I’m Going Back to School
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
This week I go back to High School. A place that was full of struggle back when I was a student. So much so that when I left after my junior year (at age 17) I vowed I would never return.
But this week I go back to High School. And I’ve been doing so for the past 7 years – as a substitute teacher. This year I’m a full time building substitute every day. Why? It’s work that is flexible enough to enable me to continue my primary vocation as a Writer and Speaker. The public high school is close by (all four of my kids graduated from there before I started subbing). And frankly, being with teenagers all day certainly brings perspective. And great humility…
My simple goal each morning is “How can I be an encouraging, helpful and stable presence in the lives of the students I encounter?”
That’s pretty much it. Go in, take over whatever class and subject I’m given, and try to do my best to make that classroom a positive place during the teacher’s absence. It would take much longer than a blog to share all my impressions from being with teenagers all day.
But I will tell you this. School is hard in 2016. It’s hard for the students. It’s hard for the faculty. And it’s hard for the administration and staff. So everyone needs our prayers.
As school starts this fall, perhaps you will join me in praying for all those in education?
Here’s a good place to start:
Prayer for School Children
Lord, I pray that my kids (grandkids) will experience the peace of God this year that exceeds all understanding. I pray they will not worry about things they cannot control, but that You will guard their hearts and minds and keep them trusting in You. I pray they will not only enjoy the peace of God, but peace with God. I pray they will develop a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving as they look to You daily for their needs. I pray that You will give them the capacity for joy that bubbles up from Your peace. Amen. (Rebecca Barlow Jordan)
Prayer for Children Away at School
Dear Lord, while my child is away, give him opportunities for him to grow in faith. As I envision his future, I’m fearful about what may lie before him, especially when he’s away from my care. But I acknowledge that his safety doesn’t come from being physically close to me, it only comes from being spiritually close to You. So I’m once again turning my child over to You. Give him the spiritual insight he needs to see You at work around him. Help him be courageous as he stands up for what is right, instead of accepting the status quo. Show him when to stay and take a stand and when to leave a difficult situation. I know there are times when he’ll feel alone. Put people in his life to stand with him. Give him the specific victories and defeats he needs to grow stronger. Pull him closer to You, so that You’re the first person he turns to in the good times and in the bad. Amen. (Edie Melson in “While My Child Is Away”)
Prayer of a Teacher
O Lord, Grant me your strength, so I will have courage in every situation;
Grant me your love, so I may love others as you love me;
Grant me your wisdom, so I will show others the path to success;
Grant me your mercy, so I will forgive those who have hurt me;
Grant me your peace, so I will find the best in everybody;
Grant me your hope, so I will never give up;
Grant me your joy, so I will be thankful for all my blessings;
And Grant me your grace, so you will always be at my side. Amen (David Bennett)
Whether or not YOU are going back to school this fall, I’m sure you know someone who is. Thank you for taking time to pray…
under the mercy, Cindy
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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