Prayer For Focus At School


Faith at School and Work

Prayer For Focus At School

“Mom, do you realize that more than 30 kids said hello to you as you walked through the halls in the last few minutes? They must to see you here at school!”

Cole, B.J. Pennick's eighth-grade son, was proud of the attention his mom received. B.J. was there to volunteer in the office and attend a PTA board meeting of Charles Haskell Middle School in Broken Arrow, Okla.

, where she and the other moms made important decisions—such as how to spend the $6,000 they raised for the school, whether to have uniforms next year, and what kind of dances and activities to plan for the students.

Haskell, with a student population of 900, isn't a perfect school, but it is a good example of what can happen when parents' involvement and prayers combine.

More than 100 volunteers log hundreds of hours serving at the school, taking kids on field trips, tutoring in the classroom, doing vision and hearing screening, chaperoning at dances, serving on curriculum committees and countless other activities.

These parents intercede and put feet to their prayers, and they see positive results.

There's a growing camaraderie and spirit of cooperation between principals, teachers and parents as they ask, “How can we work together to improve academics, emphasize good character and build a better school?” Teachers express gratitude about the treats and thoughtful deeds that have blessed them. And parents are seeing more emphasis on academics and a higher standard of discipline in the classroom.

Powered by prayer

While school prayer is still debated in Congress, Christian students at Haskell as well as schools around the country meet to pray. The Fellowship of Christian Students has more than 70 sixth, seventh and eighth graders who meet after school to hear speakers, to pray, worship and grow in their faith.

As they gather together, the Christian kids in this middle school feel supported in their faith. “I've learned to share the gospel with different types of students,” says B.J.'s son Cole, 14, who's a leader in student council. “I the challenge of being distinctly Christian and have become stronger in the Lord this year.

“Because I'm a Fellowship student and my mom's praying,” he adds, “teachers hold me to a higher standard.”

At schools such as Haskell, with a high level of parental involvement and a blanket of prayer over the faculty and students, an environment is created where learning is the goal, excellence is the focus, kids feel safe and teachers feel respected.

They still face problems, such as the sex education program, which isn't entirely abstinence-based, or the students experimenting with homosexuality.

But as more and more Christian parents get involved and pray, rebuilding is taking place in the public schools.

This rebuilding process is reminiscent of the Old Testament prophet Nehemiah. Just as you may have been disturbed and saddened at the headlines about drug problems or violence in youth, problems in schools in your own community or the moral decline in our society, Nehemiah too was grieved at the devastation of his people.

When he found out that the wall of Jerusalem was torn down, the gates burned and his people in great distress, he fasted and prayed for days, calling upon God for help. He not only prayed — he took action. With the king's permission, he went back to Jerusalem to lead the rebuilding of the wall.

There he didn't just gather volunteers or work, he prayed every step of the way and encouraged others to turn their hearts to God as their only hope. In Nehemiah's case, the prayer and action resulted in the wall being rebuilt and the city restored against terrible odds and formidable enemies.

Wall building

As Christian parents and teachers have rallied, worked and prayed, we are seeing signs of hope in public schools as a similar rebuilding is beginning to happen.

One of the positive trends is the effort to turn from the values-free philosophy to teaching virtue and moral values in schools. For example, in Raleigh, N.C.

, Judy Hoffman, a parent and school board chairman, saw the need to put character back into public education.

After months of praying and careful planning with a 32-member task force about how to implement character education, Judy and the people in her community came up with a plan through which character is integrated into every area of the school day at all levels for the district's 90,000 students.

The results in their schools are impressive: The academic climate has improved, tests scores are up, pregnancy and dropout rates have decreased, as has violence in the schools.

Character education programs this are being developed at the local level in almost every state, and they offer great opportunities for Christians to get involved.

In addition, “released-time” programs, in which public school students can legally receive 30 minutes of religious instruction once a week, are growing all over the country.

Taught mainly by parent volunteers, these programs are giving millions of kids an opportunity to become acquainted with God's Word.

In East Cottonwood Elementary School in northern California, for example, more than half of the 670 students in first to fourth grades go to the nearby St. Anne's Catholic Church on Friday afternoons for a lively half-hour of singing, prayer and Bible stories.

Schools still face formidable foes: postmodern secular teaching and liberal agendas, policies that need to change, overly large classes, problems with discipline and the need for higher academic standards. But if, Nehemiah, we mix prayer with works, if parents are actively and prayerfully involved in their children's education, the evidence shows that public schools can change.

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What happened when a student sued over prayer

Prayer For Focus At School

Every day starts the same: Announcements, birthdays and school events are broadcast over the public address system. What comes next is what she dreads.

“They say, 'Please stand for the Prayer and the Pledge.' And then we move right into it. And it's the Lord's Prayer,” Cole says.

Cole sits down. Raised as a Christian but now agnostic, she doesn't want to hear it.

Nearly every other child, in every classroom, stands as a student reads the prayer.

“Our father, who art in heaven…”

Cole is silent, respectful, she says.

“Hallowed be thy name…”

Her classmates glare at her. One, she says, has even muttered, “Devil be rid of me!” at her.

But Cole, 17, has faith in her actions. She doesn't believe this kind of prayer is how her day should start at school — a public one in Webster Parish, Louisiana. If that's what she wanted, she'd have gone to a private or parochial school.

That puts her at odds with residents of this self-professed “Christian-based” town in the northwest of the state near Shreveport. They don't dispute that prayer happens. They are proud of it.

They defend it with vigor. They explain their love for God runs through their veins. It grounds them. It makes this community what it is.

It isn't something they can leave at the door, even that of a public school.

“For ever and ever. Amen.”

So what happens the first day back after Christmas break sends shockwaves through the community.

That day, Cole walks into her classroom at Lakeside Junior/High School. She prepares to sit again. She knows she may be hissed at.

But something different happens.

Students say the pledge. But this time there is no Lord's Prayer. It is the first time in as long as anyone in Webster Parish can remember.

The change came because Kaylee Cole and her mother Christy had finally had enough, and decided to take on the school system by filing a lawsuit alleging there is systematic official promotion of religion at Webster Parish schools in violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The Coles say that prayer over the loudspeaker each morning is just the beginning of an unconstitutional indoctrination of students that is promoted and supported by teachers, the principal, the superintendent and the school board.

“Virtually all school events — such as sports games, pep rallies, assemblies, and graduation ceremonies –include school-sponsored Christian prayer, religious messages and/or proselytizing,” according to the lawsuit filed with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Kaylee Cole, in her senior year, shows us photos of signs on a teacher's wall: “Want Change? Pray.” Daily objectives listed include: “Love God,” “Worship God,” “Read the Bible.”

Religion made its way into instruction, too, Cole alleges. She recalls a teacher slapping the Bible on her desk and declaring it should be taken literally. And a science teacher saying evolution is a “fairy tale,” that students should believe in “Adam and Eve, not the big bang.”

Cole recounts events with speakers and groups billed as being about issues such as drugs or drunk driving that quickly meandered into what felt a sermon. And Cole says she never was asked if she wanted to go, or given the chance to leave.

Which, to Cole, makes it feel her education isn't so secular.

“For somebody me, and some of the friends I know … it does feel a church,” Cole says.

Student-inspired or indoctrination?

Kaylee Cole felt relief when silence replaced the broadcast prayer after the pledge that day in early January, a sign that her lawsuit was acknowledged.

Other schools in Webster Parish chose to either have a moment of silence, or simply had students sit back down.

That had its own impact. Greg Lee's fifth-grade daughter was upset, not relieved. She and her friends took it upon themselves to pray anyway, Lee says.

Lee, a banker who also views himself as a servant of God, says he's instilled his sense of deep faith in his children. It has always been a part of their life. They have always prayed — at church, at school, and whenever they feel the need to.

It's an official systematic program of indoctrinating every child in this parish.

Christy Cole, mother suing school system

“You have to realize that our tradition, our belief in God is so ingrained in us and so rooted in us that it's a part of everything that we do,” Lee says. “I would for my kid to be able to have the right and retain the right to pray and to have prayer in school.”

The motivations of children are critical here. Residents believe the Constitution has no bearing on the prayers in school because they are student-led, student-inspired and not forced.

For Cole, her mother Christy, and the ACLU that is helping them in this fight, there is no debate. This isn't about whether a child can pray at school when they want. It's about changing a culture that they believe has existed for so long, in defiance of the Constitution.

“It's an official systematic program of indoctrinating every child in this parish. They indoctrinated all of their parents,” Christy Cole says. “Anybody can pray any time they want, wherever they want. They're just not allowed to have a captive audience to do it. And I really feel Kaylee (has) been part of that captive audience.”

Where God is 'deeply steeped inside' people's hearts

As you walk the streets of the main downtown area in this parish, it soon becomes clear how the issue is very simple yet very complicated, and very emotional for residents.

Their faith is so deeply personal, but it's also interwoven with everything in the town.

There's no easy answer for where God's law ends and the law of the land begins.

It isn't uncommon to see a large cross in the front yard of a house. No fewer than seven churches dominate the two main roads in the center of the small town of Minden. A sign advertises a pest control business and then displays a nod to a Bible verse: John 3:16. Sheriff's cruisers and ambulances proudly declare “In God We Trust.”

When you ask residents if they can separate God from their daily lives, you get a resounding “No.”

“You're asking me how is it that I can take the marrow my bone. It is so deeply steeped inside of who I am,” Lee explains.

A group of women waiting for the coffee shop to open for their regular fellowship are happy to talk about their faith and prayer in school. But as the rain pours down and they cram into the covered doorway, they don't want to give their names, afraid of how it might impact their children in school with the lawsuit pending.

“If people are telling us, saying leave faith at the door, it just isn't that simple,” one woman says. “It's what's in our hearts from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. It isn't something we can turn off. And that's true for our children too.”

The women agree it is a “touchy subject” right now. They acknowledge some of the messages on social media have been pretty blunt.

Some people have told the Coles they should just move town. They say they'll pray for Kaylee.

And while there's bewilderment that one of their own would start this, there is also concern their town will not be understood as it comes under a national spotlight.

A billboard near Lakeside High, on a main road between Minden and Sibley, used to display Biblical phrases. Now it declares, “ACLU is the Grinch that stole Christmas from Webster Schools.”

A fight over freedom, and an admission

There is no question about the public nature of Christianity here. But tradition — however long-standing — doesn't make it right, or legal, Christy Cole says.

“I don't believe they've ever conformed to federal law here, and at this point it is just tradition just to completely defy it,” she says.

The Webster Parish School District declined to comment on the allegations made by the Cole family and the ACLU. But they filed a response to the lawsuit denying some claims and admitting to others.

“A voluntary, student-led prayer was delivered in the morning at Lakeside,” the district says, adding that the practice has been “discontinued.” They admit a copy of the prayer was present next to a microphone in case students forgot the words. But they adamantly deny “their actions were unlawful or unconstitutional.”

The district denies allegations about faith creeping into the classroom when it comes to teaching evolution in science class.

The district also says in court filings “that no prayers occurred at student assemblies, at pep rallies or at all of the athletic games.” Videos posted on , however, show a young man in a football jersey leading a prayer as students in a packed gymnasium bow their heads. The caption to the video reads that the student “prayed for the Warrior team at the Pep Rally today.”

“Y'all bow y'all's heads,” the student says.

“Only you can do the impossible, for you're a mighty God and also a humble God,” the student says in the video. “Win or lose or draw, we shall all turn our heads towards you.”

The district also contends in court filings that presentations by groups in school time were solely for educational purposes and, if the speakers veered into Christian messages, it was outside their control.

The school does admit a teacher had the writings Kaylee Cole showed us about God and prayer on a classroom wall, but, they note, “these have been removed.”

That isn't enough for Cole, nor the ACLU.

ACLU lawyer Bruce Hamilton says the goal is to get a permanent injunction against the school.

“Nothing prevents that practice from resuming at any time,” lawyers for the Coles wrote in a court document responding to the school board. “More important, it is but one egregious example in a panoply of ongoing Establishment Clause violations.”

A reckoning with the future in the 'buckle of the Bible Belt'

Sitting inside the popular Geaux Fresh restaurant in Minden, diners don't shy away from the controversy. They want to help explain.

Ron Anderson, the 60-year-old president of a nonprofit helping children in school, is having lunch with George E. French III, a retired hospital CEO.

[Prayer is] a cultural feature, it is just what you do.

Ron Anderson

They recall the times in their lives when prayer has been present — always a blessing before a meal, before meetings, and at the hospital more times than French, now 70 years old, can count.

Anderson has lived in Webster Parish since his teens. He prays probably 20 times a day, and that's common. He wears his cross proudly outside his sweatshirt. And while his preference is to pray in private, silently, he agrees the lawsuit has sparked a good conversation about what happens when you reach the schoolhouse door.

The two men don't know what's going on inside the parish schools, but they are eager to explain their town.

“It's a cultural feature, it is just what you do,” Anderson explains. “I don't think anyone is going their way to try and disrespect each other, or violate anybody's rights, but … I call this the buckle of the Bible Belt, because that drives a lot of what we do.”

Gail Coleman sent her four children through the Webster Parish schools and now works as a family transition and empowerment specialist for the Head Start Program. She believes prayer in the school grounded her children and all others that walked the halls, acting as a moral compass, keeping the moral fabric of society from fraying.

She says bluntly: “School minus prayer equals disaster.”

A battleground … before a wider war?

The questions spread far beyond this corner of Louisiana, and were raised by none other than President Donald Trump last summer.

“Schools should not be a place that drive out faith and religion, but that should welcome faith and religion with wide open, beautiful arms,” Trump says during a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. “It's time to put a stop to attacks on religion.”

That's why this lawsuit has people in Webster Parish so concerned. They realize this could be a case that could have far-reaching implications.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is certainly taking an interest. He doesn't shy away from his own faith — when he looks up from his desk, he can see paintings he commissioned of Moses as the original lawgiver on the steps of the Supreme Court and of Jesus in a chamber of Congress.

Landry worked with Congressman Mike Johnson, who represents Northern Louisiana and knows many of the people in Webster Parish, to try to clear up any confusion, posting a document about God and prayer in public school.

“We believe that students needed to understand their basic rights as it related to the First Amendment and as it related to free speech and the free practice of their faith,” Landry explains.

“I think there's been a lot of misinformation out there, especially over the last couple of decades, that our faith is not something that we can freely exercise even if we're engaged in a government atmosphere, whether it be a public square or a public school.”

That is all Greg Lee and others in Webster Parish say they want. To fight for their longstanding beliefs. For the rights and souls of their daughters and sons — and America.

“If you begin to tell me that my children do not have the right to pray in school, then that's an attack upon the relationship I have with my God and the relationship that they have with our God,” Lee explains.

Christy Cole wants people to know that while she is still a Christian who prays, she is a parent first who is looking to the future.

“I really hope that the harm, the damage that comes from these years of indoctrination, we can start reversing that in the future generations,” Christy Cole says.

The school board, too, is looking to the future, and chose specific language in its court filing calling for the case to be dismissed.

“(We) PRAY that this Answer be deemed good and sufficient.”

CNN's Devon Sayers and Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

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How to Pray with Prayer Doodles

Prayer For Focus At School

Do you doodle in the margins of your notes at school or work? Did you know that doodling actually helps your mind focus and retain what you’re hearing? 

Prayer Doodles are a way to use your love for doodling and drawing in your prayers to help you focus on God. Keep reading to learn how you can incorporate drawing and doodling into your prayers to bring more focus (and fun) to your prayer time.

Doodling improves focus and generates new insight

I almost can’t resist coloring in outlined letters, especially if I’m on a conference call. The margins of my textbooks were always full of designs, headlines and other outlined shapes filled in. Doodling is practically compulsive for most of us.

I remember my mother’s telephone notes were always full of doodles. As she noted down names, numbers, and other pertinent details, she’d fill the space around them with elaborate doodles.

Why do we do this? Isn’t doodling just a waste of time, a bad habit we should have given up in school?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sunni Brown, author of “The Doodle Revolution,” says doodling is a “thinking tool” that “affects how we process information and solve problems.” She also claims that every president from Washington to Nixon doodled, along with numerous great writers (Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath) and inventors (Thomas Edison).

What are Prayer Doodles?

Sybil MacBeth wrote a book called Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God (Active Prayer Series) {affiliate link} that outlines a way to pray through doodles. The act of drawing actually helps your mind better focus on your prayers and listen for God.

Her website has some wonderful illustrations and explanations on prayer doodling, but I’ll give you a brief overview here. You can pray different things through this method – names of God, names of people you’re praying for, scripture verses, or other prayer needs.

The key is to release the words to God as you draw. Make your doodling time prayerful.

How to Doodle Your Prayers

1) Start with a blank piece of paper.

2) In the center, write a name for God, the name of someone for whom you’re praying, or a scripture verse.

3) Draw a shape around the words to start the doodle. This is your prayer space. Start to doodle around it, releasing your words to God in prayer. Doodle in silence or talk to God if you feel led.

4) Add other people, other names for God, or other parts of the scripture verse to your paper. Draw a shape around each set of new words to create a separate prayer space. Doodle around these and pray.

5) Pause and say “amen” between each prayer space you add.

In case you find the beautiful examples on Sybil’s page intimidating, these examples here are some of my prayer doodles. If I can do these, then so can you!

Don’t worry about the artistic quality of your doodles. Just let your pen draw and your mind focus on your prayers.

#1: Names or attributes of God

Prayer doodles can help you focus on praising and worshiping God, listening for his promises to you.

Start by writing out a name or attribute of God and doodle around that.

Then, continue with other names or attributes of God, or other words or promises you’re hearing him whisper.

In this prayer, you don’t need to pray a lot of words, just listen as you doodle.

#2: Prayers for Others

Praying for others is one of my favorite ways to use prayer doodles. Start by writing out the name of someone you’re praying for. Doodle around their name while you silently lift them up to God.

I’m very word-focused, so sometimes I’ll write words for that person – my specific prayers and praises – around the name as I doodle.

As you finish with that one, write the next name you’re praying for and do the same. Repeat until you’ve prayed through your list for the day.

#3: Praying Scripture

Another favorite method is to pray scripture with prayer doodles. I’ll write out a verse a few words at a time. I’ll doodle around those words, listening for God’s words to me.

This is a great way to soak deep in a verse – and can also help you memorize the verse.

#4: Get Creative!

I’ve done prayer doodles for specific events, conferences, mission trips, doodling around names of participants, specific needs or concerns.

Sybil has templates on her site to use prayer doodles to pray through Lent and Advent, just doing one small prayer doodle each day over a single word from Scripture.

There’s no limit to how you can use this form of prayer, so get creative.

How Will You Use Prayer Doodling in Your Prayers?

Prayer doodling is one of my favorite ways to pray. It stills my mind and gives me a greater focus on the content of my prayers. I find I pray longer and more intensely when I doodle in my prayers. Doodling is also a great way to memorize scripture.

So, are you ready to grab your colored pens and markers and a blank sheet of paper and get started? Or maybe you’re already doing this in your prayers and just haven’t had a name for it.

Even if you can’t draw, you can doodle. It doesn’t matter what your prayer doodles look . Rather, it’s about the process of spending time with God, truly listening for his word to you.

Will you give it a try?

PRAY DEEP CHALLENGE: Take a look through Sybil’s website for examples on Praying in Color. Then, take some time to do your own doodle prayer. Start with a name of God in the center and then add your prayer requests around it

Ready to Ignite Your Prayers?

Join our 'Prayers and Possibilities' newsletter for weekly encouragement and I'll send you the “Pray Deep Prayer Cards” as a FREE gift. Ignite your prayer life by exploring over 20 different ways to pray. These prayer cards explain how to pray through a variety of methods, sure to inspire and deepen your prayer experience.

Already on our list? Enter your info below so I know to send it.

{These are affiliate links – and my own books – so any purchases help grow and sustain this blog.}

The very best resource on prayer doodles is Sybil MacBeth’s book, Praying in Color. She has several books available on prayer doodling and I highly recommend them!

{These are affiliate links, so a small bit from any sale goes back to sustain this blog, but I’m only recommending them because I’ve personally found Sybil’s books to be so valuable in my own prayer life.}

This post is part of the “Pray Deep” series. For more information on the series or to download a complete set of printable prayer cards, click HERE.

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11 Inspirational Graduation Prayers for High School

Prayer For Focus At School

Graduating from high school is a big leap in one’s life. These great inspirational graduation prayers for high school will help to encourage focus and progression in the future.

Prayer #1

Lord God,

We ask for your almighty hand to be upon all those who graduate today. Bless their lives from this day on with goodness and love.
Help them to stay true to their dreams, to use their gifts wisely, and to walk into the future with faith, hope, and great love.


Prayer #2

Dear Lord,

May this graduation day be a celebration of your life within us. We give you all the learning, the skills and the hard work of these years.

We pour out our gifts into your hands. May we hold this memory in our heart as we continue on our adventure!

Father, may we live a life that reveals your hope and be guided in everything we do by your everlasting truth.


Prayer #3

May God’s blessing follow you all as you find new journeys to travel. May you walk safely along the pathways of your dreams. May his gentle hand guide the decisions you will make and the passions that you follow. May your hearts and lives always reflect his love and truth,

And may hope be a light within you that you carry into each new day.


Prayer #4

Dear God,

Today we join with heaven as we celebrate and give thanks for every student here. Thank you that each one is unique and brimming with potential. Thank you for leading them in their learning, for keeping them safe as they studied, and for watching over them in their final exams.

We pray that they may all feel proud this day and enjoy sharing their achievements with family and friends. May today be a memory that burns bright within them as they embark on life’s great adventure.


Prayer #5

Lord God, Thank you for the beautiful world you have created. Come be with us as we go out and discover our place within it. Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Prayer #6

Father, I have knowledge, so will You show me now, How to use it wisely and find a way somehow To make the world I live in a little better place, And make life with its problems a little bit easier to face.

Grant me faith and courage and put purpose in my days, And show me how to serve Thee in effective ways. So my education, my knowledge and my skill May find their true fulfillment as I learn to do Thy will.

And may I ever be aware in everything I do,

That knowledge comes from learning, and wisdom comes from You.


Prayer #7

Almighty God,

Thank you for your love, risen from the grave and freely offered for us all. Thank you for this special day, and for all the students who are assembled here.

May they feel a sense of achievement in their qualification and great excitement about their future.

Come take their skills and gifts that we celebrate today. May each student know your presence in their lives and understand how to use their abilities for your glory and kingdom.

And may they all continue to live lives of learning and discovery, and in doing so bring great blessings to the world.


Prayer #8

Father God, we thank you for these graduating students. We pray that you will give them direction, purpose, and perseverance as they enter the next phrase of their lives. Give them clearness of mind to move forward into the plans and purposes that You have for them. May these young people gain wisdom from You and have discernment for proper behavior.

Raise up Christian mentors for these graduates so they have someone who holds them accountable for their actions. We pray that they will rise above ungodly behaviors and have the boldness to stand up for what is right wherever they work, study, or socialize.

Give them wisdom to spend their time and money wisely. Grant them success for their efforts at every turn and guide their feet to follow Your ways. May they be eager to do good and not evil all the days of their lives. Use them in might ways, Dear Father.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Prayer #9

Lord, we thank you for the wonderful gifts and talents that we have celebrated here today.
May God’s blessing surround us all as we leave now to continue our celebrations with family and friends.


Prayer #10

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,

and give you peace.

Prayer #11

God, thank you for all you do for me. You have stood beside me, carrying me all these years, and I pray that you continue to be with me as I head into this new time in my life. I know there is a ton of activity with graduation, the parties, and more, but please never let me be distracted from what has really gotten me through high school – you.

I pray that I continue to feel your presence and have your strength with me as I head off into my future ventures. I ask for your guidance and discernment as I face complicated decisions and grow into the Christian you desire me to be.

I also ask that you bestow your blessings and love over my friends and family as we go through a time of transition. I ask that you keep us safe. I ask that you make sure we feel loved and protected. Lord, I ask for the words to say that let them know they are cared for and that I appreciate them.

And Lord, I thank you for being here with me in this time. I do not know what the future brings, but you do. I pray for the confidence to go after your plans for me with all my heart. I thank you for giving me the opportunities to fulfill those plans.

Thank you, Lord. In Your Name, Amen.

This inspirational video from Denzel Washington encourages you to put God first in your life.

About the Author of this Blog Post
Crystal Ayres has served as our editor-in-chief for the last five years. She is a proud veteran, wife and mother. The goal of ConnectUs is to publish compelling content that addresses some of the biggest issues the world faces. If you would to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.

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Prayers for Teachers, Students and Schools: FREE Downloads

Prayer For Focus At School

How to pray for teachers, students, and schools consistently 

I’ve been a student, a teacher, and now a parent of a student, and through it all I’ve learned that everyone involved in the education of school-age children could use our prayers. Whether you are a public school, private school, or homeschool family, a great way to start the school year is to pray for teachers, students, and schools. Our classrooms need our prayers!

If you need a little inspiration for how to pray for teachers, students, and schools, here are three of my favorite ways to do it:

Jericho-style prayer walk around the school

No marching needed, but head out to the school grounds and pray while walking around the school! Go with a list of seven different areas to pray for and and pray for one each time you walk around, or go without a plan and let God lead your prayers. And if you homeschool, you can do this around the perimeter of your home. For inspiration, watch this video of pastor Mark Batterson talk about his prayer walk around Washington D.C., from his video bible study, The Circle Maker.

Pray through the school

My last year of teaching, I had the privilege of walking through the elementary school where I worked along with some parents from the community during the week before school started and pray over each classroom.

We received permission from the administration to do this after work hours and it was amazing. We prayed for each teacher by name and prayed over common areas such as the lunch room, gym, and playground as well. This can be done throughout the home for homeschoolers.

And ask someone to pray for YOU as the teacher in that case, too!

Pray for teachers and students with Scriptures – 5 Bibles verses

There are so many areas where this could be applied, but here are five examples of scriptures for teachers:

The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. — Romans 13:4

The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. — Matthew 10:24

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. — 2 Timothy 3:16

Command and teach these things. — 1 Timothy 4:11

In everything set them an example by doing what is good.In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. — Titus 2:7

Pick out specific scriptures when praying for students, teachers, aides, staff, and administration. Keep them on notecards in the car with you to pray while you wait in line to pick up your kids after school.

Pray for Teachers and Students – Sample Prayer # 1 

Lord, I pray the students in this school would show proper respect for the authorities you have placed over them and recognize all authority comes from you. Help them to speak and act in a way that is respectful of all teachers, administrators, and other school staff. (Inspired by Romans 13:1-5)

Pray for Teachers and Students – Sample Prayer # 2

Almighty God, You have given my kids all the talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts they need to follow Your plan for their lives. Lord, help them use those gifts to serve You first and others second, so that Your will is accomplished in their lives.

Lord, fill their lives with trusted teachers and advisers who can lead them toward You and Your promises. Help them turn to you as they learn and grow so they can lead fruitful and prosperous lives. Amen.

 — by Erin MacPherson, excerpted with permission from The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years

Pray for Teachers and Students – Sample Prayer # 3

Almighty God, because we love our children, because our hearts yearn for their schools, we cannot remain silent. We will not stop praying until their righteousness shines the dawn, and their salvation blazes a burning torch.

May they be called the Holy People and the People Redeemed by the Lord. And may their schools be known as the Desirable Place and the City No Longer Forsaken (Isaiah 62:1, 12). In Jesus’ name, amen.

– by Fern Nichols, excerpted with permission from Moms in Prayer: Standing in the Gap for Your Children

Get the FREE Printables: 10 Powerful Prayers for Your Child’s School Year + 5 Bonus Prayers for Teachers

How should parents pray for their child’s school year? How can we engage in spiritual warfare on their behalf and pray for all the social and academic challenges they will face?

These prayers are Scriptures and will teach you to pray with confidence for your child’s protection, spiritual growth, and intellectual development in the new school year.

Get the FREE printable school-year prayers now…

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Your Turn

In what ways do you pray over your kids and their teachers at the start of the school year and throughout the year? Leave a comment on our blog. We’d love to hear from you!

Helpful Prayer Resources for Parents

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3 Prayers for Success

Prayer For Focus At School

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for us that's filled with hope and a future. God is for us and not against us. He wants to see us succeed and have a full life.

Whether you're facing a new career, a difficult exam at school, or working toward building a relationship, these prayers will help you focus on asking God to lead you.

When you follow God and live within his blessings and favor, you will experience true success!

Prayer for Success in Work

Lord, You have promised that if we will commit our work to You, You will make it succeed. So today, I dedicate every aspect of that work to You. I need Your wisdom daily to make the right choices, ones that require fairness, integrity, and a servant spirit.

From the start of every work day, I want to begin and end with You, knowing that You will guide every step and every decision I make. Throughout the day, remind me that You are in charge, not me.

May I do all things with excellence at work as if I am doing them for You, Lord.

I want Your goals to be my goals, and Your purposes, mine. Give me a learning spirit so I can constantly increase the skills You have given me to honor You and bring You glory. I know I am not to neglect those gifts You have placed within me, but that I am to watch myself closely to keep ambition in its right place and temptation at bay.

Keep reminding me that people are more important than work projects, and that You not only want me to succeed, but You desire for me to help make others successful. Whether it’s my employer or a co-worker, help me see them as Your creations, worthy of respect and thoughtfulness. We all matter to You, God.

If I am treated unfairly at work, may I still reflect You in every way and keep my eyes on You. I know Your idea of success and mine may differ, and that to You, godly character is more important than completion of my goals.

Help me to work hard with patience and persistence, shunning laziness and embracing a thankful spirit for the employment You have given me.

No matter who signs my paycheck, and no matter how high or how low the ladder I’m on right now, I look to You as my ultimate Employer. I know that viewing You as my “Boss,” will not necessarily increase my salary or change my work conditions, but it will change me—and that You pay great benefits.

Serving You will put a smile on my face, allow my best work to shine through, and will insure that success belongs to You—Your way and Your time. I pledge to do the best that I can with what You have given me, Lord.

May Your plans become the desires of my heart—and may my work always be a success for You.

Prayer for Success at School

Lord, today I’m asking You to help me succeed as a student. I believe You are the Dream-maker, the Cultivator, and the Fulfiller of all worthy dreams.

You have been the Designer of my plans all along, and it’s You who will make them successful.

Help me to focus on my schoolwork, to listen carefully and show respect for my teachers and professors, and to receive correction well in areas where I’m wrong or haven’t yet mastered.

I know I am more than a student; I am a life-long learner and Your ambassador on mission wherever I go. Refine my abilities; hone my character; and help me choose wisely the areas of study that will make my life work successful. Keep me organized and free of distractions so I can focus on school.

Show me how to listen more and then share freely when it will encourage others or make a difference to those who hear. Help me to honor You in my friendships at school and to be ready to lend a hand when others are struggling in their studies or in their lives. Help me sow seeds of kindness, excellence, and honesty.

If my faith is challenged, give me courage to stand for You, no matter what the consequences.

I want to learn, Lord. I am eager to unwrap the gifts You have given me. With each new skill I acquire, help me to apply that learning to real life as well.

Let knowledge, understanding, and common sense form a bond together with Your Word that will guard me against temptation. Keep the deceiver away from my heart as I choose to walk with You daily.

Help me find moments in the flurry of school activities and crazy schedules to simply be still and know that You are God.

Protect me from a prideful ego and let humility lead me in the path of success You have carved out for me. You have given me a unique place in Your kingdom, and I trust You to open doors that I cannot open myself.

Help me not to turn to the left or right but to follow You daily. When anxious thoughts or fear of failure threaten to overtake me, I will rest in You and Your promise of success for my life.

Only You know what that success really means, but when You are on my side, I cannot fail.

everyone else, Lord, I want to succeed in my life and in my relationships. Balance is something I am always seeking so I can be successful in every area.

Help me not to put work, hobbies, or other activities ahead of You, my family, or my relationships, but to keep You in the center as the hub of my life.

Teach me Your priorities and help me keep them in the right place. Everything must revolve around You, Lord.

Bless my efforts to succeed, and may excellence, not perfectionism, drive my desires. Make me not only successful, but useful—a vessel of honor to be shared and poured out for You and Your kingdom.

Thank You that Your plans for me are beyond what I could possibly ask or hope or imagine. You actually want me to succeed so I can give You all the praise, honor, and glory.

I can do nothing without You, Lord.

When seasons of difficulties or interruptions creep into my life, help me to see them as opportunities to develop patience and persistence. You have given me every piece of armor I need to fight internal or external battles, and You have promised that nothing formed against me will prosper.

You know my beginning and when my life will end. You started the work in me, and it’s You Who will make it successful. You will complete that work as I simply abide in You, walk humbly and honestly, committing my life and all my plans to You.

Teach me to value and honor the ebb and flow of life that includes celebration, joy, pause, and reflection.

Because Your plans and Your ways are not mine, Your idea of success for my life may not make sense to me at times. But as a faithful, sovereign God, You hold it all, including permission to change me or my circumstances to fit Your plans for my life.

Fill me with Your power, Your grace, and Your love, so that I can be at peace as much as is possible with every relationship and every aspect of my life. Help me to know and do Your will, Lord—so that any success You give me will in turn bring You the glory You so deserve.

What I desire most is to come to the end of my life and hear Your “Well Done!” That’s true success to me.

In Jesus’ precious name,


Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart.

She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through

You can find out more about Rebecca at

Photo Courtesy: Lightstock

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.

Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
Morning Prayers
Good Night Prayers
Serenity Prayer
A Birthday Prayer
Sinner’s Prayer
Prayer for Forgiveness
Prayer for Guidance
Intercessory Prayer
Prayer for Peace
Prayer for Faith
Prayer for Love

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