The longer I have been a teacher, the more I have realized the importance of praying for my students. Unless God intervenes with His power and authority, I can do nothing to change their lives. Their greatest need is for a Savior. There are two major prayer routines that I have developed to help keep me faithful during the one year I am given to be their teacher.
1) My school is unique in that I get to meet my new class for the following school year before we get out for summer. There are always some changes–students moving in or out–but for the most part, I get an initial idea of the precious lives that will be in my care when the school year starts. I have decided to take advantage of this by printing out their pictures on a page to post on my fridge. All summer long, I put a name with a face–and begin praying for them.
2) Last summer I attended a Bible study on prayer. We were encouraged to keep a prayer journal, specifically structured to keep us faithful. I designated the last 35 pages to praying for my students. I numbered each page and wrote a different student’s name on each of the numbered pages. Since I began the year with 30 students, I decided that I would pray for a different student on the same day of each month. (With 20-some students next year, I will probably just rotate through the list instead of having a specific day for each student.) I have kept a record of my prayers for these students as I have journeyed with them through the school year.
Even though I am ending the year with 33 students–more students than I have ever had in my class and a size that has overwhelmed me much of the time–I feel a closer connection with these students than with any class I’ve had before. Prayer is powerful. Not only does it keep me dependent on the power that God alone has, but it develops in me a love for my students that goes deeper than the surface.