Back to school with God
By Sammy Jordan
This September as we try to pray for every street in the UK as part of Prayer Walk 21 can we be intentional about praying for our local schools, colleges and universities? Lets use the supermarket seasonal 'Back to School' aisle as a prompt to pray, to make the most of the massive missional opportunity that exists in reaching out to schools and colleges.
The ‘Back to school’ campaigns seem to have been in the shops for weeks. Aisles awash with uniform, stationery and lunch boxes linked to the latest popular children’s characters. The supermarket seasonal aisle is often a source of inspiration for me. It reminds me what people are immersed in and what the current ‘thing’ is, whether that’s Valentines, Halloween, Red Nose Day, Easter, Christmas or...there's always something! The seasonal aisle becomes a prompt to pray and a challenge, how can I build a bridge between the current season that people are immersed in and Jesus?
Back to school is no different. Every year it reminds me that whilst many of our churches are struggling to engage with families and young people on a Sunday, our schools and colleges are full of them on Monday morning. Scripture Union run a whole campaign based on ‘the 95%’ of children who are in school on a Monday morning but not in church on a Sunday. Schools and colleges are a massive missional opportunity, because we know where the children and young people are. The challenge is how to connect with and serve our local schools. So when you see a ‘back to school’ banner why not use it as a prompt to pray?
The school’s work charity PAIS alongside Youthscape and Pray for Schools England are inviting us to pray specifically around Back to School Sunday on 5th September
Back to School with God | Pray For Schools
Jane Newey from Pray for Schools England reminds us that this September is a particularly important time to pray for our schools.
"September is such an important time for praying for our schools, as there is so much uncertainly for children especially those who are undergoing transitions. This year it will be a relief for so many that their schools have opened, and things appear nearly normal. However, many will still be anxious and it's those children and young people we want to pray for."
Pray for Schools is encouraging Christians to pray for their local schools in September at the start of a new academic year Jane gives the following advice to make praying for your local school really simple:
"Whilst walking around your neighbourhood look for signs of children and young people. Maybe stop at the playground and pray for children to have fun. See the road signs saying, "Slow School" and remember those in school today. Notice the local convenience store with children queuing for snacks at certain times of the day and pray for their physical health, for sports and general well-being"
Jane is using the OIKOS app to help her so that as we pray for schools this September and continue to press towards our Prayer Walk 21 goal of praying for every street, road and lane in the UK, we can also pray for every school.
"Using the OIKOS app is so simple and it helps with planning a route past all my local schools!"
Hope for Every Home : The Prayer App
Pete Baker from Pais dreams that one day every school in the UK would have a Church that is praying for it and actively seeking to serve it. Based on the 95% figures Pete believes that,
‘If we truly want to shape the nation we need to learn how to serve our schools.’
The National Day of Prayer for Schools is happening on the 28th September.
To find out more go to www.paismovement.com/events/prayforschools
Pete invites us to get involved:
‘Let’s allow this moment to start a movement of praying best God’s best for the schools of our nation, lets allow God to stir our hearts so we might shape culture by learning how to serve schools.’
To connect with the National Day of Prayer for Schools on Social Media check out @paisengland @paisnorthernireland @youthscape @schoolsworkUK and @prayforschoolsengland
Use #prayforschools on social media on the day as you pray for the Schools of your community.
Want to prayer walk your local school and never done it before? Watching this video is a great place to start.
(28) PFS Film HQ PRESENTATION - YouTube