18 May 2012
Pray for schools
Prayer for Schools fortnight, which aims to inspire Christians to pray for schools in their local area runs from 6 to 20 May. Churches are encouraged to gather together people involved in education, including parents, students, teachers, governors and anyone passionate about young people, to pray in depth for schools and the issues affecting them.
The theme of this year’s fortnight, the fourth one, is Running the Race. A resource based on Hebrews 12, highlighting the perseverance and team mentality needed to pray for schools, has been developed for use in church services and special events.
Mike Simmonds, director and education consultant of Go Ministries which supports governors in schools, said: "Schools have almost always been at the heart of the Church’s mission. Praying for teachers, other staff, governors and children must surely underpin our hopes and vision that the next generation will flourish in every way possible. For most, school will be the only place they encounter God - that must be a prayer priority.”
Previous fortnights have seen Christians coming together from across different churches and organisations to listen to the needs of their local schools. Last year 30 different events took place around the country. Teachers and students have been blessed and prayed for, helping them to feel more supported and equipped in their schools. After one particular event a school opened up to having Christian input for the first time in many years. The events also provide an opportunity to discover where there are other local prayer groups for schools.
Prayer for Schools is a network made up of CARE, Youth for Christ, Scripture Union, New Generation, the Association of Christian Teachers and Churches Together England, which exists to promote prayer for schools in partnership with prayer groups, churches and Christian organisations. Their vision is to see all 30,000 schools in the UK being regularly prayed for.
Prayer Spaces in Schools which exists to enable children and young people to explore faith and spirituality from a broadly Christian perspective in a safe, creative and interactive way has recently entered into a partnership with Prayer for Schools. This is an initiative of 24-7 prayer which aims to set up creative prayer rooms in primary and secondary schools. Hundreds of teachers and pupils have benefited widely from their experiences in the prayer spaces. Both organisations are encouraging parents, pupils and teachers to set up prayer spaces in their own local schools.
If you are hosting an event for Prayer for Schools fortnight, register it on their website so that others in your area can attend and join together with you in prayer. The website has lots of resources to help you plan your event as well as programme ideas.