Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 5, Number 8-10, Feb. 20-March 13, 2003


by Roy W. Lowrie, Jr., Ed.D

I am principle in a Christian school. This morning, I overheard Phil DeVries, a senior high school music teacher, talking about my son. Parents do not have many opportunities like this, so I listened carefully, wishing that a tape recorder were at hand. Although I have this experience several times a year, each time my heart moves, and I am thankful.

I was touched because Phil was talk¬ing about my son—to God. He prayed that Cod would help this freshman boy to increase in wisdom and knowledge. He asked that Roy's heart would be right with God continually. In conclu¬sion, he prayed that the abilities of my son would always be used to honor God. Incidentally, Roy is not in trouble, so this prayer did not arise from such a need.

Each day before school opens, Phil and the other teachers meet to study the Word of God and to pray. They pray for those who have particular needs, and they pray regularly for each stu¬dent from kindergarten through twelfth grade. To keep from overlooking any¬one, each child's name is on an indivi¬dual prayer card. When a student grad¬uates, his card is put in the alumni pack, and the teachers continue to pray regularly for him.

In the Christian school, the teachers pray with their students during the opening exercises each day. They are free to pray during Bible class or dur¬ing any class. They pray before prac¬tices and before special events in music and in drama. Coaches pray in a simi¬lar way in the athletic training of both girls and boys. Prayer is a part of the worship during chapel. Prayer is in¬cluded when discipline is exercised.

Students pray openly and with the teachers at the times mentioned above. In addition, they pray during school re¬treats, at small group Bible studies, and at social activities.

School parents who serve on the P.T.A. pray at the outset of their plan¬ning sessions and during the public meetings. Prayer is part of their special events such as annual banquets, pic¬nics, and open house. Each month, there are scheduled prayer meetings on behalf of the school, sometimes for mothers, sometimes for fathers, fre¬quently for both.

Board members begin each meeting with a portion of Scripture, and a time of prayer. They ask God for the wis¬dom which is from above. As the meet¬ing proceeds, they may pause to pray for a difficult problem. Board retreats, special meetings, and meetings of the board's subcommittees always open with prayer.

The broad world of education does not believe in prayer, and does not pray in the ways previously mentioned. In addition, severe legal restrictions have been placed upon prayer in tax-supported schools, making the practice of prayer very difficult, if not illegal. This has been a stifling effect, for every legal decision has been against praying.

In contrast, Christian school educa¬tors know God, and realize that He says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). Ex¬pressed another way, the prayers of a godly person have a powerful ef¬fect.

The relationship between the education of a child and prayer is demonstra¬ble. Parents frequently tell me of the way their children and young people have changed after being in the Chris¬tian school. This is the influence of a total educational experience in which prayer is practiced.

When talking about the school, it is not unusual for a parent to express re¬gret that he did not send his child to the school sooner. As you think of your own children, think about the testimony of these parents. Your children need an education in which prayer is pre¬sent, not absent. Thank you for your serious consideration of these matters.

Dr. Lowrie's material is used by permission. Editor's Note: The son, Roy, that is referred to in this article is now a faithful Christian headmaster, standing on the shoulders of his godly father. Third Millennium thanks the Lowrie family for the legacy of Christian education they continue to build.