Fiona Wright from East Dunbartonshire tells us about her schools prayer group, made up of folks from different churches.
Why do you pray?
God tells us to! In Jeremiah 29 we are asked to pray for the place we live in, as well as put down roots and display love in a practical sense. God has put us and our families in our particular local community: we are to be salt and light where we are (Matthew 5). Prayer can change people and communities.
Where and when do you pray?
Our local school prayer group has been going for at least 10 years. Over time, various parents have hosted it in their homes. We meet the first Tuesday of each month straight after the school drop-off, and we keep the time tight so folks know what to expect and the time commitment involved. The previous Monday I send an email to parents who come, those who are interested but unable to attend, our SU Scotland worker and the local church. We encourage people to come by word of mouth. Sometimes we number three, sometimes eight!
How do you pray?
We chat about things to pray for over a quick cup of tea and share individual concerns. A short Bible passage is read and then we start to pray. Topics are wide-ranging and include the weekly SU Group, Headteacher and staff, upcoming services, staff and pupils, Christian families and our witness to others, children we know, Parent Council and relationships between children – such as friendships, bullying, peer pressure, bereavement.
Any answers to prayer?
People we have prayed for have had a tangible sense of God’s presence and strength. Pupils, parents and staff have known God’s help in many situations. Opportunities for sharing the good news of Jesus have opened up as well. When the opportunity arises, we mention to teachers there is a group that prays for the school. I let a parent I knew whose child would be going on the school residential trip that I would be praying for them. There are many conversations between individuals which include mentioning to them we are praying for them – it comes with relationships developing.
Build relationships. Offer practical help in school wherever possible. Join with others to pray: try a realistic commitment, such as meeting once a month or once a term. Go for it!