See Hebrews 4:14-16.)
As teachers, we get to share the incredible blessing of prayer with our students. If the prayer life in your classroom seems a little ho-hum lately, consider these nine ways to add more prayer to your school day.
- Begin and end with prayer. It may seem obvious, but making prayer part of your everyday routine shows kids the value of prayer. Putting prayer at the beginning and end of every day shows them that prayer is a priority.
- Model different types of prayer. As you pray and talk about prayer, point out the different types of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, confession, and intercession. You can explain it using an acrostic such as ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) or PRAY (praise, repent, ask, yield). Remind students that even when we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both interceding on our behalf. (See Romans 8:26, 34.)
- Pray for needs inside your classroom. Pray for students, family members, and friends who are sick, sad, or hurt.
- Pray for needs outside your classroom. Pray for workers at your school like bus drivers, janitors, kitchen staff, principals, librarians, other teachers, secretaries, and pastors. If you know specific needs of any of those workers, invite them into your classroom and pray for them or send cards letting them know you prayed.
- Pray for needs outside your school. When you hear a siren during the day, pray for the people who are in need. Pray for the rescue workers, firefighters, and police officers who go to help. Also practice praying for members of your community, state, and nation.
- Pray private prayers with a struggling student. When a student is sad, angry, or having trouble with self-control, kneel by his desk and whisper a short prayer. Help a contrite student confess his sin in prayer and then assure him of God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Pray for little things. God wants to hear it all—nothing is insignificant! When a student loses something, ask God to help you find it. When a student is worried about a test, pray for peace. When there are hurt feelings or bumps and bruises, ask God for healing. When there is a storm and students become upset or scared, remind them of Jesus’ promise to be with us always.
- Pray spontaneous prayers. Celebrate with your class by shouting out your praise and thanks to God on a beautiful day, when they understand a difficult concept and experience success, and when you discover the amazing ways he intervened in history.
- Make a list. Keep a list of prayer requests and, if possible, follow up with how God answered those prayers. Remind students that even though God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want, he always works things out for our good and his glory.
We want to hear from you! What’s your favorite way to practice prayer in your classroom?