National Day of Prayer: A Prayer for American Education

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(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)Paul de Vries is an exclusive CP columnist.

Our National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday of May: May 5 in this year AD 2016. There is so much in our national life that needs prayer — where do we begin?

May I propose a prayer especially for education in our country? We have major crises in all the main pillars of education — including especially the homes, the churches, and the schools, as I have written here and here. After all, education touches the future — for ourselves, our families, our children, our churches, our communities, and our country. What could matter more?

When we pray earnestly and fervently, let us also "put feet on our prayers" with effectual, strategic, collaborative, redemptive, constructive action. But let us start with prayer. If you are in a group, one person could lead the prayer and the whole group could then say what is offered in the brackets "[…]":

Our Master Teacher in Heaven,

Thank you for your many amazing gifts of knowledge and wisdom for all of us.

We are grateful for your giving us the powers of language from our very beginning as your creation:

We DELIGHT to hear your guidance, your love, your encouragement, your wisdom, and your forgiveness. [Amen!]

We DELIGHT to learn from you in the amazing Scriptures that you have given and preserved for us. [Amen!]

We DELIGHT to teach our children, our youth, our fellow adults — to help them to learn your Word and words. [Amen!]

Especially we DELIGHT to teach your Gospel, your wisdom, and the wonders of your amazing grace. We passionately desire to see the earth full of the knowledge of you "as the waters cover the sea." [Amen!] 

Thank you for being our ultimate Teacher!

Please forgive us for our many failures, Holy Teacher of teachers — especially in these ten areas:

1. We have often failed to teach our children your ways — in our homes and communities. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
2. We have failed to teach the Biblical heritage of our country. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
3. The Bible remains the best seller — but we rarely mention it in our schools. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
4. Our churches provide too little education either for the believers or for the children, youth and adults in our neighborhoods. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
5. We have not spoken up when our schools have failed to empower all the children. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
6. We have failed to cry out when our schools continued to perpetuate the intensely racial education achievement gap. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
7. We have remained silent when so many of our poorer children have dropped out of our schools. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
8. We have rarely spoken up when our American history, sociology, government, and science courses were hijacked by secularists with strong personal agendas against you. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
9. Even though on every coin and printed currency we remind ourselves that we should trust in you, we teach economics and make policy decisions as if you did not exist. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]
10. We call you the greatest Teacher, but repeatedly do not do what you teach. [Please forgive us, our Lord and Teacher.]

[Thank you, MASTER TEACHER for your forgiveness!]

By your Spirit, now please renew each of us and every teacher and student in this country

to renew our callings. [Amen!]

to know you better. [Amen!]

to follow your teachings more fully. [Amen!]

and to fulfill the potential you created and redeemed within each of us. [Amen!]

That we might glorify you and enjoy you, now and forever!

In Jesus' Name! [Amen!]

Dr. Paul de Vries is the president of New York Divinity School, and a pastor, speaker and author. He is a specialist in Biblical hermeneutics and ethics and a life-long advocate of Biblical activism.