By Tandia Hughes, Prayer Spaces in Schools National Team
The National Prayer Weekend is quickly approaching, and with so many churches already signed up to pray specifically for their communities I am encouraged and excited about what God has in store.
One of the best ways to pray for a local community is to pray for its schools. Schools are at the heart of a community, often geographically. Schools are meeting points for local parents, and they are the place through which a community’s younger generation flows. What a fantastic place to invest our prayers for hope and transformation.
I work for Prayer Spaces in Schools. Our aim is to enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore spirituality, faith and life’s big questions in a safe, creative and interactive way, in school. In our experience, over the last ten years, these temporary prayer spaces work best when they are hosted by volunteers from local churches who have committed to an ongoing partnership with the school community. They work best when churches come to serve - to be a blessing.
Our good friends Pray for Schools have recently launched a new resource that allows you to search for local schools and find out whether they are a ‘prayed for school’ or not. Here’s the weblink - http://www.prayforschools.org/get-involved/nearme/#new_tab. Why don’t you have a look for your local schools right now? If there’s already a group of Christians praying for your schools, perhaps you could get in touch and join them? And if there isn’t, perhaps you could find a few friends and start praying with them. Imagine if we could mobilise local Christians to pray, regularly, for every single school in the UK?
We could also encourage the children and young people that we know to pray for their communities. Prayer Spaces in Schools have launched a handful of simple activities to help students engage and pray for their local community:
- Love your Neighbour: http://www.prayerspacesinschools.com/resources/85
- Our Town: http://www.prayerspacesinschools.com/resources/65
- Pray for your Community: http://www.prayerspacesinschools.com/resources/84
How can we serve our local schools? Start by praying for them, on your own, or with others. And pray regularly. Start, but don’t stop. And then ask the school what you can do to serve them. What can you help with? Maybe you could be a reading-mentor, a cake-baker (staff generally like cakes), a classroom-assistant, etc. Maybe you could offer to host a prayer space? Whatever you do, use this National Prayer Weekend as your launchpad into blessing your local school communities.