Suggested Prayer Service for Teachers to be modified for use by churches or in other settings. People: You have set your glory above the heavens.

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1 Suggested Prayer Service for Teachers to be modified for use by churches or in other settings Call to Worship: (From Psalm 8:1 and 9:1) Leader: O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! People: You have set your glory above the heavens. Leader: I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. People: I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Hymn/Worship Song Prayer of Adoration and Praise Leader or Prayer Reader: Lord God, Creator of the Universe, giver of all gifts, we praise your name, We offer our thanksgiving and praise, we lift up your name, With those in all times and places who have honored and bowed before you, Join us that we may dwell in unity, show forth your love, And bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen Affirmation of Faith: (Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed) The Nicene Creed I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

2 I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. Scripture Reading Matthew 5: You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

3 Hymn/Worship Song Message Teaching is a serious and sacred calling. The role of the teacher (and when we say teacher, we are also referring to band and choir directors, counselors, coaches and others in education who impact students) in forming young lives is one which we all recognize, particularly as we look back on those teachers who impacted us personally. As John Wooden, the former UCLA basketball coach who led his team to 10 NCAA championships and was a devout Christian, wrote of teachers, I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession. A teacher has a challenging role. They have chosen a tiring and demanding profession, one which requires long hours of ongoing training, lesson plans, challenges in the classroom, grading papers, and meetings about everything from educational theory to how the hall is to be monitored. And yet they are called to be foundational in the formation of our next generations, the young people who will be the future of their societies. Teachers form young lives and impact what they will be when they mature. The Biblical calling of teaching is a high one. In this prayer service, we want to acknowledge their importance in the Kingdom of God on earth and pray for their needs. As evidenced amply in God s Word, the call of teaching comes directly from the Lord. In Psalm 34 the psalmist writes. Come, O Children I will teach you the fear of the Lord which, the author of Proverbs 2 notes, is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 22:5 points to the lasting impact of teaching when it says to Train children in the right way, and when old they will not stray. Proverbs 13:15 observes the eternal stakes: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death.

4 The importance of calling and stewardship of that call is shown in 1 Peter 4:10, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. The role of the parent is essential and character forming in the life of young people, but outside the home, the next person of substantial impact is the teacher. In discussions with teachers of their prayer desires and needs, one recurring theme is wisdom. How does the teacher model the life of Christ? Each student is an individual, with unique personalities, learning styles, and home situations. How does the teacher reach out to develop their unique talents in the course of the year? There is also the need to manage the time and resources which are available. The student comes to the teacher with a self- image which will have many influences. For Christians, the issue of self- image is grounded in knowing we are made in the image of God. Being made in God s image gives each of us inherent value and distinctiveness as persons. How does the teacher convey that meaning in a way that is encouraging and provides a base for what a student may become later in life, perhaps to return to in their thinking in difficult times as adults? The teacher seeks to develop inquiring minds. C.S. Lewis noted, The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. How does the teacher bring a lifelong desire for inquiry and learning to the student? The teacher is tasked with conveying a body of knowledge in a given area to prepare the student for further advancement in their education and life. How does the teacher convey that knowledge in ways which the student will grasp and carry forward as a block on which to build their future learning? Another aspect of learning is character formation. Coach John Wooden wrote, Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. How does the teacher convey moral truths and provide for formation of the character of the student while meeting the rules of the institution where they teach? The role of the teacher and the impact they may have on students is brought to our attention in Luke 6:40 (ESV), A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. There are times when students face inordinate difficulties, such as the loss of a parent or crushed hopes because a scholarship did not materialize, which means they cannot pursue the

5 educational opportunities they desire. How does the teacher support the student in those circumstances? In many settings, it is difficult for a teacher to share their Christian faith and values. As Dallas Willard wrote, The ultimate apologetic- that is to say, the ultimate lifter of doubt- is the believer acting in faith in an interactive life with God People need to see individuals living in daily interaction with the kingdom of the heavens. Let us pray for teachers in their daily walk of faith. Resources vary in different school settings. Some school districts are well funded, others have very limited resource allocations. Let us pray for teachers to be creative in their use of available resources to meet the needs of their students. Teachers have many other needs. Energy to meet the demands of their busy schedules. Professional competence and the capacity to stay informed regarding new information in their discipline. Sensitivity to students in their unique life situation and learning patterns. And more. In the words of C.S. Lewis, Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. Let us pray for teachers to have the courage to continue and thrive in their special calling. Let us pray now and in the future for the needs of teachers. Prayer for Teachers Leader or Prayer Reader O Lord, you are a God of love and grace. We thank you for drawing us to yourself. We lift up teachers to you now. We thank you for their special calling, for the place you have given them in the lives of students and our communities. We pray for the needs of teachers. We lift up their needs for professional capabilities and ongoing training. We ask for you to meet the resource needs for their educational institutions as well as in their particular classrooms. We pray for their creativity to meet needs for which funds are limited. We pray for sensitivity, so teachers may meet the needs and challenges of each student in unique ways for every student. We pray for energy and strength to meet their demanding schedules and to offer kindness. We pray for wisdom that they might offer the

6 beauty and winsomeness of faith in Jesus Christ while meeting the requirements of their districts and departments. We pray for courage as they face difficulties in their mission. O Lord, Giver of life, our creator and sustainer, we ask these prayers in the name of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen Closing Benediction Leader: Go forth to love and serve our King. All: We go in the name of Christ. Leader: May the blessing of God Almighty- Father, Son and Holy Spirit- be upon you and sustain you. All: Thanks be to God.

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