Children live in a different world than those known to adults today. Instead of purchasing name-brand shoes, buying school clothes like their peers and getting the latest haircut to start school, they have more serious concerns.
Today, many schools require mesh or see-through backpacks, metal detectors, security cameras throughout the building, locked doors, uniformed policemen roaming the campus and safety drills.
Is it any wonder students have trouble focusing on school work with all these safety concerns?
Our Tennessee Baptist churches have always been at the forefront of taking charge and addressing social concerns. Now is the time to take action. Our children need us to make praying for schools a priority. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20 (NIV) “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
How can parents make a difference? Schedule a churchwide prayer service. Appoint a time for a Sunday School class to gather to pray. Assemble in homes to pray for schools. Encourage individual daily prayers. If you drive by a school, say a silent prayer that God will keep students safe and in His care.
When Donna Minton, a member of Salem Baptist Church in Trenton, was watching her grandson play football, someone in the bleachers yelled, “I hope we win!” To which Minton replied, “I pray that no one on either team gets hurt!” We need more grandmothers like that.
• Pray for the safety of children, students, teachers and staff. School shootings have become such a common occurrence. May we never become so acclimated that we can’t see the tragedy and how a family’s life is affected forever.
• Pray for dedicated teachers who see each child as a success. Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
• Pray that each child will be seen as an individual loved by God. Our differences make us strong when we work together.
• Pray that students will be accepting of racial and cultural differences. Some areas of the Volunteer State have immigrants who have come in from other countries. Can you imagine how difficult to be in a strange place, you cannot speak the language, you have no friends and everything is new and different?
• Pray students will show compassion and kindness to those with special needs. Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind and compassionate to one another … .” Children with special conditions need friends. Simple activities may require more time to master. Matthew 25:40 says, “… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
• Pray children will learn how to make friends and how to be a friend to others. “A friend loves at all times ….” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV).
• Pray that parents and the community will support the school through volunteering, attendance at school functions and offering encouragement as needed. B&R — Tomlin resides in Jackson and writes for numerous Christian publications. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org