I’m working from home today. Not by choice (although I don’t mind doing so), but by necessity.
You see, my wife is an instructional assistant for one of our local elementary schools. Today, she and her fellow educators returned to work to begin preparing for what will undoubtedly be a memorable year. And so, I’m working from home so that our two sons don’t burn the house down (or stare at a screen all day).
When the pandemic began in March, schools all over the country had to make quick adjustments, just like the rest of us. Most students haven’t been in an actual classroom in 5 months. When they completed the 2019-20 school year virtually, everyone held on to the hope that in-person instruction would resume with the new school year. For most school districts (at least in Kentucky), that will not be the case.
Our schools need prayer support every year, but especially this year. Here are 7 ways you can pray for your local schools:
- Pray for students. As students begin another year without the benefits of regular social interaction with their classmates, pray that they will be able to manage these ongoing challenges. In addition, kids have different learning styles, and some are more conducive to virtual learning than others. This could cause long-term educational setbacks for some children. Therefore, pray those setbacks will be minimized. In the event that students go back to in-person instruction, pray that they can adjust to the safety protocols that will be implemented (i.e. wearing masks all day). And of course, pray also that the Lord will keep them safe and healthy.
- Pray for teachers and staff. In addition to my wife, I know many other educators as well. This pandemic has been extremely difficult for them. On the one hand, teachers and staff long to be with their students in a classroom setting. It’s simply more difficult to connect with a student across a screen than across a desk. On the other hand, there is a legitimate concern for their personal safety and well-being. Therefore, pray that teachers and staff will be able to make the most of a difficult situation as they try to effectively educate their students (some of which they have never met face to face). Pray also that the Lord will prevent exposure to the virus if in-person classes resume in the future.
- Pray for administrators. School administrators have been wrestling with difficult decisions all summer long. Many have been forced to develop contingency plans for their contingency plans. Therefore, pray that the Lord would give them wisdom as they seek to make decisions in the best interest of both students and staff. Pray that they will continue to be flexible as circumstances change. And pray that they will respond to their critics with kindness and understanding.
- Pray for parents. Just as I’m working from home to supervise my kids today, millions of parents will soon face similar situations. Some will be able to work from home and assist their children with their studies. Unfortunately, others may not. This presents significant challenges. Therefore, pray the Lord will provide workable solutions for those parents who are unsure of how they can work and still provide an environment in which their child can learn from home. In addition, parents carry many of the same burdens for the educational and social well-being of their children as their teachers do. Pray the Lord would ease those concerns.
- Pray for government officials. Just as school administrators are making decisions at the local level, pray for other government officials who will continually make decisions at the local, state, and national levels which will have a direct impact on local schools. Pray that the Lord will grant them wisdom in these challenging days. Pray they will put politics aside and will do what’s best for students and staff.
- Pray for custodial staff. When schools return to in-person instruction, custodial staff will be asked to go above and beyond their duties to make sure that every part of the campus is safe and sanitary on a daily basis. Therefore, pray for these unsung heroes. Pray the Lord gives them strength, focus, and diligence as they combat the virus on the frontlines. Pray for food service workers who will have to take extra precautions as well.
- Pray for the church. As this pandemic persists, emotions will continue to run high. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, government officials, and custodial staff alike will be looking for hope. They will be looking for answers. They will be looking for meaning in all of this. Therefore, pray that the church will be ready to point them to Jesus. Pray that the church will look for opportunities to minister. Perhaps your church can serve a meal to the staff as they prepare to begin the school year. Perhaps you can conduct a prayerwalk around the campus or around the neighborhood. Perhaps you can meet another need that the school may have. In times like these, pray that the church will be the hands and feet of Jesus.
The 2020-21 school year will be unlike any other. I’m praying for our local schools as they begin. Will you join me in that prayer?