In the last year, I’ve determined that we far underestimate the power of prayer. Today, its lack of efficacy has even become a political chant: “thoughts and prayers are not enough.” The problem is two-fold. First, I do believe that we are called to action, not sitting back complacently. We should never justify lack of action by our prayers. Second, I believe that genuine prayers made in faith are action. Not the only action, to be sure. But prayers made of a sincere heart and with the utmost faith in their potency are effective. Our problem, then, isn’t that prayer isn’t effective. It’s that we lack the faith in their power, rendering them ineffective and inactive. This isn’t the fault of the God we pray to; it’s the fault of the people who are praying.
I view my job as part of my ministry. I pour myself into my students, year after year, emptying my cup to serve them. While the ins-and-outs of my job – goals, therapy planning, paperwork, etc… – are tiring in and of themselves, the emotional investment is what really does me in. Loving our students is hard work. I fear we make it harder on ourselves by not involving God in the process, but rather attempting to do it all of our own strength. In the spirit of involving God in my ministry, I sought the Psalms for the words to bless my students this year. I looked for prayers that would beg the following for my students love, protection, guidance, encouragement, and salvation/spiritual growth. I found the language I needed in Psalms 16:11, 31:2, 43:3, 46:1, 80:3, 82: 3-4, 94: 17-23, 119:11-16, 141: 3-4, and 142, I hope you’ll join me in praying these verses and themes over your students this year.
Lord, let your face shine on my students today. For those who are hurting, rescue them and give them justice. Hold them in your steadfast love; comfort them when they are sad; be their rock; listen to their cries; help them when they are in trouble; calm their fears. Lead them in your light and truth; help them find you. Guide them as they choose their words, their actions, and their relationships. Help them understand that you bring life and joy. Teach them your words and your love and lead them to think about you, delight in you, and remember you always.
Would you like a free printable to help remind you to pray each day?