I have control issues. Yes, I freely and openly admit it. I like to be in control. In one area of life I find it especially difficult to give up my control. In Deuteronomy 6:7 the Bible clearly tells me as a parent to talk about faith with my children pretty much all the time. This becomes more difficult once you “put them in the system.” By that, I mean that day when you enroll your children in public education! No longer do you manage your child’s day and what they will learn and do for 7 hours 5 days a week. Someone else will be influencing my child for good or bad.
So if I’m being honest here I am pretty sure I started praying for my children’s teachers out of selfishness. Giving up control to another person to influence my child was hard. I didn’t just want their teachers to teach them academics but be kind, positive and encouraging and help shape their character as they develop into who God is calling them to be. I needed to pray for my children’s teachers for my own peace of mind.
Everyone who comes across our path in life shapes us. Sometimes for the better and other times it leaves a mark that makes us less like God. Some people make us better whether they encourage us or challenge us to be our best. Still others we encounter increase our selfishness or hurt our self-esteem. It matters who we let influence our children!
My children have been blessed to have a lot of good teachers and a few outstanding ones. My daughter has had a couple teachers that were less than stellar and even through those years with such a teacher we learned some things and my daughter reached new understandings about life and people through the less than ideal teacher experiences.
When there is nothing left to do, then pray
As we welcome new teachers into our lives there is only one thing to do and that is pray. It is certainly how I felt the day I handed my first born over to her Kindergarten teacher (who by the way was only a couple years out of college. Talk about feeling old!) That first day of kindergarten prayer goes something like “please Lord let her have a good day and be happy and not miss me and make a friend and make it to the bathroom in time.” As I continued to pray that year I begin to focus on the teacher and that she would have a heart for my child and know how best to help her learn and grow. I prayed that she would be a blessing to my child and encourage her in her learning and shape her character. I also prayed for this teacher’s relationship with Jesus.
All that praying for that kindergarten teacher started something. As new teachers became a part of our lives I continued to consistently pray for my children’s teachers. Now that I have an 8th grader and a 4th grader in “the system” I have that many more teachers to pray for each year. And boy do I pray! Come, Holy Spirit Come!
Worry, Pray, Repeat!
I think too much and overanalyze everything which both lead to worrying! In fact after coming off of a fabulous vacation, I begin to worry on the plane ride home about the new school year. Yes, I’m very aware of what the Bible says about worry, but I’m convinced that is why I pray so much to balance out the worry.
I began to worry about who would teach my daughter U.S. History and if they would do it without bias. I worry about those silly standardized tests. I worry about my children’s friendships. I worry most of all that my children would get teachers that would be a great match to their personalities and learning styles. Then after going through my laundry list of worries I began to pray earnestly for the upcoming school year.
My Challenge to You
I will be covering my children’s schools and classrooms and teachers with prayer this year. For 6 years now I have been a part of prayer group and it is a blessing that I can’t describe. Each week this group of moms gather together to pray for our own children and their teachers and school. It is powerful. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to know I have other moms actively praying over my children.
I challenge you to pray over your children and teachers this year. Whether in an organized group or on your own it is imperative we lift up our children’s teachers. They are influencing our children and part of shaping their future so we must pray for God’s hand to guide them in this pursuit.
Secondly, I challenge you to tell the teacher you are praying for them. Whether face to face, in a handwritten card or even an email, let them know you are covering them in prayer. As I always tell my children, the teachers may not be able to talk about God in school but that doesn’t apply to you. Some teachers will be overjoyed by this and let you know how grateful they are. Others will give you a quick thank you and that is the end of it. Still other teachers will find it awkward and uncomfortable because they lack faith themselves. I think it is so important for those influencing my child to know that I am praying for them (whether they like it or not I might add) No teacher yet has told me not to pray for them!