A Payer For The School Year

 

School started this week in many parts of the country.    

The first day of school is filled with magic, wonder and excitement about the educational process.   

Nelson Mandela described education as the most powerful weapon that a person can use to change the world.

However, as the excitement of the first day of school turns into the routine of days and days at school, the power of education can be deluded.

• The power of education can be deluded by underpaid and overwhelmed teachers, forced to operate in a system more focused on test scores instead of real learning. 
• The power of education can be deluded by inattentive parents who see school as a low-tech babysitter.  They are so distracted by their own lives that they can care less for the lives of their children. 
• The power of education can be deluded by run downed, underfunded, and poorly led school districts. 

God wants and expects education to be provided to His children. 

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:7 reminds us that “We should teach diligently to our children.”

Psalm 127:3 lets us know to that “children are a heritage from the Lord.”  As our children return to school, we think of this heritage, and we pray the prayer of Jabez. 

In his prayer detailed in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, Jabez asked the Lord for four things, that all of us who love and care for our children should pray for as well.
 
First, Jabez asked for God’s blessings.   

Our children need God’s blessings on the school bus. 
Our children need God’s blessings in the lunchroom.
Our children need God’s blessings in the classroom.
 
Our children also need God’s blessings at home.
 
In a lot of homes, Diva Mama have replaced Big Mama, and there is no replacement for the absentee Daddy.
 
Secondly, Jabez asked for an enlargement of his territory, and an increase his responsibility.
 
We can pray for our children’s territory to increase, and help them by:

Requiring our children to attend school every day.  Petty complaints of sickness should not be encouraged.  No excuses!  Whatever happened to striving for perfect attendance?
 
We can pray for our children’s territory to increase, and help them by:

Demanding that our children obey, behave, and pay attention in school.  No suspensions, no trips to the principal’s office, no trouble. 
 
 We can pray for our children’s territory to increase, and help them by:

Doing all we can to encourage our children to not just get good grades, but great grades!  If they made D’s and F’s last year, we can let them know we are expecting A’s and B’s this year. 
 
The territory of our children can and will increase when we pray for that increase, when we guide them, and we let them know that we expect more from them, and from ourselves this year.   
 
The third thing that Jabez prayed for was for God to be with him, and to stay close to him.
 
• As adults, we must help keep our children close to God.
• We should talk with them and not at them.
• We should listen to them and acknowledge that they have things to say.  They should know that we value what they say, and we are listening to them. 
• We should pray with and for them.
 
Lastly, Jabez asked God to keep him from harm, and free from pain.
 
Our children will experience pain because of the harmful presences in this world.  They need to be protected from bullying, from drugs, and all the difficulties associated with growing up. 
 
We must be at the vanguard of prayer for our children.  We must pray for them nonstop, as they face the challenges and opportunities that education can provide. 
 
So, during these first days of this new school year:
 
• We should be like Jabez, and pray for God’s protection for our children. 
• We should be Like Jabez, and pray for God to bless our children.
• We should be Like Jabez, and ask God to enlarge the territory of our children while increasing their responsibility.
 
Godspeed and blessings for the teachers, staff and children, as we start this new school year. 

Marben Bland is the pastor of Hall Chapel AME Church and Mitchell Chapel AME Church in Sparta, GA for more of his writings go to www.marbenbland.com

A Prayer of Expansion

Dear Heavenly Father in 1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez called on you asking three things first: to enlarge his territory, second for your hand to be with him and third to keep him from evil.

Heavenly Father as we gather together for the last time this week with great anticipation to worship you in our churches this weekend.

We humbly ask that you will

  • Enlarge the territory of this call expanding our group to new people.
  • Keep your hand with us as we minster to the prison bound and stand in economic solidarity with those who at the bottom of the latter as Dr. King did going to the aid of garbage workers when he was killed in Memphis.
  • And finally we ask that you to keep you hand on us. As we fend off attacks from the evil one to comprise our virtue, to disrupt our walk with you, and to live our lives outside your calling.

Father thank you for Erica in leading the call this week.  Father thank to all of those who read scripture, led us in song, delivered a devotion and took prayer requests this week.

Father I ask your blessings on the team for next week’s call knowing in advance that our time together will be special and good.

I ask all of this things in your son’s Jesus holy name let everyone on this call say with me:

Amen, Amen, and Amen!

This was my prayer this morning as I joined a group of believers who gather every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:30 AM (EDT) for ten minutes of prayer and devotion. If you are looking to jump start your prayer life it would be a delight for you the join us.  The toll free number for our call is   641-715-3580. Access Code: 548874