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...but dont pray in school?
There are few topics more controversial today than the topic of public prayer in our schools. The frightening reality is that while there is much rhetoric over public prayer in our schools, many believers dont pray regularly in the personal lives, in their churches, or in their homes with their families.
I would like to suggest several areas that believers need to mount a full prayer assault. If we pray here, then we wont have to worry about our children learning to pray and praying in their schoolstheyll not only know they can, they will know how!
First, pray personally. All of us will go through times where prayer is not easy and the spontaneous desire to pray seems to melt away like our energy on a hot humid summer day. But the vigilance, the consistency, the faithfulness, the submission to God in prayer builds our relationship with him, makes him more real to us in our daily walk, and gives us a daily connection to what is transcendent and holy in the middle of our mundane lives.
Second, pray with your family. Pray with your spouse and children. If you have young children, read them a short Bible story from a Bible story book and have tuck in prayers every night. Pray at meal time. Pray when you leave on a trip and when your return safely. Pray at the beginning of each school year. Pray before the school day.
|No one can stop us from praying... but ourselves!|
Fourth, start a time of disciplined prayer. Spontaneous prayer is wonderful. Prayer in crisis is nurturing and rehabilitating. Prayer in moments of joy is exciting and enriching. Habitual prayer is great. But disciplined prayer is focused, committed, and planned. It adds a strength to our lives we can find no other way. Find a disciplined prayer plan and stick to it. (At Heartlight we have several prayer plans that can help you in your spiritual prayer focus.)
Finally, tell you children that not only can they pray at school, they should pray at school everyday... not antagonistically, not self-righteously, but regularly.
Let them know they can pray anytime during the day. When they have a quiet moment, they can pray for their teachers, friends, school, doing their best, resisting temptation, and those in need. As a parent, share with your children how you pray during your day. Give them some examples of how and when they can pray at school from your own personal example.
The debate about school prayer will rage on. But in the process of engaging in public policy debate, lets make sure we dont lose out at the level prayer has its greatest powerin our own lives, the lives of families, and in the lives of our churches. We can always pray no matter where we are. No one can stop us for this source of strength, blessing, and power. No one can stop us from praying... but ourselves! But then, were not going to let that happen, are we?!
Listen to "Pray in the USA," by Morgan Cryar, from The Best of Morgan Cryar: What Sin?, (c) 1998 Damascus Road Music
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