As far back as I can remember, teachers have played a significant role in my life.
In second grade, Mrs. Barber invited me to an after-school poetry club, instilling a love of alliteration and rhyme in my eight-year-old soul. In fifth grade, Mrs. Ball could tell something was wrong when I normally got straight A’s but flunked a history test. She kept me in at recess and hugged me as the stress of my parent’s divorce leaked out in weighty tears.
In middle school, Mrs. Lunsford encouraged my imagination and said yes every time I proposed a new way of doing an assignment, like making up a song about the thirteen colonies. In high school, Mr. Allison modeled true passion for literature and deep care for his students. He wrote in my yearbook that I could be the next Hemingway or Fitzgerald or whoever I wanted to be. And in graduate school, Dr. Bentz came alongside me on my journey as an aspiring author, generously sharing both knowledge and encouragement as I began my publishing journey.
Each of these teachers saw me. And I thank God for each one.
Now, as a mom of three kids, my gratitude for kind, enthusiastic, passionate, and skilled teachers has continued to grow. I’m grateful for Mrs. Halbert who saw my son’s reading challenges and provided the extra support we needed. I think of Mr. Vigil who celebrated my other son’s out-of-the-box thinking — making space for his wiggles and quirks instead of trying to stuff them in a hard chair. I’m thankful for Mrs. Cliffe who loved each student as if they were her own, and was intentional to call out the strengths in my other son — strengths I hadn’t yet seen.
And those are just a few highlights from my life in the classroom as both a student and parent. Highlights that don’t begin to acknowledge the long hours and endless creativity teachers pour out. Highlights that don’t speak to the lows of discipline issues and budget cuts, hard mornings and grueling afternoons and nights spent grading papers and planning lessons at the cost of time with their own families.
Yes, teachers are amazing, imperfect, profoundly important people — who need our prayers.
Whether you send your kids to public school or private school, or you choose to educate them at home in an organized schoolroom or messy living room, make a commitment to pray for your child’s teacher…even if that’s you! And if you don’t have kids, your prayers are still needed! Think back to the teacher who made an impact on your life, or perhaps the kind of teacher you needed but never had. Join me in praying for them:
Thank you for teachers. Thank you for the individuals who spend their lives nurturing and investing in the next generation. As teachers’ days begin again to be marked by bell schedules and lesson plans, would you mark their hearts with love, patience, and enthusiasm for their students.
Bless each teacher with the ability to see the good — the best — in each child. Enable them to encourage and equip every student to reach their full potential. Help teachers inspire a love for learning and instill confidence in each child in their capacity to grow.
Prepare each teacher for the challenges they will face. Lord, empower them to be emotional counselors, conflict diffusers, hope givers, and prayer warriors.
As teachers pour themselves out each day over essays and equations, ABCs and 123s, pour Yourself into them. Give them an abundance of hope, courage, wisdom, and joy. Gift them with parents and helpers, colleagues and administrators who champion their efforts and encourage their calling.
As teachers go back to school, Lord, grant them lavish grace for the tasks at hand. Beyond district benchmarks or state standards, help our teachers to work diligently and love their students well as unto You.
Bless this school year and bless each person who wears the beautiful and noble badge of Teacher.
“I thank my God every time I remember you.”
Philippians 1:3 (NIV)
Share your back-to-school prayer or tell us about a teacher who impacted you! Let’s thank God together!
Are you anxious about the new school year? Follow Becky on Instagram @beckykeife for her new series: A Verse a Day for the Anxious Soul.
Becky, thank you so much for this prayer and encouragement. As a teacher for 30+ years, I know that I cannot be a good teacher without God’s grace and leading and the prayers of His people. The last two years have been extremely hard and frustrating for both teachers and students alike. Please continue to pray daily that we would be able to instill that love of learning while being a Light for Jesus. I pray that I don’t forget that I am not teaching just a subject, but precious children of God who will impact future generations!
Becky Keife says
Judy, you’re amazing! What grade do you teach? Praying God’s rich blessings on you this school year and that He would continually help you align your perspective with His.
Ruth Mills says
Dearest Father surround our educator system. A new year inherently means change. Take the anxiety out of a new year for all involved because You are in control & You are their peace. Return the attitude that teachers are a teammate for parents not the enemy. For those that don’t know You yet use the difficulties of a new year to highlight their need for You. May Your believing teachers be quick to point to You in every dilemma. Deepen their faith roots as they face new challenges this year. Give insights to each one that they may reach the hard to reach, the eager to learn & every child in between! Use this school year to teach foundations that will last a lifetime for these students. May they be taught to think well & appreciate the world You have created. Give the teachers encouragement as lightbulbs go off & maturity develops in their students. Be glorified. Thank You that You designed us to be teachable. Teach us most importantly about Yourself. Keep the students & staff safe. Protect us all from gun violence & bullying not because some law has been enacted but because we have understood the value of the life You have given us. Be the strength for each day for all the tasks set before the teachers & students. In the Almighty, enabling name of the Greatest Teacher & Redeemer, Jesus! Amen.
Becky Keife says
Amen! Thank you for this prayer, Ruth.
Thank you for those timely words! I am excited for my class and the year ahead!
I know I need God’s help in all I do – building relationships, the creativity in planning & teaching, and in assessing.
God is good.
Becky Keife says
Carolyn, thank you for spending your life pouring into the next generation! May you daily be aware of God’s presence and draw on His strength.
Yes Yes Yes!!! I cannot remember the exact quote but it says something like teaching is the only profession responsible for all the professions.
Becky Keife says
Oh, that’s good!!
Sharon Baugh says
My grandson is autistic, turning 6. I pray his new teacher will see his potential that he may grow into the “fearfully and wonderfully “ young man God created him to be!
Becky Keife says
Joining you in that prayer, Sharon! God is faithul!
Ariel Krienke says
Thank you Lord for my teachers who gave me a love of history. It leads me to be grateful to be born in this country and to see your hand in time. Thank you Papa.
Becky Keife says
Diane Bailey says
Beautiful and needed. This is what loving, responsible parents do, not only for their children but for all who cross their path
Jeannette Culver says
Brenda M. Russell says
Becky, I know you don’t recall the name Brenda M. Russell but you were so kind to help me track a book that I was gifted because of my comments after reading an article with (In) Courage.
You did a great job !
I agree with you regarding teachers. When I grew up, teachers were honored and respected as if they were Presidents (in the admiration of a favored student). How I enjoyed learning that there are certain teachers who can sense when things are not the same at home for one of their students. And when an instructor can look beyond a child’s shyness because they don’t wear clothes that are appropriate for school. It’s so heart warming when a teacher stops by your Grandmother’s porch to say hello while she waited for her own daughter to retrieve her because her daughter worked downtown (not too far from my Grandmother’s house).
Oh my goodness, I have a lot of sweet memories from grammar school. Since I was a stutterer, I was allowed to do most of my work by writing out the answers instead of giving a verbal response. It was so bad and it took so long to stop the flow of my repeated syllables. Yes, I started taking speech therapy and it lasted until my Freshman year of college.
Teaching is definitely God ordained and those who accept that gift in their lives who truly walking in a wonderful vocation.
My daughter, Valerie, is a Teacher Assistant and has taught 1st Grade for 10 years and this year she is teaching Kindergarten. God has equipped Valerie, who graduated from college with a degree in Art. So she can see her students from a special angle. I am so thankful to all those grand people who shape and mold our children for the future.
Enjoy your afternoon.
Your Sister in Christ
Becky Keife says
Hi Brenda! Thanks for sharing such a sweet reflection. Praying God’s blessing on your daughter this school year! What a gal!
Nancy Ruegg says
I spent 26 years of my working years as an elementary school teacher. The challenges we faced a decade ago have only increased. For those currently serving in this challenging, exhausting, but highly rewarding capacity I say thank you for your prayer!
Becky Keife says
Nancy, no doubt you made an indelible mark on so many lives! I applaud you!
Gail Petherick says
Thank you Becky for sharing such inspirational thoughts regarding teachers and how they impacted your life. I thank God for each teacher I had and know the ones who instilled a love of poetry, short story and novels and appreciation of nature and relationships will remain in my heart forever. Others taught the wisdom of history and its lessons. Many others gave an understanding of life and taught respect of others, how to strive for worthy goals and a career and to help the community.
I thank God for each teacher who put immense energy and hours of work into their work. The one who taught scripture was used by God to teach about Jesus life and the singing teacher taught us to celebrate the hymns that have had an everlasting impact; these were tucked away in my heart until ten yeas later God showed me the way of salvation.
What a privilege it was to be under such great teachers!
I later became one but only by Gods grace and specialised in literature and history and ESL teaching.
In todays world it is so different with all the pressures of a world in chaos (2 Timothy 3 ‘In the last days will be times of stress…’), COVID, fragmented lives at home, economic stress, isolation, mental health issues and now the challenge to be filling out endless paperwork that they feel has no meaning for them but is demanded by bureacracy….
Teachers need our constant prayer, our gratitude and and our support.
Thanking God for each teacher who stays faithful to their call.
Sharon Jacobs says
Beth Williams says
Thank God for teachers. They have an incredibly hard job. Not only must they teach, make lesson plans, grade papers, but also deal with some discipline issues & empower students. Asking God to send strength, peace & comfort to ALL teachers as they begin another year.