"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12 NIV®
If you're like most teachers, you have probably felt overwhelmed at times. Maybe it's the student in your class that seems to show no interest in learning about God. Perhaps it's the challenging email you received from a parent. Whatever it is, we all know prayer helps. Since prayer helps, I want us to take it one step further.
Over the years I have received prayer letters from my friends who were missionaries in the states or overseas. I loved reading how they saw God's hand in their work. Also, it was such an honor to be able to lift them up in prayer and know that in some way I was part of their ministry.
If you haven't already, I believe you need to start considering your job as a ministry. Like all fruitful ministries, it needs to be drenched in prayer. Therefore, consider building a prayer team for your classes.
Once a month, send out a letter to those you believe will be your greatest prayer supporters (maybe it's just your family, and that's okay). Tell them about the good and the challenging. Ask them to pray for the student with the hard heart, and let them know when you see glimmers of hope. Have them pray for a lesson that you believe God has given you to speak truth. The more your supporters pray and read what is going on in your classes, the more they will become invested in the lives of the students you interact with every day.
This will not only help you knowing other people are lifting up your students in prayer, it will also help you notice ways God is working in your classes. It will bring you encouragement, accountability, and a deeper love for your students. You should never feel alone. With a prayer support team, they will rejoice when you rejoice, cry when you cry, and get on their knees with you.
Here are four tips:
1- Be careful who you share the letter with. The furthest removed the recipient the better (i.e., no parents of students).
2- Confidential or sensitive information should have name changes and specifics left out.
3- Build love for your students. Your prayer partners will only know your students through your letters, therefore, make a strong effort to leave your readers with a sense of empathy, hope, and love for your students.
4- Pray before you send your letter. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything in your letter that is not glorifying to Him.
God bless you and your students!
P.S. You are welcome to add BTU to your prayer list. We would love to pray for you as you minister to your students. Email your prayer letter to firstname.lastname@example.org